Can sleep deprivation alone kill you?

Many of you may have had the experience of doing the rest of your work, watching late-night TV, playing games, and then staying up late and spending less time sleeping. It's often said that 'if you don't sleep well, it's bad for your health,' but ZME Science, a scientific news media, explains whether lack of sleep can kill you.

Can you die from lack of sleep?

In December 1963, a free school study examined how many hours in a row two boys could wake up under the theme of 'Waking up as long as possible and what's happening in the sleep-deprived brain.' At the time, 17-year-old Randy Gardner succeeded in spending 11 days and 25 minutes without a sleep, setting the world's longest record of continuous insomnia.

When a newspaper reporter at the time asked Gardner how he achieved this feat, Gardner replied, 'I just kept thinking about things.' However, more than 50 years after the record was set, Gardner testified that 'lack of sleep caused a condition like the initial symptoms of cognitive impairment, and I couldn't remember anything.'

In addition, although this record of Mr. Gardner has not been broken for more than 50 years, the Guinness World Records certification committee that collects various world records has changed to the world record of continuous insomnia because it is 'dangerous to health'. Announced that it will not accept applications for the challenge.

Also, in 2012, a 26-year-old Chinese man who spent 11 days without sleeping at all, which was recorded by Gardner, died while trying to watch all the soccer games held at

UEFA EURO 2012. I did.

However, in this case of a Chinese man, lack of sleep itself is not the cause of death. According to the British newspaper The Telegraph , a local doctor said, 'Men were healthy without chronic illness, but drinking and smoking while awake had a major negative impact on their health.' It seems that he was diagnosed. In fact, there are many cases of taking cigarettes and alcohol, caffeine and stimulants to stay awake for a long time, and it is highly possible that taking a large amount of these drugs is the cause of death. I will.

It has not been scientifically proven whether sleep deprivation itself can cause death. In the 1980s, an experiment was conducted at the University of Chicago in which a mouse was placed on a tray filled with water and the tray was constantly rotated. The mice used in the experiment could not sleep due to water and rotation, and all died in a month. However, it was unclear whether lack of sleep was the direct cause of death in mice.

However, previous studies have shown that lack of sleep has a significant negative impact on health. For example, Matthew Walker, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, argues that even an hour of lack of sleep can have a negative effect on health. We have published research results that increase the risk of having an attack by 24%.

In addition, a study published by Walker in 2018 found that lack of sleep interferes with communication with other people, makes them feel lonely, and shows symptoms similar to anxiety disorders. This health risk is as deadly as smoking as many as 15 cigarettes a day, with a 50% higher risk of death than someone with a healthy relationship, Walker reports.

It has been found that sleep deprivation is bad for your health because all night long increases the levels of stress hormones that raise blood pressure. In addition, the ability to convert glucose into energy is reduced, and the immune function and body temperature maintenance function are also reduced. This puts a lot of strain on the brain and is significantly more likely to impair cognitive abilities, especially short-term memory, attention, and multitasking executive functioning.

According to the National Sleep Foundation , a non-profit organization in the United States, it is desirable for adults to sleep 7-9 hours a day and children 10-11 hours a day. A study published in 2020 found that sleeping six hours a day reduced brain performance to the same extent as staying up all night.

People who have been sleeping for 6 hours have the same cognitive ability as those who stayed up all night without noticing themselves --GIGAZINE

by Rob

ZME Science concludes, 'Sleep deprivation alone may not kill you quickly, but it can be very distressing.' According to a study published in 2017, just taking a nap for 30 minutes a day can restore protein and hormone levels to normal.

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