Total, prolonged sleep deprivation, however, can be fatal. While it has been reported in humans only anecdotally, a widely cited study in rats conducted by Chicago-based researchers in 1989 showed that a total lack of sleep inevitably leads to death.
It’s possible that given enough time, sleep deprivation can kill you. While no human being is known to have died from staying awake, animal research strongly suggests it could happen.
For most people, 4 hours of sleep per night isn’t enough to wake up feeling rested and mentally alert, no matter how well they sleep. There’s a common myth that you can adapt to chronically restricted sleep, but there’s no evidence that the body functionally adapts to sleep deprivation.
The average human spends roughly 79 years or 28,835 days on Earth. So, there are an average of 692,040 hours in a lifetime.
FFI sufferers fall into a state in which they are neither fully asleep nor awake. The inability to sleep wreaks havoc on their lives. Sleeplessness deteriorates into exhaustion, dementia and, ultimately, death. There is no cure.
It’s very unlikely that you could die from having one boring day. But while being bored once in a while won’t kill you, research has indicated that long-term boredom may increase your risk for a premature death. But it’s not due to the boredom itself; it’s due to certain lifestyle choices or underlying health issues.
The longest recorded time without sleep is approximately 264 hours, or just over 11 consecutive days. Although it’s unclear exactly how long humans can survive without sleep, it isn’t long before the effects of sleep deprivation start to show. After only three or four nights without sleep, you can start to hallucinate.
Many of us might wonder how someone can sleep for more than 8 or 10 hours at a stretch. Yet, Peter Powers, a Hypnotist from the UK holds the record of longest sleep to date. He stayed asleep for eight days straight and this feat was even covered by the European media exclusively.
Some people are able to function on only 3 hours very well and actually perform better after sleeping in bursts. Though many experts do still recommend a minimum of 6 hours a night, with 8 being preferable.
Sleeping between 90 and 110 minutes gives your body time to complete one full sleep cycle and can minimize grogginess when you wake. But any sleep is better than not at all — even if it’s a 20-minute nap.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
|Age Group||Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day|
|School Age||6–12 years||9–12 hours per 24 hours2|
|Teen||13–18 years||8–10 hours per 24 hours2|
|Adult||18–60 years||7 or more hours per night3|
|61–64 years||7–9 hours1|
A study of young and middle-aged people ages 18 to 64 found that 1 in 6 preferred to die before age 80. Those who did tended to hold more negative beliefs about what old age would be like. Still, the vast majority of people surveyed wanted to live a good long life and had sunnier expectations for their own old age.
However, it is interesting to know that complete population level mortality data for the period 2008 to 2010 had shown relatively similar estimates: median age at death is 81 years and most common age at death is 85 years.
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is one such person. Speaking at a Virtual Futures event in London on Wednesday, Inverse confirmed that de Grey truly believes in this goal, even going so far as to boldly state that the first person that will live to be 1,000 years-old has already been born.