Staying awake for 36 hours: The request could not be satisfied
How Long Can You Go Without Sleep?
While most people dream of clocking the required 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, it’s not always possible. Work, social obligations, and a new TV series can take you off your sleep schedule.
Once you’re off a sleep schedule, it can be extremely hard to get back on; one late night turns into two, and then three. Before you know it, you’re running on fumes and triple shots of espresso.
Just how long can you keep this up? How long can you go without sleep?
These are not the kind of questions you want to find the answers to through personal experience. However, since it’s good to know just how important sleep is, and what will happen if you don’t get in the hours you need, our post takes you through what happens to your brain and body the longer you go without sleep.
What Is Sleep Deprivation?
Try telling a friend or colleague you weren’t able to sleep well last night. How did they respond? With a knowing nod? With their own sleepless story?
Unfortunately, these days, not getting enough sleep is nothing new. Commonly referred to by the term “sleep deprivation,” there is no exact measure for what constitutes a lack of sleep. Basically, someone is considered sleep deprived when they get less sleep than what they need to function normally.
Of course, sleep needs vary from person to person. Toddlers need 11 to 14 hours of sleep each night, pre-teens and teenagers need 9 to 10, and adults require 7 to 9 hours. The amount of sleep you need is also determined by factors like activity levels and genetics.
So rather than basing sleep deprivation on a specific number of hours or days, it is best to look out for these symptoms:
- Fatigue and sleepiness during the day
- Difficulty concentrating and recalling information
- Reduced coordination
- Increased appetite (as a way to increase energy)
- Feelings of irritability and anxiety
- Mood swings
These are symptoms of acute sleep deprivation, which is essentially one long bout of staying awake. Chronic sleep deprivation, on the other hand, is when you don’t get much sleep at night for extended periods of time. Diagnosis differ based on your willingness and opportunity to sleep. There are more severe conditions in which the person doesn’t want to stay awake, but for some reason, can’t seem to fall asleep. Common cases include insomnia, sleep apnea, or fatal familial insomnia (FFI).
What Happens After 24 Hours of Being Awake
Let’s go over the symptoms of acute sleep deprivation in chronological order, breaking down what happens as your waking hours go on.
Staying awake for 24 hours is actually somewhat common. A lot of people pull “all-nighters” when rushing to make a deadline, cramming for a test, or attending to something unexpected (i.e., sick family member, personal emergency).
While many of these cases are unavoidable — and even give a sense of accomplishment — they do come with some morning-after effects. You’ll usually begin to feel these effects at the 16-18 hour mark of being awake. And they typically get worse with every succeeding hour.
The brain functions and memory are the first things affected by a lack of sleep. As your brain becomes slow and sluggish, concentration fades, reaction time slows down, and attention span diminishes. Things like decision-making and problem-solving are nearly impossible.
You will also have a harder time remembering things and even forming new memories because your brain is already struggling to get through the day. This lapse is why many people have trouble recalling what happened when they were sleep-deprived.
Experts believe the brain goes into a state of “local sleep” when trying to conserve as much energy as possible. Local sleep is when some parts of the brain briefly turn off, even while the person is still very much awake. This disconnect also helps explain the significant decrease in cognitive ability.
Some symptoms include:
- Impaired decision-making
- Impaired judgment and perception
- Short-term memory problems
- Extreme fatigue
- Decreased motivation
- Difficulty concentrating, paying attention, and understanding
What Happens After 36 Hours of Being Awake
Past the 24-hour mark of being awake, the effects start to go beyond just brain drain. Your body will also slow down, making you clumsy, uncoordinated, and more likely to commit errors in even the simplest tasks. Things like forgetting to lock the car or repeating yourself are typical when you haven’t gotten any sleep.
Your hormones will also have trouble maintaining balance. Faced with added stress, the body responds by pumping cortisol into your bloodstream. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone, which works to raise your heart rate and blood pressure. This is known as our natural “flight or fight” response, and is very handy in emergencies, after which cortisol levels quickly return to normal.
It’s not, however, meant to stay raised for prolonged periods of time. And when it does, we end up unable to handle the added stress and becoming highly emotional and irritable.
Furthermore, having frequent cases of high heart rate and blood pressure can lead to long-term cardiovascular complications.
The effects of not sleeping for 36 hours can include:
- A rise in stress hormone levels
- Increased irritability
- Increased heart rate and blood sugar levels
- Decreased hand-eye coordination
- Impaired speaking (i. e., having trouble finding the right words, appropriate voice volume level)
- Increased risk for cardiovascular disease in the future
What Happens After 48 Hours of Being Awake
After two days of being awake, you will start looking for just about any way to fall asleep. As your body naturally tries to help itself, during periods of idleness, you may just doze off.
These can be quick naps or long snoozes. Or, they can be something called “microsleeps.” Microsleeps are fleeting moments of sleep, or a sleeplike state, lasting anywhere from 1-30 seconds. They are involuntary and occur frequently throughout the day, even if you’re in the middle of an activity.
Not only does this make microsleeps dangerous in themselves — a lot of things can happen during 30 seconds of unconsciousness — they also leave the person in a disoriented state when they wake up.
Imagine going through these random episodes while in a meeting, on a conference call, or driving. These are all everyday scenarios, made dangerous by the lack of sleep.
Aside from these split-second naps, your body will have difficulty regulating its internal functions as well. You’ll experience a dip in both body temperature and metabolism. And when coupled with constant snacking (often used to boost energy throughout the day), frequent spells of going without sleep can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes.
Ultimately, your entire immune system will be compromised, as your body starts shutting down and becoming more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. By this point, sleep is becoming increasingly crucial.
A few signs of going without sleep for 48 hours include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty multitasking
- Cognitive impairment
- Weakened immune system
- Increased risk of accidents
- Weight gain
- Increased risk of diabetes and other diseases
What Happens After 72 Hours of Being Awake
If you’re going on your third day without sleep, you may not even be completely aware of what’s going on.
With a mix of impaired functions, tumultuous emotions, and uncontrollable microsleeps, your days start to feel far from normal.
In addition to all the previous symptoms, you will now be in a very fragile mental and emotional state. What were bursts of short temper and irritability just a couple of days ago have now become feelings of depression and paranoia.
Without its much-needed rest, the brain becomes chemically imbalanced and starts playing tricks on you. It’s common to suffer altered perceptions and hallucinations, such as thinking a lamp post is a person or a spoon is a pen.
All these make it impossible for you to communicate with others or even function properly. So the task you’re staying up for, whether a project, test, or event, is highly unlikely to be accomplished the way you envisioned.
Being up for 72 hours can lead to:
- Severe concentration and memory issues
- Intense feelings of depression
- Episodes of paranoia
- Difficulty communicating with others
How Long Can You Go Without Sleep? An Extreme Sleep Deprivation Case
The longest world record for going without sleep is about 264 hours, or a little over 11 days, made in 1964. The title-holder Randy Gardner, who was an 11-year-old high school student at the time, recalls feelings of nausea, difficulty concentrating, and lapses in memory.
There have been many other cases of people going without sleep. However, a few days seems to be the most common length. And although the time spent without sleep is far from pleasant, the symptoms of prolonged sleep deprivation will usually go away as soon as you get enough rest.
As much as possible, try to go back to a normal sleep schedule. This may be difficult at first, as your sleep-wake cycle has been severely disrupted. But you should be able to readjust and return to your normal functions after a few days. Improving sleep hygiene habits and sticking to a consistent bedtime routine can help you consistently get rejuvenating sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can you go without sleep before hallucinating?
After 3-4 days without sleep, you may start hallucinating. We do not recommend trying this.
Are 2 hours of sleep better than none?
Yes, of course, any sleep is better than none. But you might find it incredibly difficult to wake up after only 2 hours of sleep if you’ve been going without sleep for a while. If you only have a bit of time to sleep, a power nap can make a big difference.
Is it OK to stay awake all night?
If you’re trying to study for a test or you’re up all night working a late shift, sleeping may not be an option. However, don’t make all-nighters a habit. This can lead to detrimental long-term effects.
What happens if you stay awake all night?
Besides experiencing daytime fatigue, you may also feel faint, have headaches, or feel extreme hunger (your body signaling your brain to eat carbs, giving you energy).
Sleep On It
There’s a reason your brain and body naturally tires and ushers you into bed. Without the right amount of sleep every night, it becomes increasingly difficult to do the things we need during the day. A day or two of sleep deprivation can leave you feeling dazed and drowsy, but any longer can lead to episodes of intense paranoia and increased risks for long-term disease.
“When faced with making the decision about whether to push through without sleep, remember these costs that will be associated with this choice,” says Dr. Colleen Ehnstrom, author of End the Insomnia Struggle. “Consider the research that making sleep a priority has been linked with optimal productivity and performance and most importantly, optimal physical and mental health,” she adds, “If you find yourself in a situation that requires loss of sleep, consider taking short naps and rest whenever possible to minimize the after-effects of sleep deprivation.”
Two guys stay awake for 36 hours and click pictures every 6 hours! Here is how they looked at the end of the experiment
It is time and again recommended that a person should get a good night’s sleep not only to rest your body but to also maintain good health. It improves athletic performance and cognitive functions as well. Not just that, it also influences your appearance more than you’d realize. You’d be surprised to know that sleep deprivation can actually be crucial in the way you look.
Have you been someone who’s stayed up for 36 hours at a stretch for some reason or the other? Maybe it was a school project that you had to submit or college exams that you didn’t study beforehand. There must have of course been more reasons to stay awake for those many hours. But have you ever thought what it does to your face?
According to a couple of guys who decided to stay awake for 36 hours to see the changes in their faces, the first theory explains that you have a weak immune system when you are sleep-deprived and you are also more prone to accidents. It also says that when your face reflects a weakened state, it makes the other well-rested people around to avoid you. The second theory says that when you are sleep-deprived, you make more pessimistic towards your emotions
In the experiment by the two guys,
Greg and Mitch from the AsapSCIENCE channel, they started the day at 8 am and didn’t consume coffee for the next 36 hours. The first 10 hours went smoothly with their daily routine. And after 14 hours, one of the guys started feeling that his cognitive abilities were slowing down. When you are sleep deprived, an area in your brain gets turned off and the proteins that are required to build connections between neurons aren’t available which makes it really difficult to make a memory.
Once it’s daytime and the sun rises, the guys started to feel a little more energized than the night. This is because your body starts to produce hormones that are in sync with the sun’s light when actually wakes your body up. Although, this doesn’t last long because you’ve stayed up all night long.
At the end of 36 hours, both the guys looked noticeably different. Mostly when you are up for so long, you start to look sad and deeply unhappy with more visible lines around your eyes from all the effort you put into trying to keep awake.
Pushing through the night to study, work, or respond to an emergency can feel downright heroic. You did what you had to do, against the odds.
But once the adrenaline wears off and daylight comes, you may suddenly be a little unsteady on your feet. Surviving the day after an all-nighter can be more difficult than it was to stay awake in the first place.
A night of sleep deprivation affects your brain — how quickly you can react, how well you can pay attention, how you sort information or remember it. In fact, studies have shown that after an all-nighter, you may be functioning at a similar level as someone who is legally drunk.
Brace for a Morning Slump
You may feel the worst effects just as the next day is beginning.
“You would think you would be the most impaired the longer you’re awake, but that is not the case,” says sleep expert David Dinges, PhD, chief of the division of sleep and chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania and editor of the journal SLEEP.
Because of the natural flow of your body clock, or circadian rhythm, “you’re actually at the worst 24 hours after your habitual wake-up time,” Dinges says. “You’ll have an unbelievably difficult time staying awake and alert.”
That is also the worst time for you to get in a car to drive home. “If you stayed up all night, you should not be driving, period. You are impaired,” says Mark Rosekind, PhD, a fatigue management expert who is now a member of the National Transportation Safety Board. The monotony of the road, combined with your sleep deprivation, can cause you to fall asleep uncontrollably, he says. In a 2005 poll by the National Sleep Foundation, more than a third of adult drivers admitted having nodded off at the wheel.
Brain Will Help You Through
If you need to continue to work, your brain will try to compensate for the sleep deprivation.
In a study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), 16 young adults who had not slept for 35 hours completed tasks of increasing difficulty. Activity increased in several regions of the brain, as they essentially summoned more “brain power” than they needed when they were well-rested.
“[Sleep-deprived people] can call on cognitive resources they have that they normally don’t need to use to do a certain task. That allows them to perform reasonably well, but they still don’t perform at normal levels,” says researcher Sean P.A. Drummond, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and the VA San Diego Healthcare System.
Your body clock also will give you a periodic boost, as it triggers a wake signal in your brain. You may feel a second wind in the mid-morning (around 10 a.m.) and again in the early evening (at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.). “You may feel better, but you’re still likely to be forgetful, slower to react, and less attentive,” Dinges says.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to improve your alertness and make it through the day after.
Take a Nap
The antidote to sleeplessness is sleep, says Rosekind, who led a fatigue management program for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In a study led by Rosekind, pilots on transpacific flights who napped for an average of 26 minutes had 34% fewer performance lapses and were half as likely to show signs of physiologic sleepiness.
Even a nap as short as 10 minutes can benefit you, as your brain quickly moves into slow-wave sleep, Dinges says. If you sleep longer than about 40 or 45 minutes, you may feel groggy when you wake up. This is called sleep inertia, and happens when you wake from a deep sleep. Once you shake off that feeling, you’ll benefit from the nap and feel sharper than you would have without it, Dinges says.
Drink Coffee or Another Caffeinated Beverage
Be strategic with your coffee or energy drink and you’ll get an extended boost in alertness. Most people need about 100 milligrams (mg) to 200 mg of caffeine, depending on their body weight, Rosekind says. (Coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine in a 5-ounce cup, though the content varies based on the strength of the brew.) Over-the-counter caffeine pills also are available in 100 mg or 200 mg doses.
It takes about 15 to 30 minutes for you to feel the effect of the caffeine, and the benefit will last for three to four hours, Rosekind says. “If you plan strategically to use the caffeine every few hours, you can keep yourself at a pretty good level of performance,” he says.
The best strategy: Have your caffeine and lie down for a 30-minute nap. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed, he says.
One caveat: When you finally stop drinking your caffeinated beverage, expect a crash. “The caffeine masks the sleepiness, [but] the sleepiness just keeps building up,” Rosekind says.
Turn Up the Light
Your body clock is attuned to the cycle of darkness and light, so bright light has an alerting effect.
“As people get more and more tired, they often find bright light unpleasant and they’ll deliberately turn the light off,” says Dinges. Instead, you should turn lights on and even step out into the sunshine, Drummond says.
Move Your Body
Taking a brisk walk or working out gets your blood moving. Exercise also boosts your brain power. “If you move your body, there’s automatic feedback from your muscles that goes to the central mechanism of the brain to improve alertness,” says Sharon Keenan, PhD, founder and director of the School of Sleep Medicine of the Stanford University Center for Excellence for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Disorders.
Even changing your activity or being engaged in a conversation can improve alertness, Rosekind says. But as soon as you stop the activity or conversation, you’re likely to feel sleepy again, he says.
After a night without sleep, your working memory is impaired. That means you can’t keep as many things in your mind at one time, Drummond says.
A study of 40 young adults who had 42 hours of sleep deprivation — equivalent to staying up all night and the next day until a late bedtime — showed a 38% decrease in working memory capacity. Imaging studies confirmed that the part of the brain involved in integrating information isn’t as active in people who are sleep deprived.
Know Your Limitations
You may try to snap yourself awake by splashing cold water on your face or opening a window or making the room a bit cooler. You may feel better after taking a shower and dressing up for a new day. But there’s no way to trick your body and mind. That refreshed feeling is destined to be followed by a slump.
“The biological drive for sleep is so great that you just can’t cheat it,” Drummond says. “It is as important for life as water and oxygen and food.”
There’s good news at the end of an all-nighter. Once you finally get to sleep again, you will sleep more deeply than usual, with more slow-wave sleep. “It’s better to sleep until you just naturally wake up,” says Dinges, which means you may sleep 9 or 10 hours. That will be the true recovery from your sleepless night, he says.
How Long Can You Go Without Sleep? Risk Factors, Sleep Hacks, and More
Deadlines, side hustles, staying up all night watching goat videos, a new baby in the house, insomnia… there are lots of reasons people aren’t sleeping.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 7 to 19 percent of adults in the U.S. don’t sleep enough, and 50 to 70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders.
Sleep deprivation means you don’t get enough sleep. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours per night. You may also be sleep deficient if you sleep at times that are out of sync with your natural rhythm or don’t sleep well at all.
Sleep deficiency is a serious condition that can lead to physical and mental health problems like heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and depression. Not sleeping enough also puts you at greater risk for accidents and death.
If you spend those sleepless hours contemplating your mortality, it’s apropos. Extreme fatigue is associated with higher risk for driving accidents, other injuries, and potentially life-shortening conditions.
And for people with the rare disease fatal familial insomnia (FFI), not sleeping is one of the first signs they’re unwell.
FFI is an inherited disease caused by prions in the part of the brain that controls waking and sleeping. Prions destroy neurons in the thalamus, causing insomnia, weight loss, high or low body temperature, and dementia.
In most cases, symptoms begin in mid-life and lead to death within 12 to 18 months. Because FFI is genetic, you would almost certainly have had a family member with the condition. Spontaneous cases can happen, but are less common.
Assuming your lack of sleep is not of the fatal neurodegenerative variety (and it’s probably not), here’s what you can expect to experience the longer you stay awake.
Who hasn’t found themselves awake for 24 hours straight? It doesn’t feel good, but you get through it with vats of coffee, probably feeling hungover until you can actually get some sleep.
You definitely shouldn’t drive in that condition, and maybe shouldn’t trust your memories. A 2016 study of young adult men found they were more likely to recall false memories after being awake for 24 hours.
In another study, people who didn’t get enough sleep had a higher load of beta-amyloid in their brains. Beta-amyloid is a waste product that should be cleared during sleep. High concentrations are a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Now you’ve been awake a day and a half. The technical term might be “cross-eyed tired.” In fact, you’re probably experiencing decreased oculomotor (eye movement) function, even if you don’t feel that tired.
And you’re not as eloquent as you would be after a good night’s rest. Researchers tested subjects after 36 hours of sleep deprivation and found they spoke in bursts of words between long silences and chose words that were semantically related, making communication less clear because of limited word choice. Sleep-deprived study participants spoke with flattened, monotone voices, which could come across as disinterest to listeners.
Research also indicates that after 36 hours awake, people are slower to shift attention to changes in their environment, have slower reaction times, and have a delayed orienting response (the reflex that allows us to process sudden stimuli).
If you were trying to navigate the jungle (or the urban jungle) without the ability to pay attention and react quickly to stimuli (aka danger), things could get scary pretty fast.
If you thought your reaction time and attention were impaired after 36 hours awake, just wait ‘til you’ve been awake 2 full days! Now you’re even more vulnerable to microsleeps — short periods of a few seconds when you appear to otherwise be awake, but don’t respond to your environment.
It’s believed that under extreme sleep deprivation, parts of the brain will hit snooze while other parts remain awake. Microsleep is particularly dangerous for fatigued drivers, but can make just about any task harder to perform.
In 2017, researchers found that military surgeons who performed operations for 48 hours with no sleep were found to be cognitively impaired, putting themselves and patients at risk. The study recommends surgeons be limited to 12-hour shifts, with adequate sleep every 24 hours.
There’s also evidence that after 48 hours of sleep deprivation, the immune system is suppressed, producing fewer “natural killer” cells that fight infection.
You’ve been awake 3 solid days and nights. Are coworkers giving you a wide perimeter at the office? That’s probably because you’re grumpy as hell. Studies indicate the following effects of 72 hours of sleep deprivation:
- A group of astronauts experienced increased heart rate, negative mood, and impaired information processing.
- In a 1984 study, six young men were deprived of sleep and their urine was collected daily. Researchers found an increase in urinary urea and decrease in glucose and urinary electrolytes, despite participants having free access to food and water. They concluded that sleep deprivation disrupts metabolism.
- A more recent study of rats shows inhibited expression of the circadian clock gene and increased oxidative stress after 72 hours awake.
- In another study of mice, sleep deprivation resulted in impaired locomotor activity, anxious behavior, oxidative stress, changes in mitochondrial enzyme complex activities, increased corticosterone levels, and signs of neuroinflammation.
These are the likely immediate effects of a few sleepless nights:
- brain fog
- difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- depressed mood
- lack of motivation
- daytime sleepiness
- increased risk of injury and accidents
- longer reaction time
- lack of coordination
- impaired immunity
If your sleepless nights are chronic, they can eventually lead to more serious problems, like hallucinations, severe mood swings, and increased risk of depression, mental illness, stroke, heart disease, and asthma attacks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who slept less than 7 hours per day were more likely to report these 10 chronic health conditions:
- heart attack
- coronary heart disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- chronic kidney disease
Whether it’s work, family, fun, or illness keeping you awake at night, your brain and body are suffering for it. If you absolutely can’t get the sleep you need, try these coping tips:
- 75 mg to 150 mg of caffeine can improve alertness and performance after sleep deprivation. Be aware that long-term use can lead to tolerance and withdrawal effects.
- If you know you have to be awake later, bank some sleep now. A “prophylactic nap,” can improve performance and alertness.
- Squeeze in a 30-minute nap during sleep deprivation to improve alertness. It’s better to limit nap time because the longer you sleep, the more difficult it will be for you to wake up afterward. We love the Power Nap App.
- Pair caffeine with your nap for even greater benefits.
- Stimulant medications can be prescribed by a doctor to help offset the negative effects of unavoidable sleep deprivation. Because of the potential for side effects or dependence on these medications, doctor supervision is a must.
What Happens to Your Brain After 36 Hours Without Sleep?
As he described it, “In my mind’s eye I saw many, many things: children that I hadn’t even had yet, friends that I had never seen but are now my friends. The thing that really stuck in my mind was playing an instrument”. Then Tony landed on his head and lost consciousness.
When he came to at the hospital, he felt like a different person and didn’t want to return to his previous life. Over the following weeks, the images kept flashing back into his mind. He felt that he was “being shown something” and that the images represented his future.
Later, Tony saw a picture of a saxophone and recognized it as the instrument he’d seen himself playing. He used his compensation money from the accident to buy one. Now, Tony Kofi is one of the UK’s most successful jazz musicians, having won the BBC Jazz awards twice, in 2005 and 2008.
Though Tony’s belief that he saw into his future is uncommon, it’s by no means uncommon for people to report witnessing multiple scenes from their past during split-second emergency situations. After all, this is where the phrase “my life flashed before my eyes” comes from.
But what explains this phenomenon? Psychologists have proposed a number of explanations, but I’d argue the key to understanding Tony’s experience lies in a different interpretation of time itself.
When life flashes before our eyes
The experience of life flashing before one’s eyes has been reported for well over a century. In 1892, a Swiss geologist named Albert Heim fell from a precipice while mountain climbing. In his account of the fall, he wrote is was “as if on a distant stage, my whole past life [was] playing itself out in numerous scenes”.
More recently, in July 2005, a young woman called Gill Hicks was sitting near one of the bombs that exploded on the London Underground. In the minutes after the accident, she hovered on the brink of death where, as she describes it: “my life was flashing before my eyes, flickering through every scene, every happy and sad moment, everything I have ever done, said, experienced”.
In some cases, people don’t see a review of their whole lives, but a series of past experiences and events that have special significance to them.
Explaining life reviews
Perhaps surprisingly, given how common it is, the “life review experience” has been studied very little. A handful of theories have been put forward, but they’re understandably tentative and rather vague.
For example, a group of Israeli researchers suggested in 2017 that our life events may exist as a continuum in our minds, and may come to the forefront in extreme conditions of psychological and physiological stress.
Another theory is that, when we’re close to death, our memories suddenly “unload” themselves, like the contents of a skip being dumped. This could be related to “cortical disinhibition” – a breaking down of the normal regulatory processes of the brain – in highly stressful or dangerous situations, causing a “cascade” of mental impressions.
But the life review is usually reported as a serene and ordered experience, completely unlike the kind of chaotic cascade of experiences associated with cortical disinhibition. And none of these theories explain how it’s possible for such a vast amount of information – in many cases, all the events of a person’s life – to manifest themselves in a period of a few seconds, and often far less.
Thinking in ‘spatial’ time
An alternative explanation is to think of time in a “spatial” sense. Our commonsense view of time is as an arrow that moves from the past through the present towards the future, in which we only have direct access to the present. But modern physics has cast doubt on this simple linear view of time.
Indeed, since Einstein’s theory of relativity, some physicists have adopted a “spatial” view of time. They argue we live in a static “block universe” in which time is spread out in a kind of panorama where the past, the present and the future co-exist simultaneously.
The modern physicist Carlo Rovelli – author of the best-selling The Order of Time – also holds the view that linear time doesn’t exist as a universal fact. This idea reflects the view of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, who argued that time is not an objectively real phenomenon, but a construct of the human mind.
This could explain why some people are able to review the events of their whole lives in an instant. A good deal of previous research – including my own – has suggested that our normal perception of time is simply a product of our normal state of consciousness.
In many altered states of consciousness, time slows down so dramatically that seconds seem to stretch out into minutes. This is a common feature of emergency situations, as well as states of deep meditation, experiences on psychedelic drugs and when athletes are “in the zone”.
The limits of understanding
But what about Tony Kofi’s apparent visions of his future? Did he really glimpse scenes from his future life? Did he see himself playing the saxophone because somehow his future as a musician was already established?
There are obviously some mundane interpretations of Tony’s experience. Perhaps, for instance, he became a saxophone player simply because he saw himself playing it in his vision. But I don’t think it’s impossible that Tony did glimpse future events.
If time really does exist in a spatial sense – and if it’s true that time is a construct of the human mind – then perhaps in some way future events may already be present, just as past events are still present.
Admittedly, this is very difficult to make sense of. But why should everything make sense to us? As I have suggested in a recent book, there must be some aspects of reality that are beyond our comprehension. After all, we’re just animals, with a limited awareness of reality. And perhaps more than any other phenomenon, this is especially true of time.
Steve Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Leeds Beckett University
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
90,000 Mother of many children showed how her face has changed in 36 hours without sleep
In just one and a half days, the woman has aged several years.
Lindsay Hope, a 39-year-old mother of three, decided to do the experiment by staying awake for 36 hours straight. The woman kept a diary and took a selfie every three hours to see how her face was changing, BaigeNews.kz reports with reference to medialeaks.ru.
According to the woman, with three preschoolers, one of whom is a baby, she does not have to get used to excessive sleep.However, the experiment with 36 hours of wakefulness turned out to be much more difficult than she imagined, writes The Sun. In the first hour of her experiment, Lindsay took a photo of her face, which became the starting point of the entire experiment.
“I took the first selfie right after I woke up with the children, but I already hated bags under my eyes. My skin was reddish, and it also had a few spots,” – said Lindsay in her diary.
The woman took a shower and applied a light make-up, which made her face fresher and more radiant.Bags and age spots are less visible and the skin is more radiant. She took the next photo four hours after the start of the experiment.
“I felt more vigorous and strong. I was happy with my complexion and did not feel that there are too many wrinkles on it, considering that I am almost 40 years old. I drank a glass of water and a cup of coffee, as usual,” continued the diary Lindsay.
The next selfie was taken at lunchtime. Lindsay felt great, did household chores and went outside for a walk.Walking in the fresh air seems to have only improved her appearance, she said.
“I still look vigorous. I walked with the children and did a little exercise in the garden. Going outside seemed to make my skin cleaner. Spots and wrinkles seemed less noticeable than when I first woke up,” Lindsay said.
The woman took a new picture in the evening, having laid the children down and washed off the cosmetics.
“After putting my two children to bed, I washed my face again and applied moisturizer.I haven’t slept yet. I drank water throughout the day to keep my skin hydrated, and I also had a cup of tea and some chocolate in the afternoon to get energy and survive the night. ”
By midnight, sleep began to take its toll. in the evening, began to struggle with the urge to sleep, but she decided to spend this time on something that usually cannot be done – watch TV.
“While everyone else was in bed, I had time to catch up at home and watch TV.I started to feel sleepy around midnight, so I had to rinse my face with cold water to stay awake. ”
The situation worsened at four in the morning. Now Lindsay was very sleepy, but she did not give up.
“I felt very sleepy. I had to wash my face all the time to stay awake. I fed the baby at about three in the morning. Looking in the mirror, I saw that my skin was terrible. The dark circles were worse than usual and I looked much older than my 39 years. “.
Three hours later, the children woke up and distracted Lindsay from her struggle with sleep. The woman applied a small amount of makeup to her face to smooth out the circles under her eyes and prepared to survive for the next 14 hours.
“I was grateful to the kids who woke up and distracted me from my fatigue. I took a shower, put on a light layer of makeup that hid a lot of skin problems, and got ready for another day without sleep.”
By the 28th hour of waking, Lindsay, surprisingly, began to feel much better.She became very hungry.
“Considering that I hadn’t slept for so long, I suddenly felt better than hours before. But I was incredibly hungry. At about six in the morning I had breakfast with a bowl of cereal, and by nine o’clock I had to eat more toast. I ate some fruit and yogurt. right after ten in the morning and still felt hungry. ”
The unpleasant sensations returned by lunchtime. Then the woman felt a strange desire to eat all kinds of junk food like chips.
“I had lunch until noon trying to eat only healthy foods like chicken and salad, but I ended up opening a can of Pringles.It felt like I was eating a hangover even though I wasn’t drinking. ”
Soon the fatigue intensified. It was much worse than Lindsay’s usual loss of energy in the middle of the day.
“I don’t sleep much with a newborn anyway, but it became clear that even a few short dreams make a huge difference to how you feel and look. I was incredibly lethargic and it showed up in severe dark circles under my eyes. My eyelids were like that. I had a can of cola and a bar of chocolate to try and cheer up, “she noted in her diary.
In the final photo, the woman can barely hold her eyelids. Comparing the first and last snapshots of the experiment, you might think that they were taken five or ten years apart. But only 36 hours passed.
“My bags were awful and my skin turned red and pale in places. I definitely had more spots than when I woke up in the morning, and I have three more children who need to be put to bed,” writes Lindsay.
In fact, a lack of sleep is much more detrimental to the body than just a deterioration in the condition of the skin.The immune system suffers, and stress hormones are released, which has a bad effect on human health. Even wounds take much longer to heal if a person sleeps a little. We hope Lindsay slept well after the experiment.
How long can you go without sleep?
- Adam Headhuisy
- BBC Future
Photo author, Thinkstock
Our body is able to fight sleep for a while, but as the correspondent found out
BBC Future , sooner or later insomnia leads to a temporary clouding of mind or even death.
Whatever we waste our time on! By the age of 78, according to some estimates, the average person has been sitting in front of the TV for nine years, driving for four years, in the toilet for 92 days and having sex for 48 days.
But among all the activities that consume our time, there is an undisputed champion. By the age of 78, a person spends an average of 25 years on sleep. And if you try to at least partially win back these years from Morpheus, then the question arises: how long a person is able to stay awake, and what are the consequences of prolonged wakefulness?
A healthy individual trying to find an answer by experimenting on himself will soon realize that the task is not easy.
“The need for sleep is so strong that it outweighs hunger,” says Erin Hanlon, assistant professor at the Center for Sleep, Metabolism and Health at the University of Chicago in the US. “Your brain will simply fall asleep, despite all conscious attempts to fight it.”
Why the craving for sleep is so strong, scientists do not know. “The exact role of sleep remains to be seen,” Hanlon notes. But, according to her, sleep somehow “nullifies” the systems of our body.Plus, research has shown that getting enough sleep on a regular basis can help heal wounds, support your immune system, your metabolism, and so on – which may be why we feel great when we get enough sleep.
On the other hand, sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression and other ailments. To avoid them, the body gives us unpleasant signals during sleepless nights: we do not have enough strength, we feel tired, and heavy eyelids themselves sink into red eyes.As we continue to struggle with sleep, our concentration drops and our short-term memory works worse.
Photo author, Thinkstock
Insomnia makes us feel completely overwhelmed … even coffee does not help
If you ignore these signals, staying awake all day, your mind eventually gives up. Sudden mood swings, paranoia appear, a person sees non-existent objects. Truck drivers call this “seeing a black dog” condition.Their professional wisdom says: if an obsessive black dog appears on the road, you urgently need to stop and rest.
“People start to hallucinate and go a little crazy,” says Atul Malhotra, director of Sleep Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.
The negative effect of insomnia on the body has been noted in many studies. The blood levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol rise, and as a result, blood pressure rises.At the same time, the heart rhythm is disturbed and interruptions in the functioning of the immune system begin, says Malhotra. As a result, people who do not get enough sleep become nervous and get sick more often.
But problems caused by a bout of insomnia or a series of parties usually disappear after a good sleep. “If there is harm, it is reversible,” says Jerome Siegel, professor at the Center for Sleep Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Careful, eyes don’t close
What if you don’t sleep at all? The unfortunate consequences of being constantly awake are seen in patients with a rare genetic disorder called Fatal Familial Insomnia.
The genes that cause this disease are found in about 40 families worldwide. In the nervous system of carriers, due to a genetic defect, proteins are converted into so-called prions, losing their normal properties. “Prions are irregularly shaped proteins that cause great problems for patients,” explains Malhotra. Prions clump together in nerve tissue, kill it and turn the brain into a kind of Swiss cheese (the same thing happens in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the most famous disease caused by prions).In people with fatal familial insomnia, the greatest damage is done to the thalamus, the deep part of the brain that is responsible for sleep. Therefore, they have insomnia.
The patient suddenly stops sleeping and presents with strange symptoms such as constricted pupils and increased sweating. After a few weeks, he goes into a permanent dormant state. The patient walks like a somnambulist and twitches at times – just as people sometimes involuntarily twitch when falling asleep. This is followed by weight loss, falling into insanity, and eventually death.
However, in such cases, insomnia itself is not considered the cause of death – the disease causes serious damage to the brain.
“I don’t think sleep deprivation kills these people,” Siegel says. The widespread torture of insomnia is also not known to be fatal (although the person undergoing it experiences terrible suffering).
Similar experiments with sleep deprivation in animals provide additional evidence that insomnia itself is not fatal, but that the causes that cause it can sometimes kill.
In the 1980s, Alan Rechtschaffen conducted a rat experiment at the University of Chicago. He placed the rodents on special discs above trays of water. When the rat began to doze (this was shown by an encephalogram), the disk turned, pushing the rodent to the water, as a result of which it woke up.
Photo author, Thinkstock
A total of 40 families in the world suffer from a genetic disease called “fatal familial insomnia”
After a month of such treatment, all the rats died, although the causes of their death remained unclear.According to Siegel, the most likely culprit was the stress of awakening, which the rats experienced about a thousand times a day. It was he who could wear out the systems of their bodies. Among other symptoms, the rats showed impaired body thermoregulation and weight loss – despite an increase in appetite.
“This is the main problem of studying sleep in humans and animals: a person or an animal cannot be deprived of sleep without their voluntary assistance, without causing serious stress,” Siegel believes. “If death occurs, then the question remains: what was the cause “stress or insomnia? Distinguishing one from the other is not easy.”
All of the above, in theory, should be enough to discourage anyone from experimenting with sleep deprivation. But the question remains: how long is a person able to stay awake? The most commonly cited record is Randy Gardner’s 1964 San Diego record. As a 17-year-old high school student, Gardner conducted this experiment as an extracurricular scientific work. According to the scientists observing him, Gardner did not sleep for 264 hours (just over 11 days).
There are other contenders for the insomnia championship, although these numbers are more difficult to verify. Among them is a certain British woman who won the continuous rocking chair competition in 1977. Presumably, she won by a large margin – it is claimed that she was swinging for 18 days.
How long a person can go without sleep is not known exactly. Perhaps it is for the better: given the harm people inflict on themselves by such experiences, the compilers of the Guinness Book of Records decided in the last decade not to register achievements in this category anymore.
How much sleep to get enough sleep? And 21 more questions to the somnologist
Table of Contents
1. How much sleep do you need?
The vast majority of adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. The average “sleep rate” is 7 hours and 40 minutes. Seven or forty is easy to remember, isn’t it?
There are a number of “fast sleepers” or “short sleepers” who need 4-5 hours of sleep, and “long sleepers” who need more than 10 hours of sleep. If this is their individual feature, then as a rule it does not affect their health.But more often, this sleep pattern is associated with hidden or obvious problems, the elimination of which can be fundamentally important.
So there are studies according to which regular sleep for more than 10 and less than 5 hours negatively affects health and life expectancy.
2. How many people can go without sleep?
There were unique people who, after injuries or from birth, did not need sleep at all, they only briefly sank into slumber.Such phenomena are associated with special, extremely rare disorders in the brain.
Many volunteers tried to find the limit of human capabilities, going without sleep for a long time. The record was set in 1963 by the American youth Randy Gardner, who was 17 at the time. He did not sleep for 11 days (264 and a half hours), and at the same time he was mentally healthy and did not die. He is still alive, he did not try to break his record, and others did not break him. After several days of being awake, Gardner had great difficulty concentrating, he could mistake a street sign for a person, but he spoke quite articulate and even played good pinball.
Note that with some mental illnesses, a person may also not sleep (or rather, he cannot or does not want to sleep) for weeks or only falls into short episodes of nap, but such cases are not taken into account when setting records. Thus, a sharply reduced need for sleep is one of the characteristic signs of the manic phase of bipolar disorder, along with hyperactivity, excellent mood and accelerated thinking. At the peak of the phase, a person can sleep 1-2 hours a day or not sleep at all, and at the same time not experience drowsiness.However, in another phase – the depressive one – one has to pay for the illusion of super powers.
3. Can I train myself to sleep less?
Theoretically possible. But, as a rule, most people do it wrong, which can have serious health consequences. Therefore, we do not recommend actively interfering with the individual duration of your sleep. If it seems to you that there is no way without it, then first consult a sleep doctor. Otherwise, it will turn out to be something from the series “taught the crocodile to do without food, but then he himself disappeared somewhere …”.
4. What happens if you sleep too little or too much?
If you get too little sleep, you won’t produce enough cortisol. This hormone is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system, regulation of the body’s energy reserves (including the accumulation and burning of fats …). It also “rules” the production of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone and thyroid hormones.
The consequences of lack of sleep are diverse – to list them all, a separate large article is needed, but the main ones are: decreased performance (primarily its effectiveness), depression, anxiety.
Excessively long sleep can be associated with serious medical conditions, primarily with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, which we will discuss later.
In any case, a long sleep, if it is not an individual feature of the body, is harmful: it can impair the functioning of the cardiovascular system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke and cause many other diseases.
5. Should you sleep during the day and how to do it?
“Don’t sleep during the day,” Pasternak warned us.He was partly right.
Indeed, if an adult falls asleep in the middle of the day for a long time (for 1-2 hours), this can lead to a failure of biorhythms. As a result, he will feel overwhelmed and lethargic, he may have a sharp increase in anxiety, disturbed night sleep, which is undesirable, especially if the person already suffers from insomnia. Daytime sleep is contraindicated in depressed patients.
However, if you take a nap for 20-30 minutes from 1 pm to 3 pm, then everything is quite the opposite! A short nap in the middle of the day (literally – lay down, relaxed, slept through one phase of sleep and woke up) refreshes, improves the functioning of many body systems.
Research from the University of California has shown that those who sleep 20-30 minutes during the day have a 50% increase in concentration and memory by 30% compared to those who do not sleep, and in addition, with regular short naps, the risk of heart attack is reduced.
For daytime sleep, it is especially important to thoroughly relax, remove light sources, take a comfortable position, and undo clothes that are too tight. It is better not to go to bed, but to doze reclining, for example, in a chair, on the seat of a car.
If you have a hard time waking up after a short nap, you need to assess how fully you sleep at night, and you most likely need to reconsider your attitude to the length of night sleep.
In any case, with all the benefits of daytime sleep, you must remember that if it complicates the process of falling asleep in the evening, then even a short nap is undesirable for you.
6. Is it harmful to go to bed very late, for example, at 3-5 o’clock in the morning?
First, you need to understand what is “late”? When lining up daily rhythms, the body reacts to the level of illumination.If there is no daylight for a long time, and you are still awake, then it is already “late”. The body does not begin to synthesize melatonin on time, which can lead to a wide variety of disorders (regulation of fat metabolism, suppression of tumors, regulation of sexual function, mood balancing …) Artificial lighting to some extent solves the problem, and if you want to live according to the regime of a different time zone – Protect yourself from natural light during the day and many, many fluorescent lamps at night. Although this also minimizes harm only partially.It is believed that the body synthesizes melatonin exactly on the conditional “night” of your time zone, from about 10 pm to 5 pm. The exact time can swim, but the fact is that it is better to go to bed before midnight.
Secondly, for most people, going to bed after 12 at night is late and harmful, if only for the reason that workers and students need to get up early. If a person goes to bed later than midnight, then the duration of his sleep may be less than his individual norm, and he is corny lack of sleep.
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7.Who are the “larks” and “owls”?
These are two chronotypes, differing in the nature of their activity during the day. Larks wake up on their own and easily early in the morning (at 6-7 o’clock), want to eat in the morning, are more active in the morning, go to bed early (at 21-22 o’clock). “Owls” wake up at 9-10 am, are more active in the evening, go to bed at 0-2 am. Studies have proven that “larks” and “owls” really exist: in the urban population, 40-45% are “owls”, 25% are “larks”, the rest are “doves”.Not all of the “owls” and “larks” are of the pure type – the majority still have many “pigeon” traits. Children, as a rule, are “larks”, they begin to “advice” by the age of 13-14.
So is it possible to adapt to “not your” regime?
It is possible, and it is even useful. Some researchers believe that owls, who have had to get up early all their lives, do not change their chronotype, but retain better health and are more psychologically stable than “larks.”
It follows, by the way, that the desire to go to bed at 5 am and get up at noon is no longer just “Sovism”, but a violation of the regime, which should be avoided in any case.
8. How are sleep and light related?
Illumination is one of the key parameters of circadian rhythms. The brighter the lighting, the more serotonin, and, accordingly, we are more cheerful. The darker, the more melatonin is produced, and the more we want to sleep. If you live in an area where the nights are white in summer and there is too little light in winter, this is the parameter that should be adjusted. Here are some simple tips:
- Provide excellent lighting for your home during dark waking hours.Combine warm light with fluorescent lights. They are not harmful, but, on the contrary, improve light perception.
- One hour before bed, turn off the lights in the entire apartment, leaving only small sources of light. Try not to use your computer or gadgets 2 hours before bed.
- On white nights, curtain the windows tightly and create twilight. To fall asleep easily and sleep well, you need melatonin, which is practically not synthesized in good light.
About the clinic
Euromed Clinic is a multidisciplinary family clinic in the center of St. Petersburg.
- Home call
- 24-hour reception of therapist
- Analyzes, ultrasound, X-ray
- Diagnostics of the whole body
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Learn more about the clinic 901 Why does insomnia occur?
Difficulty falling asleep? Sleep a little? Do I wake up several times in the middle of the night? Poor quality sleep, ragged? Sleep enough, but don’t get enough sleep? As a rule, insomnia is a consequence of another problem or several problems:
- Poor sleeping conditions: light, noise, stuffiness, uncomfortable bed
- The habit of going to bed at different times, including getting enough sleep on weekends
- Daytime sleep, as a substitute normal night
- Overeating and consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, coffee during the evening
- Stress, anxiety, depression
- Chronic or acute diseases (including gastroenterological, urological, heart, lungs, joints and muscles) accompanied by physical discomfort
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndromebelow)
- Restless legs syndrome, when a person has discomfort in the legs in the evening at rest, passing during movement or massage
- Violation of circadian rhythms – shift work, constant flights and changing time zones
- Neurological and mental diseases that disrupt circadian rhythms and the quality of sleep
Separately, we can distinguish “insomnia”, accompanied by the fear of “not falling asleep” or “not getting enough sleep.” As a rule, the original problem has already passed, but the fear remains.With this option, a person with “good intentions” begins to violate all possible rules of sleep hygiene and further exacerbates the problem.
Most often, insomnia is caused by a combination of several problems, and in order to fully understand the causes of sleep disorders, it is necessary to consult a specialist and conduct, if necessary, a specialized somnological examination.
10. I can’t sleep, what should I do?
There are several tricks that work that can help you fall asleep faster.
- Concentrate on your breathing. It should be even, not too frequent and not too deep, inhalation should be at least half the length of exhalation. You imitate the breathing of a sleeping person and gradually fall asleep.
- Close your eyes, slide the pupils up and out under the eyelids. You will immediately feel that you want to sleep more.
- Check muscle clamps. It is especially important to relax your shoulders and neck.
- Find a comfortable sleeping position. For some, before falling asleep, it helps to lie down on the stomach to relax the muscles and reduce the amount of oxygen entering the blood (when lying on your stomach, you breathe less deeply and often). If you have stomach or liver problems, it is easier to fall asleep on the left side, if with the heart, on the right. Sometimes your doctor may recommend that you sleep reclining.
- A common psychological cause of difficulty falling asleep is the thoughts that a person endlessly twists in his head. In this case try to find another, more soothing “mental gum” , not letting yourself slip into the burning problems of the day or old grievances.
11. I wake up at night and do not sleep for 3-4 hours, and in the morning I am overwhelmed. What to do?
There is historical evidence that in many countries, especially northern ones, people often divided the night into two dreams. After sleeping from 8-9 pm until midnight, they got up, did simple work or entertainment, and even went to visit. Then at 3-4 o’clock they went to bed again and slept until 7-8 in the morning. Nowadays, the situation when a person goes to bed at 23-24 hours, then wakes up at 3 am and turns and turns until 5-6 in the morning, and falls asleep again in the morning – unfortunately, it is not uncommon, and can no longer be perceived as a variant of the norm.
It is necessary to search for the reason, perhaps yours was mentioned in paragraph ten. If the situation with night awakenings bothers you every night and for a long time, you need to contact a somnologist.
If the situation rarely arises, then you can shorten the time of night vigils, if you do not toss and turn in bed, but get up, turn on the light (where no one sleeps), stay fully awake for an hour and a half, doing routine chores or reading a not very interesting book and then turn off the lights again and go to bed a second time that night.
12. What is the easiest way to survive the change of time zones?
If the trip is short, try not to completely switch to the new regime, but to stick to at least an average between it and the regime in which you are used to living. If the trip was long, start gradually shifting your sleep time towards the mode of the country of return 7-10 days before the flight. Try to get a good night’s sleep the day before. Try not to sleep on the plane.
If you arrived during the day, do not go to bed until evening, even if you really want to.If you arrived at night, you should get some sleep, even if you don’t feel like it. For the first few days, do not drink coffee or alcohol, but rather drink more water. Spending part of your time outdoors will help your body rebuild biorhythms faster. Melatonin preparations also help to readjust to a new rhythm faster.
13. Sleeping pills: how to treat them?
Doctors are unanimous: the constant intake of sleeping pills is very harmful. You should not take sleeping pills for more than two weeks in a row.Even occasional intake of sleeping pills shortens life by 10-15%.
- Sleeping pills cause addiction – sleep “breaks down” and without them, then you will not fall asleep at all.
- Sleeping pills induce adaptation – an increase in dose is required, which can be very dangerous, since high doses of sleeping pills can lead to a slowdown in cardiac activity during sleep.
In short, sleeping pills, even over-the-counter, are an emergency measure for emergencies. It should be taken only in the minimum dose and in a short course.In case of dependence on sleeping pills, it is worth undergoing treatment and still set up a normal sleep.
Which remedies will help normalize sleep safely?
- Herbal remedies help some: hawthorn, valerian, motherwort, as well as preparations based on them.
- Melaxen has recently become very popular. It is a drug that increases melatonin when not enough is produced. Melatonin is not a sleeping pill, but a regulator of circadian rhythms.It won’t work as an emergency sleep pill, but it will help normalize your rhythms if you go to bed at the same time.
- In some cases, the sleep disorder is associated with a magnesium deficiency. A sleep normalization program often includes a vitamin supplement with magnesium.
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14. How do alcohol and caffeine affect sleep?
In short – the influence is bad. The degree of influence depends on the dose, the exact time of consumption in relation to sleep, body weight and concomitant diseases.
Evening coffee impairs sleep in everyone except people who have already developed a caffeine tolerance. If you are one of those, an evening dose will only satisfy your need for caffeine, but it will not affect your sleep in any way.
Some argue that they feel sleepy after coffee. Indeed, there are people who are not susceptible to caffeine, about 3% of the population. Evening coffee will not harm their sleep either.
As for alcohol, it harms sleep in many ways: it makes it shallow and intermittent, increases thirst, increases urination, causes intoxication of the body – the next morning a person wakes up awake and overwhelmed.
If you are unhappy with the quality of your sleep, you should eliminate caffeine 10 hours before you go to bed, alcohol – 3-4 hours , counting 2-3 doses, that is, half a liter of beer, two glasses wine or a shot of vodka. If you are going to drink 4-5 doses, it will inevitably affect your sleep, so do not do this more than several times a year. When you drink alcohol, drink water as well – this will help remove it from the body faster.
15. Do you need special rituals before bed?
For some, such rituals can help tune in to the transition from day to night.From this point of view, it doesn’t matter what exactly you do: “warm milk and a hot bath” by themselves do not help you to fall asleep, unless it is part of a daily habitual ritual that sets you up for a sleepy mood. And they certainly won’t be of any use if you keep looking at the brightly lit screen at the same time. Instead, you can just read for a quarter of an hour.
16. What should be the sleep hygiene?
Nothing special: a comfortable, spacious enough bed, an anatomical pillow, not too soft and not too hard mattress (hardness depends on your habits and the health of your back).Stuffiness and heat interfere with sleep, so it is better if the bedroom is ventilated, cooling down to 18-22 degrees. Most people find it uncomfortable to sleep in an embrace, so if you sleep with your partner and / or baby, buying separate blankets will improve your sleep quality.
17. Why do people sleep less with age?
Indeed, many people over 60 say that 6 hours are enough for them. Or not quite enough, but they cannot sleep longer. There is no definite answer why this is happening.Apparently, this is due to the death of some neurons in one of the sleep centers in the brain. In addition, after 60, almost everyone already has problems from the number described in paragraph 10 of our article (return to paragraph 10), so there are enough reasons for insomnia. On the other hand, with age, the level of activity also sharply decreases, which means both the willingness and the need for sleep decrease. Unfortunately, doctors cannot say unequivocally that reducing the amount of sleep does not harm the elderly and does not affect the quality and duration of their life.
18. What is sleep deprivation therapy and why is it needed?
Sleep deprivation (depriving a person of sleep for 36-38 hours) is used as a treatment for severe depression. Since with this ailment the circadian rhythms of a person are knocked down, and all processes occurring in the body are mismatched, sleep deprivation creates, as it were, the effect of “zeroing circadian rhythms to factory settings.” Treatment is carried out twice a week, if the condition improves – once a week. The method is used only under medical supervision and strictly for medical reasons.
19. What are dreams?
Dreams (dreams) are visual, auditory and other images that appear in the brain of a sleeping person. All people see dreams, but many do not remember them. We dream every night in “fast” sleep phases and sometimes in slow ones (but such dreams are less short and vivid). Colored, vivid and detailed dreams are seen by children, people with developed emotions. We often see such dreams during illness or important events in life. Some people may have lucid dreams in which they know they are asleep and can control the events of the dream.
The meaning of sleep consists in subconscious processing and modeling of reality using images. Such modeling becomes much more fruitful in a dream, as consciousness releases control and imagination is released.
A person in a dream can experience feelings that are hidden from himself in reality. So, a recurring nightmare is a sign of a problem that our brains are aggressively trying to work out.
20. What is sleepwalking?
Sleepwalking (somnambulism, sleepwalking) is a disorder in which people, being in a dream, get up and perform any actions, from simple cleaning to driving a car or violent attacks on loved ones.The “lunatic” then does not remember about his actions. An attack of sleepwalking can last from 30 seconds to several hours. Most often, sleepwalking occurs in children and is a sign of an immature nervous system. The cause of sleepwalking in adults is unknown, and there is no cure or treatment.
21. What is sleep apnea?
This is the cessation of breathing during sleep for more than 10 seconds, which develops due to the collapse of soft tissues at the level of the oropharynx. From the outside, it may look like this: against the background of snoring or snoring, silence sets in, the person first freezes and stops breathing, then after a while begins to move his arms and legs (tries to find the reason that prevents him from breathing), takes a noisy and deep breath and either wakes up , or starts snoring again.
Apnea often lasts from 20-30 seconds to 2-3 minutes and is repeated so often that it takes more than half of the night’s sleep, which can lead to a marked decrease in the level of oxygen in the blood. In addition, each pause in breathing ends with micro-awakening and in severe apnea, when a person has more than 30 of them per hour, per night, so as not to suffocate, he essentially wakes up at least 1 time in 2 minutes! Is it possible to sleep well in such a situation? Of course not. Therefore, in the daytime after such nights, a person feels overwhelmed, not slept, tired and ready to fall asleep in any environment.
An interesting fact: according to statistics, the probability of getting into an accident is higher for those drivers who want to sleep, and not for those who drank alcohol!
Another problem of apnea is the high risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. Chronic lack of sleep and hypoxia can cause problems with potency in men. Apnea is more common in men, while in women it manifests itself during menopause.
Obesity, short neck, some ENT diseases can be considered as risk factors.Snoring and respiratory arrest during sleep are the main manifestations of this condition, but if a person is sleeping alone or his snoring is not loud, then no one will point out these signs to him.
Therefore, it is worth paying attention to other manifestations of apnea: constant awakenings, nightmares and drowsiness during the day.
Sleep apnea treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the underlying causes. The main method for moderate forms is CPAP therapy (Constant Positive Airway Pressure, CPAP).The bottom line is simple: the device delivers air under a constant low (comfortable for the patient) pressure, thereby creating an “air frame” that prevents the airway from collapsing and prevents the development of apnea.
22. How do sleep apps help?
For the application to actually build a sleep schedule and show its phases, it must be equipped with a motion sensor that registers the number of movements and their alternation. Accordingly, such a “smart” alarm clock will wake up a person exactly at the moment when the fast phase of sleep begins, which is most comfortable and physiological.In addition, many gadgets record snoring – it can also be useful to know about it. Some trackers can also analyze sleep conditions, draw the right conclusions and offer you recommendations.
“And those who go to bed – restful sleep!” (c)
Answers prepared in cooperation with the Euromed Clinic sleep doctor – Alexander Alexandrovich Kazachenko
Sleep inertia uMEDp
Sleep inertia is a temporary decrease in performance that occurs upon awakening.It can be considered a cognitive-behavioral correlate of a complex and gradual transition from sleep to wakefulness. The severity of sleep inertia depends on the duration of the previous sleep, the stage of sleep from which the awakening occurs, the time of day, the presence of a “sleepy debt”, and also on the type of task to be solved after a sudden awakening. Gradual recovery of performance takes from three minutes to several hours. The foregoing must be taken into account when organizing a restorative sleep regimen during working hours in conditions of prolonged or shift work, requiring effective action in the event of a sharp awakening.
Picture. A three-process model for regulating the level of wakefulness (working capacity) and sleep: the level of wakefulness decreases upon awakening, then recovers; sleepiness level behaves mirrored
Sleep inertia is a term describing the features of the transitional state between sleep and wakefulness upon awakening. This condition can be characterized by decreased cognitive, sensory and motor functions, confusion, and disorientation.The phenomenon of sleep inertia is that a person’s performance immediately after sleep is lower than before falling asleep.
The first research on this topic was carried out in 1961 . D. Langdon and B. Hartman touched upon two problems that the command faced when organizing combat duty: the negative effect of sleep deprivation and the reduced performance of employees after a sudden awakening. This work was followed by others, the results of which showed that subjects performed tasks within ten minutes after waking up worse than before going to bed .R.J. Broughton in 1968 gave this phenomenon the name sleep drunkenness – sleepy intoxication . There is also another name – post-sleep disorientation (disorientation upon awakening). Meanwhile, the concept of sleep inertia, proposed by A. Lubin et al., Has become entrenched in the scientific community. in 1976 .
The results of numerous studies indicate that sleep inertia is always present during the transition from sleep to wakefulness. Its severity and dynamics depend, in particular, on the duration of sleep, the stage of sleep from which awakening occurs, the presence of “sleep debt” (previous sleep deprivation), the time of day and the type of task to be solved after awakening.The presence of a period of reduced wakefulness upon awakening is one of the most serious objections to the practice of short nap (nap) in conditions where a person needs to perform complex tasks immediately after a sudden awakening at an unpredictable time .
Sleep is considered to be an effective means of improving performance when the normal sleep-wake cycle is not possible, for example, during shift work. This kind of work scenario is becoming more and more popular in industries that employ highly qualified personnel.We are talking, in particular, about the military and space spheres, the sphere of crisis and disaster management. However, the negative effect of sleep deprivation during continuous prolonged activity is comparable to the negative effects of sleep inertia after a sudden awakening by alarm, call, etc. . In this regard, a natural question arises: to what extent are external factors (light, sound), internal factors (for example, motivation) or pharmacological agents able to modulate the severity of sleep inertia and thereby improve or worsen task performance? In addition, there is currently a lack of research on the phenomenon of sleep inertia in the context of sleep disorders.
Inertia and sleep duration
Sleep inertia upon awakening does not depend on its duration. According to the data obtained by M. Jewett et al. (1999), even after a full eight-hour sleep episode, the level of cognitive processes in the subjects, based on the objective (addition task) and subjective assessment, was reduced by an average of 10.7% and gradually returned to the control level for more than two hours [7 ]. Such dynamics was observed even among those who did not experience sleep deprivation before going to bed and slept at the usual time.Note that in most studies of sleep inertia, the level of task performance immediately before sleep is taken as the control level.
A.T. Wertz et al. (2006) showed that the dynamics of recovery of cognitive functions after eight hours of sleep is somewhat different: this recovery took about an hour . The score was based on the results of the addition test. On awakening, the indicators were lower than after a day without sleep.
Most studies of sleep inertia involve assessing subjects’ performance after waking up from relatively short sleep episodes, which are usually resorted to to restore performance in conditions of prolonged or shift work.The positive effect of such rest can be canceled out by the negative influence of sleep inertia on task performance upon awakening, which makes the search for optimal balance conditions extremely urgent.
Thus, when organizing an effective rest for the spacecraft crew, it was proposed to use a sleep scheme in which each of the two crew members would have the opportunity to sleep for eight hours without a break . This scheme was found to be preferable to one that involved several short sleep episodes and excluded optimal efficacy during the first two minutes after awakening from anxiety.Sleep inertia led to an increase in the reaction time by 12 to 360% compared to the control. Moreover, the execution of a more complex task suffered less than the execution of a simpler one. These data clearly illustrate that the effect of sleep inertia can depend on the complexity of the task and the metric (for example, speed or accuracy of execution).
In a number of works devoted to the study of sleep inertia, a polyphasic sleep scheme was used. The subjects were allowed to sleep four hours a night.They accumulated the remaining four hours of sleep, spending several short periods of sleep (20, 50, or 80 minutes) during the day. With this setup, the participants generally did not experience a lack of sleep. In addition, they adapted well to all three schemes. Depending on the type of task performed, the effects of sleep inertia were somewhat different for different schemes . In the test for finding a specific sequence of text characters (MAST test), which requires a high degree of cognitive involvement, the reduction in task performance was 3, 8, and 14% for 20-, 50-, and 80-minute sleep episodes, respectively .The solution to the problem of successive subtraction (DST test) revealed a more pronounced decrease in indicators: by 21, 36 and 25%, respectively . Interestingly, overall sleep inertia was stronger when awakening from a 50-minute sleep episode than when awakening from both shorter and longer episodes.
At first glance, these findings appear to conflict with the benefits of longer sleep episodes mentioned above. However, they find an explanation in the context of the existence of other factors that determine the severity of sleep inertia.
Inertia and sleep stage prior to awakening
With a 20-minute sleep episode, subjects never fell into deep sleep, and awakening always occurred from the second stage of NREM sleep. The same was observed on awakening from an 80-minute episode, except that sometimes the awakening occurred during REM sleep. In this case, sleep inertia was of intermediate severity. The scheme with 50-minute episodes turned out to be the most unsuccessful, since this duration of sleep was enough to immerse in deep sleep, but not enough to return to the first and second stages.Indeed, various studies indicate that awakening from the first or second stages of slow wave sleep does not lead to a significant decrease in the level of task performance [13, 14].
The effect of waking from REM sleep is not so straightforward. M. Stones found no sleep inertia effect on awakening from REM sleep. At the same time, D. Koulack and K. Schultz (1974) in a similar experiment recorded a significant deterioration in the performance of visual-motor and auditory tasks .Moreover, the severity of sleep inertia increased with an increase in the number of eye movements in the phase of REM sleep before awakening.
The assertion that awakening from deep NREM sleep leads to maximum sleep inertia seems to be indisputable [16, 17]. W. Webb and H. Agnew (1964) were among the first to demonstrate a significant (12%) decrease in the level of performance of sensorimotor tasks upon awakening from the fourth stage of slow wave sleep during a daytime sleep episode . Deep sleep corresponds to the highest sensory thresholds to prevent unwanted awakening.
The foregoing confirms that the performance of tasks associated with sensory perception after a sharp awakening from deep sleep suffers to a greater extent than after awakening from the second stage of slow wave sleep [19, 20].
The response time on awakening from deep NREM sleep is longer than upon awakening from REM sleep [21, 22].
Inertia and sleep deprivation
Previous sleep deprivation is another important factor affecting the severity of sleep inertia.D. Dinges et al. (1985) measured the speed of responses to the conditioned stimulus, and also assessed the quality of the subtraction task on waking exactly two hours after 6, 18, 30, 42, or 54 hours of sleep deprivation . The deprivation led to an increase in the amount of slow wave sleep in episodes of two hours of sleep. Regardless of the stage preceding awakening, cognitive deficit increased in the main group compared to the control group (without deprivation). This indicated that the architecture of the sleep cycle as a whole, and not just the stage of sleep upon awakening, can serve as a critical factor determining the strength of sleep inertia.In the subtraction test, the authors measured the number of correct answers per unit of time, considering this indicator as an index of the speed of information processing. When using schemes that included 6, 18, 30, 42 and 54 hours of deprivation, the number of correct answers decreased by 26.6, 38.4, 37.6, 70.9 and 70.9%, respectively. In general, with an increase in the duration of deprivation, sleep inertia, as well as the depth of a two-hour sleep episode, increased almost linearly, in proportion to the duration of deprivation. With the polyphasic sleep pattern, which lasted 48 days and implied a reduction in sleep to three hours per day, it was shown that the performance of the subtraction task  and the MAST test  did not deteriorate significantly throughout the experimental period.However, sleep inertia manifested in the subtraction test was significantly superior to that in the MAST test. This is consistent with previously obtained data . Probably, the reason is that the performance of the subtraction task was assessed by the number of correct answers per unit of time. Meanwhile, the MAST test provides a score based on the total number of correct answers. Moreover, the second task was more difficult than the first. However, prolonged sleep deprivation is not necessary to produce these effects.
M.Gillberg (1984) compared sleep inertia after an hour-long sleep episode at 21.30 and 04.30 . In both cases, the subjects were partially deprived, as they had only slept four hours the previous night. The author showed that sleep inertia was stronger on awakening in the second half of the night, at 04.30, because the loss of sleep was slightly greater than when awakening in the first half of the night, at 21.30. At the same time, when discussing the results obtained, the possible chronobiological reasons for such a difference were not taken into account.
T. Balkin and P. Badia (1988) also evaluated the performance of a five-minute addition task and subjective sleepiness at night in the paradigm of partial sleep deprivation . For four consecutive nights, subjects were awakened every hour from 00.40 to 05.40 for a 20-minute test. The degree of impairment in addition task performance upon awakening increased from night to night. This indicated that even with very limited deprivation, sleep inertia increased in proportion to the amount of “sleep debt”.Despite the fact that the number of correct answers in the control test before falling asleep did not differ for four nights, the same test on waking showed a decrease in performance by 18.7% on the first night and by 10.2% on the fourth. Under conditions of increased sleepiness, the deterioration in task performance was mainly explained by a decrease in the average number of attempts, although the average error rate also increased from 10 to 23%.
In a study by P. Tassi et al. (1992) found that sleep inertia under partial deprivation during one night was maximum for the task of using spatial memory when a short episode of sleep was located earlier during the night.The effect is presumably due to the predominance of awakenings from deep sleep in the case of an earlier sleep episode, since there is more deep sleep in the first half of the night than in the second. This may indicate that with a short (one hour) duration of a sleep episode and moderate sleep deprivation, the stage of sleep upon awakening becomes the most critical factor, rather than the absolute value of the “sleep debt” [25, 26].
Sleep inertia and circadian rhythms
The process of falling asleep is influenced by the biological clock.And what about the opposite process – the awakening process?
P. Naitoh et al. (1993) were among those who first raised the question of the existence of the most and least optimal time . Subjects in one group were awake for a 64-hour period of continuous work, apart from a 20-minute episode of sleep every six hours. Study participants who were in the other group were not allowed to sleep during this entire period. Sleep inertia was assessed by the performance of the Baddley’s logical reasoning test.The problem is working with statements of different syntactic structures and is known for its high sensitivity to the effects of sleep deprivation. The authors did not establish the time when the sleep inertia would be maximum or minimum.
Different results were obtained in two other studies [5, 28]. The results of the first showed that the inertia of sleep is maximal when waking up at a moment close to the daily minimum body temperature, and is minimal when the period of sleep falls on the daily temperature maximum.In this experiment, the circadian factor partially compensated for the negative effect of deprivation on the severity of sleep inertia if a short sleep episode occurred at the daily maximum body temperature. This interaction of factors gives the dependence of the force of inertia of sleep on the duration of sleep deprivation is not entirely linear.
R. Wilkinson and M. Stretton (1971) , T. Balkin and P. Badia  emphasized the importance of the type of task in which the sleep inertia was assessed, and considered it one of the reasons for the inconsistent results.For example, under conditions of partial sleep deprivation for four nights, the level of task performance was less sensitive to the time of day than subjective assessments of sleepiness. Subjective sleepiness increased during the night, while the task performance level remained more or less stable.
P. Lavie and B. Weler conducted an experiment using an ultra-short sleep-wake cycle (13 minutes of wakefulness – 7 minutes of sleep) . The scheme was introduced at 07.00 after a night of complete sleep deprivation and interrupted either at 15:00 or at 19:00 for a two-hour nap. The earlier episode of sleep (from 3 pm to 5 pm) resulted in less sleep inertia, although it contained more deep NREM sleep than the later episode. According to the authors, this was due to the fact that after an early episode the task execution coincided with the “no-sleep zones” .
In standard experimental models, it is very difficult to separate the effect of the duration of wakefulness (sleep deprivation) from the effect of the circadian factor.F. Scheer et al. (2008) proposed their solution – a forced desynchronization protocol, in which a 28-hour daily rhythm was artificially imposed on the subjects . A third of the new day was allotted to sleep. The endogenous pacemaker could not adjust to such a noticeable difference from the usual 24-hour frequency and began to work in its own rhythm, allowing itself to be discovered. In this elegant experiment, it was possible to show a clear periodicity of the severity of sleep inertia.
According to the most famous model of sleep regulation proposed by A.A. Borbély in 1982 , the alternation of states of sleep and wakefulness is determined by the interaction of two factors: the 24-hour circadian component, or process C of the sinusoidal form, and the homeostatic component, or process S, which increases exponentially during wakefulness and decreases during sleep. This model makes it possible to predict the level of sleepiness, fatigue and performance. However, the discovery of the phenomenon of sleep inertia required taking into account the fact that it takes a certain time for the final awakening.That is why a new component was included in several models for predicting the level of wakefulness and performance – the W (wake up) process (also called “component I” (inertia)). It takes the form of a deviation from the S process and is a function of the logarithm of the duration of wakefulness. Its value decreases asymptotically within two to three hours after awakening . In the given example of a three-process model, the process W (sleep inertia) operates independently of the processes C and S (figure) .Nevertheless, the possibility of their interaction in a nonlinear form cannot be ruled out .
A recent study showed that drinking gum containing caffeine immediately after waking up can partially offset the negative effects of sleep inertia. It is possible that the positive effect of caffeine on the severity of sleep inertia is realized indirectly, through modulation of the homeostatic component .
Dynamics of sleep inertia
This aspect of the phenomenon of sleep inertia, being the key for drawing up practical recommendations, generates many contradictions.The results of some studies indicate that the effects of sleep inertia, which are different for individual mental functions, completely disappear within 3–30 minutes under any circumstances [16, 25, 36, 37]. Data from other studies reveal a longer period in relation to a reduced functional state – from 30 minutes to several hours [38–40].
Overall, sleep deprivation has been shown to be a key factor that prolongs the effect of sleep inertia and postpones the return of performance levels to control values.However, as already noted, the results of a number of studies demonstrate the presence of sleep inertia even under normal conditions, when sleep occurs at the usual time for the subjects (eight hours of sleep at night or a short episode of daytime sleep) and is not preceded by deprivation. The authors of such works believe that the dissipation of sleep inertia occurs exponentially and it is always possible to apply short episodes of sleep during prolonged work, but it is necessary to ensure that workers do not accumulate a solid “sleepy debt” by this time.Meanwhile, the question of the diversity of research results on the dynamics of sleep inertia remains open. Most likely, the difference in the obtained data is due to the variety of tests and indicators used by researchers to assess the effect of sleep inertia. In addition, some authors (most of them) compare the level of performance of tasks after waking up with the level before sleep, while others operate exclusively with the time the level of performance of the task reaches a plateau.
Methods for assessing sleep inertia
The effect of sleep inertia has been established for a wide range of tasks: on the force of compression, stability and coordination, visual perception, memory, time estimation, simulation of complex behavior, logical thinking, mental calculations and a number of other cognitive tasks .Usually, tests use such indicators as the number of correct answers (including per unit of time), the time of a simple and complex reaction. Depending on the task used in the study, which the subject is asked to perform upon awakening, as well as the indicators by which the level of its performance is assessed, various results can be obtained.
Do states of sleep deprivation and arousal have common mechanisms to influence behavior? To answer this question, T.Balkin and P. Badia (1988)  used an experimental paradigm that included partial sleep deprivation. The results showed that for the addition task the effect of sleep inertia did not qualitatively differ from the effect of sleep deprivation. However, subjective assessments of sleepiness testified in favor of the fact that these two factors are capable of influencing the condition of the subjects in different ways. It is interesting that the decrease in subjective sleepiness upon awakening is characterized by faster dynamics than the restoration of working capacity , which can lead to a temporary overestimation of a person’s own capabilities.
In experimental schemes that do not lead to sleep deprivation, sleep inertia is almost always manifested by a decrease in the speed of task execution and a small or zero decrease in accuracy [6, 7, 9, 18, 41]. Even in work with partial sleep deprivation, an increase in the reaction rate in a task on spatial memory was recorded, but not a decrease in the percentage of correct answers . However, both the speed and the accuracy of the task performance demonstrate a decline upon awakening, which occurs against the background of palpable sleep deprivation [5, 12].
It is advisable to take into account the foregoing when organizing the work regime. This will allow you to develop an optimal sleep pattern during working hours, depending on the type of task that a person has to perform upon sudden awakening.
External factors as modulators of sleep inertia
In one of the works, it was suggested that sleep inertia is caused by a slowdown in cerebral metabolism, which in turn is a consequence of a decrease in body temperature during sleep .Based on this, it would be natural to assume that any factor that increases neural activity or body temperature and brain metabolism reduces the effect of sleep inertia. There are very few studies on the influence of external factors on the force of inertia of sleep.
P. Tassi et al. (1992) showed that the negative effects of sleep inertia on reaction time can be completely eliminated by constant noise of moderate intensity . However, in the case when the effect of sleep deprivation is added to the inertia of sleep, the same stimulation can cause the opposite result [25, 42].
The effect of light and physical activity on the severity of sleep inertia in the subjective assessment of the level of wakefulness and the performance of a cognitive task has not been proven . True, in this experiment, the illumination level was rather low (150 and 10 Lux), which could be insignificant for achieving a pronounced effect.
Neurophysiological Substrate of Sleep Inertia
Sleep inertia is a reflection of the transition between two states at the cognitive-behavioral level.Awakening cannot be compared to the instantaneous switch between sleep and wakefulness; rather, it can be presented as a complex and slow process that requires a certain amount of time.
Transitional periods are considered the most difficult to describe and understand, as they combine the features inherent in two different states. During the transition, a dissociation of various parameters (cognitive, physiological and behavioral) is observed, since they have individual dynamics of change.For a certain time after awakening, brain activity has features characteristic of the state of sleep.
C. Marzano et al. (2011) showed that the power of high-frequency activity of the electroencephalogram (in the beta-1 and beta-2 ranges) after awakening was reduced in almost all leads compared to the period preceding falling asleep, and the power of slow-wave activity is still increased in the parietal and occipital leads [ 43]. According to the authors, this may serve as a sign of functional differentiation between individual cortical zones and its gradual elimination upon awakening.
The results of two studies indicate that visual potentials during awakening are more similar to those that can be recorded during sleep: they are characterized by increased latency and decreased amplitude of the components [3, 44].
The rate of cerebral blood flow upon awakening is reduced compared to the rate before falling asleep and is restored to control values within 30 minutes .
A study using the method of positron emission tomography showed that the areas of the brain stem and thalamus are activated first upon awakening.This suggests the role of these zones in the restoration of consciousness. In the next 15 minutes of wakefulness, a restructuring of the activity of a number of cerebral zones occurs (including an increase in the activity of the anterior regions of the cortex and a decrease in the activity of the reticular formation of the midbrain). This suggests that a decrease in sleep inertia is associated precisely with a complex restructuring, but not with a change in the activity of individual brain regions .
The work of V. Vyazovskiy et al. (2014) revealed neural correlates of the natural awakening process in experiments on rodents .Upon awakening, the process of entering the work of neurons into a mode characteristic of wakefulness in both rats and mice takes several minutes (up to 12 minutes).
According to the data presented, the processes of falling asleep and waking up have common features: in both cases, sleep interferes with the state of wakefulness. Based on this, it can be assumed that similar mechanisms underlie the negative effects of sleep deprivation and sleep inertia. However, the fact that when awakening, not burdened by sleep deprivation, it is not the quality of the process that suffers, but its speed, allows us to consider the inertia of sleep in a different way.It can be imagined that upon awakening, the corresponding restructuring of brain activity has already occurred, but the overall level of activity is still reduced.
Inertia and sleep disorders
As well as healthy subjects who were frequently awakened during the night, patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome showed more pronounced sleep inertia upon awakening . Thus, fragmentation of sleep under the influence of exogenous (auditory signals) or endogenous (obstructive sleep apnea syndrome) factors, apparently, led to an intensification of the sleep process and resistance to the transition to a state of wakefulness.
In two studies, patients with narcolepsy did not benefit from falling asleep for a short period of time [49, 50]. The exclusion from the processing of tests carried out immediately after waking up significantly improved the picture, which also indicated the presence of sleep inertia in these patients.
The phenomenon of sleep inertia should be taken into account when organizing sleep patterns during working hours, since it can negatively affect performance immediately after waking up.Care should be taken that the “sleep debt” does not become significant (according to various studies, should not exceed 36 hours), as well as that the episode of restorative sleep is not located near the circadian minimum body temperature and has a duration that provides the lowest probability of awakening from deep sleep.
It is extremely important to further conduct research on the nature of sleep inertia, to determine the role of exogenous and endogenous factors in its modulation and to identify the features of its severity and dynamics in persons with sleep disorders.
90,000 What will happen to your body if you do not sleep for a day or more
Only a third of Russians devote to sleep 8 hours a day. This is how much, according to most doctors, an adult should sleep. If you rest less, this inevitably affects your well-being, the ability to concentrate and remember information. And the longer a person remains without sleep, the more changes occur in his body.
How the body reacts to lack of sleep
People experience deprivation (sleep deprivation) differently depending on age, health, living conditions and nutrition.For example, children and adolescents need more sleep than adults. Lack of sleep in childhood can cause poor academic performance, problems in communication and socialization, the emergence of bad habits and dangerous relationships, and lagging behind in physical growth and development.
The effect of prolonged wakefulness is generally similar to what occurs with constant lack of sleep, the only difference is in how quickly it manifests itself.
After one day
Most people begin to feel the effects of lack of sleep after just one day of continuous wakefulness.
After 24 hours without sleep
- Body temperature drops.
- Increases the level of stress hormones: cortisol and adrenaline.
- Blood sugar rises (insulin decreases).
- Muscle tension appears.
- The natural sleep and rest cycle is disrupted, thereby disrupting hormone production that regulates growth, appetite, metabolism and immunity.
- Vision and hearing deteriorate.
- perception of the world begins to change.
The brain is under stress, therefore it tries to conserve energy and enters a state of “local sleep” – temporarily turns off some of the neurons. Because of this, drowsiness, irritability appear, concentration, coordination, ability to reason and make decisions deteriorate, memory starts to work worse. Appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods increase.
According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a lack of sleep during the day is comparable to drinking 30-60 ml of pure alcohol.This is 0.8 (according to some sources – exactly 1) ppm of alcohol in the blood, which is significantly higher than the allowable norm in Russia of .
That is, driving after a day without sleep is as dangerous as driving drunk.
After two days
After 36 hours without sleep
- The above effects persist and intensify.
- Fatigue builds up.
- Speech disorders appear.
- Motivation decreases.
- The likelihood of making risky decisions increases.
- Thinking becomes less flexible .
As Californian psychiatrists found out, after 30 hours of wakefulness, people begin to recognize emotions much worse. Due to brain fatigue, the seemingly simple operation becomes difficult.
After 48 hours without sleep
- The negative effects continue to accumulate.
- Periods of unconsciousness (microsleep) appear.
- The person begins to feel confused and disoriented.
- Immunity decreases and increases the threat of viral and inflammatory diseases: influenza, SARS and other infections. This was confirmed by a study of 90,626 Brazilian immunologists.
The longer a person is awake, the stronger the negative effects of lack of sleep become. After two days, severe fatigue sets in. This causes the brain to involuntarily enter microsleep – short periods of completely unconsciousness that can last for several seconds.
After three days without sleep or more
After 72 hours without sleep
- The negative effects become so strong that a person can no longer stay awake on his own.
- Mental disorders may appear: paranoia, psychosis, depression.
- Mental abilities are reduced so much that even simple tasks are difficult to complete.
- The person is experiencing memory problems. For example, he may forget what he is doing, right in the course of the action.
- The perception of the world changes: hallucinations and illusions appear.
Even healthy people are hard for three days of wakefulness. This conclusion was reached by Chinese psychologists from the University of Beijing during the experiment. The participants were socially isolated and did not sleep for 72 hours. As a result, their pulse became more frequent, undesirable effects appeared in the amplitude of heart contractions, and their mood worsened.
An ordinary person who has not slept for three days will feel extremely tired, problems with concentration and memory, paranoia, depression.It will become difficult for him to do several things at the same time and communicate with other people.
Most of the listed effects disappear with a good sleep. Some of them can be smoothed out with proper nutrition and plenty of drinking, but this still does not replace good sleep.
How many people can live without sleep
Nobody knows exactly . The most famous record holder for wakefulness is Randy Gardner. In the winter of 1963-1964, as part of a school science project, he stayed awake for 264 hours – more than 11 days – and broke previous records (Albert Schilbert and George Patrick – 90 hours, Peter Tripp – 201 hours, Tom Rounds – 260 hours).Two classmates helped him stay awake, and recorded a record of and monitored the student’s health, Stanford University professor William Dement and Colonel John Ross.
Randy was not taking any chemical stimulants to stay awake. Although the student was in good physical condition and could beat Dement in pinball in the last days of the experiment, lack of sleep greatly affected his mental abilities.
On the fourth day, Gardner began to see hallucinations: he imagined himself a player in the American football league and took the road sign for a person.
On the last day of the experiment, Randy was unable to subtract seven consecutively from the previous digit, starting at 100. He stopped at at 65 because he forgot what he was doing.
The results of this experiment were studied by psychiatrists in Arizona. They concluded that Randy Gardner’s brain had adapted to being constantly awake, alternately turning off and turning on some of the neurons. After this experiment, the Guinness Book of World Records ceased to register such achievements .
Nevertheless, attempts to break Gardner’s record continued. So, in 2007, 42-year-old Briton Tony Wright stayed awake for 274 hours. In order not to pass out, he drank tea, played billiards and kept an online diary, and cameras monitored the purity of the experiment. Wright admitted to that he was very tired. During the experiment, his speech sometimes became incomprehensible, and the colors were perceived very bright. There were other daredevils, but none of the subsequent cases was verified .
Experiments on animals might help to answer the question of how long a person can live without sleep.However, the last such experience was carried out by a doctor from Russia Marina Manaseina already at the end of the 19th century. She did not let the puppies sleep, and after five days they died. This allowed Manaseina to assert that sleep for the body is more important than food. At the same time, she herself admitted that the experiment was given to her hard.
Be attentive to yourself 😲
Why not getting enough sleep is also harmful
Not only a long lack of sleep, but also constant lack of sleep leads to negative consequences for the body.For example, when you rest 5-6 hours instead of 7-8 hours every day. The effect can accumulate and manifest itself in symptoms similar to those that occur during extreme wakefulness:
- Fatigue and drowsiness.
- Deterioration in concentration, problems with alertness, memory and coordination.
- Irritability, mood swings.
- Increased appetite .
- Development of anxiety.
- Deterioration of immunity.
- Increased accident risk .
- Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, stroke).
- Increased likelihood of respiratory arrest during sleep.
- Decrease in fertility (the probability of conceiving a child).
Experiments on rats have shown that sleep deprivation negatively affects the body’s ability to heal 90,626 wounds and the formation of 90,626 new brain cells.
When sleep deprivation is used for therapeutic purposes
Usually, deprivation is perceived as torture, but in some cases it can be useful.For example, Swiss psychiatrists studied the effects of total and partial sleep deprivation on depression in patients. Using this measure in combination with others, in particular, taking antidepressants, doctors achieved a quick cure in 60% of cases.
Also, oddly enough, sleep deprivation can be used to treat insomnia. A controlled sleep restriction regimen helps the body return to its normal cycle of activity and rest. When combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, this treatment has proven to be effective.
We all sometimes sacrifice leisure for work, an exam or an interesting TV show. But it is important to remember that good sleep is one of the conditions for our health. Do not experiment with yourself.
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Healthy sleep: how many hours to sleep and why sleep deprivation is dangerous
Not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain, heart problems and even depression.We will tell you how much time children and adults need to sleep and how to improve sleep.
HOW MANY HOURS TO SLEEP FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS
Sleep is an essential part of a healthy life. Adults should sleep regularly for 7 or more hours a day. Some, in particular young people and people with chronic diseases, need even more – 9 hours of sleep per night. Only a small number of people get enough sleep less than 6 hours a night. This is due to genetic factors.
How much sleep
WHY SHOULD SLEEP MORE THAN 7 HOURS A DAY
Sleeping less than 7 hours a day increases your risk of developing chronic diseases, in particular:
- cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure;
- weight gain and obesity;
- disorders of the immune system;
- deterioration in mental health, depression.
Also, not getting enough sleep can affect your decision-making ability, increase the risk of accidents on the road, and lead to mistakes.
HOW TO IMPROVE SLEEP
Your behavior during the day, especially before bed, affects the quality of your sleep. Even a few minor adjustments in some cases can radically change the situation.
Several good habits can help you sleep better:
Go to bed and wake up at the same time.Even on weekends.
Create a soothing atmosphere
The quiet, dark, peaceful atmosphere and comfortable cool temperature in the bedroom will help you sleep. Do not turn on bright lights in the evening.
Move electronic devices, in particular TVs, computers, smartphones, from the bedroom, or at least turn them off 30 minutes before bed.
Monitor your diet
Avoid caffeine (within 6 hours before bedtime), alcohol (within 4 hours before bedtime), and large amounts of food before bedtime.Eat a healthy diet throughout the day.
Do not drink before bedtime
Quenching your thirst before bed can and should be done, but drinking too much can cause sleep problems.
Do not smoke
Don’t start smoking or quit this bad habit. In any case, do not smoke immediately before bedtime.
Being physically active during the day will help you fall asleep more easily at night.
Use the bed only for sleeping
Don’t eat in bed, watch TV, or work.
Also, stay awake if you don’t feel sleepy. In case you cannot sleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed.
Do you have a habit of napping during the day? Limit this time to 45 minutes.
If you have trouble sleeping, see your doctor.
90,000 Sleep is the best medicine: how to learn to sleep properly?
In 1972, scientist Michelle Ciffer conducted an experiment: he lived six months in a cave without daylight in order to study the circadian rhythm that regulates the cycles of sleep and wakefulness.As a result of the experiment, Siffre deduced the ideal sleep formula. As it turned out, our internal day lasts longer than astronomical – 24 hours and 30 minutes, and for perfect functioning the body requires 12 hours of continuous sleep for 36 hours of active wakefulness.
Siffre’s experiment, although interesting, does not solve the pressing problem of our time: how to keep up with everything and get enough sleep at the same time?
HOW DOES THE SLEEP PROCESS GO
The circadian rhythm of the body determines the duration of sleep and wakefulness, while sleep is divided into two phases: REM sleep and slow sleep.
During slow sleep, the body relaxes, becomes less sensitive to external stimuli, breathing slows down, and the pressure drops. This is a deep dream, when it is very difficult to wake up. It is aimed at physical recovery. This kind of sleep is especially important for athletes.
During REM sleep, the pulse and respiration become more frequent, the temperature rises. During this time, your brain creates dreams, reorganizes and organizes information. At this time, neural connections arise, so the awakening process is painless, even if you slept a little.
To summarize, slow sleep is necessary for physical recovery, and fast sleep for psychological. In total, there should be from three to five such phases per day. If you deprive yourself of one of them, your body does not have time to recover and begins to “die”. Therefore, the quality of sleep is on the aging process.
DO YOU SLEEP ENOUGH
According to Dr. Sophie Bostock, a psychologist on the Sleepio sleep app development team, most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Women sleep worse than men and need an extra 20 minutes of sleep per night. But the quality of sleep in women improves with age, which cannot be said about the strong field. According to Harvard Medical School, the average 80-year-old man’s sleep quality is 60% lower than that of a 20-year-old young man.
TO DETERMINE WHETHER YOU ARE SLEEPING ENOUGH, ANSWER A FEW SIMPLE QUESTIONS:
Do you fall asleep as soon as you put your head on the pillow? The average person takes 15 minutes to fall asleep.If you fall asleep instantly – you are exhausted, if you cannot sleep for a long time – either you sleep too much or you are stressed.
Do you wake up at the alarm? If your biological clock is normal, you should wake up a little earlier than the alarm clock. Continuous use of the “Repeat Later” button indicates a lack of sleep.
Do you sleep more than usual on the weekend? If so, your body is trying to compensate for the lack of sleep in a week. If you maintain the correct regimen, then you do not need additional hours of rest.
How do you feel at 11 o’clock in the morning? The correct answer is cheerful and energetic. If you are overwhelmed at this time of day, you are clearly having trouble sleeping.
Does fatigue affect your mood? Whatever the cause of fatigue, it shouldn’t affect your emotions. If you are irritated when tired, this is a sign of lack of sleep.
If you find that you are not getting enough sleep, try to restore the regime. It will not be easy and will take some time. For example, start going to bed 15-20 minutes earlier than usual, gradually adapting the body to the new daily routine.
HOW TO GET A REALLY HEALTHY SLEEP
Organize a place where you sleep. The bedroom is only a place to sleep. Avoid working on your laptop, watching TV, or playing on your tablet in bed. It distracts you. Hang blackout curtains in your bedroom to completely isolate it from the light at night.
Daylight. Try to get as much natural daylight as possible during the day (even from a window). Research shows it helps you sleep better at night.
Temperature. The most comfortable temperature in the bedroom is 18-20 degrees Celsius.
Create your own bedtime ritual. For example, reading a few pages of a book or getting a facial massage. Daily habits will signal the body that it’s time to go to bed.
Stick to the regime. Try to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day.
TRY TO AVOID
Caffeine. Try not to drink coffee in the afternoon as it takes your body several hours to flush out the caffeine.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products. Nicotine keeps the nervous system in good shape, and this prevents you from falling asleep.
Bright light before bed. It is absolutely not recommended to watch TV, work with a computer or tablet just before going to bed. They interfere with the production of melatonin, which prepares the body for rest.
FOUR MYTHS ABOUT SLEEP
A glass of wine will help you fall asleep. Yes, alcohol does make you switch off faster, but research from the Center for the Study of Sleep in London shows that alcohol delays the onset of REM sleep.As a result, your neurons do not have time to recover, and you wake up completely broken. In addition, a lack of REM sleep causes hunger.
Exercising before bed keeps you awake. If you had a heavy physical activity before going to bed, then you are more likely to fall asleep in a deep sleep and sleep soundly until morning.
We need to replenish the sleep hours that you missed. In fact, if you slept little the night before, then the next night you will sleep deeper and deeper, which will make up for the missed hours.
Better not getting enough sleep, but doing more. When you’re overworked but keeping yourself awake, your productivity plummets. And you yourself do not realize this. This was convinced by scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, who conducted an experiment on the effect of lack of sleep on brain productivity.