1. KingMe
    On 28 December 1963, Randy Gardner, a 17-year-old schoolboy in San Diego, California, got up at 6 am feeling wide awake and raring to go. He didn't go back to sleep again until the morning of 8 January 1964. That's 11 days without sleep.
    Gardner's 264 hours remains the longest scientifically verified period without sleep, breaking the previous record of 260 hours. It was described in a 1965 paper by sleep researcher William Dement of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, who stayed awake with Gardner for the final three days.
    Gardner experienced mood swings, memory and attention lapses, loss of coordination, slurred speech and hallucinations, but was otherwise fine. His first sleep after those 11 days lasted just 14 hours.
    According to Dement, Gardner did not consume any stimulants during his "wakeathon". He did, however, have people around him keeping him awake. Without such help you would be fighting hard to stay awake after 36 hours, and would find the urge to sleep near-irrepressible by 48.
    But you'd probably be snatching subtle bursts of sleep even before you finally went to bed: sleep-deprived people slip in and out of "microsleeps" - seconds of sleep that occur without you noticing them, often with your eyes open.
    Microsleeps aside, how long could Gardner have gone on for? Nobody knows for sure, but we do know that sleep deprivation is eventually fatal. Rats that are kept awake die after two weeks, less time than it takes them to starve to death.
    There are no records of a human having been intentionally kept awake long enough to kill them, but a hereditary disease called fatal familial insomnia suggests there is an ultimate limit. The disease eventually robs victims of the ability to sleep. Death follows within three months.


    New scientist magazine


    My first news posting. Any suggestions? Thought the article might be helpful for stimulant users out there


  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Interesting article. I have heard stories that the painter Salvador Dali would deprive himself of sleep to the point where he could not take it, sit down holding a spoon, and when he nodded off and it clattered to the floor he would then get up and paint.

    Some of the first stories the turtle heard about the effects of sleep deprivation came from the "Race Across America" - a virtually non-stop bicycle ride across the US (approx. 3000 miles). I think the record is a little over 8 days- and between exertion and sleep deprivation the riders experience hallucinations, delirium, and other effects most commonly associated with drugs.
  2. Erumelithil
    When I was younger I used to challenge myself to stay awake for as long as I could.
    My record is 87 hours, I definitely got into a very weird headspace by the end.
  3. geministars25
    swim stayed on for 17 days. very enlightening experience once swim landed again.
  4. EscapeDummy

    You sure about that? That puts the previously verified world record to shame...

    swim needs his sleep... the most he's ever stayed up was ~60-70 hours, thanks to adderall + schoolwork. He ended up feeling kind of loopy, and at around the 60hr mark, he tried to take a nap... he ended up suffering from some sleep paralysis, and he thought he saw the grim reaper sitting on his roomate's bed, calmly staring at him with a black void of a face... it was quite unpleasant, to say the least.
  5. Erumelithil
    Did you miss a decimal point there somewhere? That doesn't sound very plausible.
  6. pussy_galore
    Three to four days for me. I was an on-off insomniac during my two years of unemployment and depression. I would say, wake up on the monday morning, stay awake until about... wednesday/thursday morning, collapse with exhaustion and wake up a day later where ever I passed out. then I'd be awake for another three days before collapsing again -repeat-repeat-repeat.

    Note: I Wasn't doing this for a buzz, it was sheer mental illness.
  7. littleonion

    Swim can totally relate to this. That kind of non-existent sleep routine became routine!
    Sleep deprivation almost becomes a deliberate habit, although maybe that could be down to swim's mindset at the time, i.e fighting her survival instinct.

    Swim was hooked on the playstation game 'theme park' at one point and wouldn't sleep for days on end. Very unhealthy!
  8. mushyword
    The story of a radio presenter named peter tripp who stayed awake for 7 nights is interesting and can be found on youtube, swims not sure if the full video is on there any more, but he aparently became permenantly changed after this. Also google 'Michaerl Corke' he died after going six months without sleep due to a disorder known as Fatal Familial Insomnia
    SWIM's longest was 72 hours on an amphetamine binge. The lack of sleep was compounded by the effects of the amphetamines, and led to some serious paranoia! Not fun....
  10. gammabetalactone
    SWIM has been around 2 weeks without "real" sleep after taking 300mg of 2-dpmp and large amounts of mephedrone, MDPV and methylone. SWIM more than likely blacked out during some of it, though he can't recall. SWIM ended up in hospital at the end of it but is now ok with no long lasting effects.
  11. jamf
    Quite an interesting article. SWIM hasnt been sleeping well at all lately (worse than usual) and is probably on his way to setting a new personal record for lack of sleep. Pretty soon he might just abandon trying to fall asleep altogether and see how long it lasts.

    Sleep deprivation induced hallucinations have always interested him but he hasnt really experienced anything firsthand, yet.
  12. Lithop
    I've gone for 3 days & nights with no sleep or 5 days with just naps of an hour or so with 3 hours of waking inbetween during the nights. This was not deliberate or drug-induced, it could possibly be blamed on depression although usually when I'm down I need a lot more sleep.

    The last time I didn't sleep for 3 days was about a month ago and towards the end my vision was getting cloudy and I could see things moving, kept thinking I could see insects on surfaces, mice or something like that on the floor. It was not enjoyable. I shut the door, switched off the phone, got into bed, got comfortable, shut my eyes and stayed right there thinking of nothing until I did nod off... and I woke up 18 hours later feeling like nothing was wrong.
  13. tripkop
    Without the aid of stimulants SWIM can barely stay awake for more than 24 hours and, more importantly, has no desire to do so at all.
    The longest SWIM has gone without sleep using drugs is probably 72 hours and SWIM can't say he particularly enjoyed that experience. Recently if SWIM stays up longer than 24 hours using drugs he'll start getting some annoying paranoia. It's not too bad and most of the times SWIM doesn't have a lot of trouble ignoring it, but it's still something he could do without so he tries to avoid it rather than induce it.
  14. pride345
    1-2 days max, SWIM really really values SWIMs sleep. Sleep is the best...especially under the influence of any opiate. :D
  15. salviablue
    Regularly around 72hrs a time, when I was a teenager, when in my early twenties and over the past 4 years, although not for some months.
    I think my record was around 90+hrs.
    At none of those times where stimulants involved, well, nicotine (tobacco) and caffeine (tea), but not used as aids for staying awake, and not used in any greater quantities than usual.
    Infact, when this has happened to the etherlectricpenguin, cannabis smoking and the odd beer used to feature, so probably totally negated any "staying awake feature of the nicotine and/or tobacco.
  16. Hey :-)
    Swim found a reply that reads :

    I saw some of the Peter Tripp thing .. interesting but also sad . Beware .

    I discovered sleep deprivation accidentally , on no drugs (although i have done 3/4 days on crack , but that did nothing worth mentioning) .

    At around 36/48 hours , i seem to enter a state of trance ... autopilot . It IS addictive . The brain starts to shut down , and one doesnt think . If not thinking , or being in this trance state is addictive for you , be careful . At 48 hours + i see trailes and flashing things , but i think i have a low tollerence to sleep deprivation / stress . Its not for these reasons i continued . I enjoyed being disconnected from thinking . It helped me disconnect from feeling .
    It is addictive , but not good .. i dont think . And i dont make a habbit of it . However , if one enjoys switching the mind off in this way , and has no other way to escape , occational sleep deprivation will do it ... But .. you will still be faced with the old shit upon returning .
    Its temporary .
  17. joshhunt57
    back in 1995 in des moines iowa swims scarecrow was up 8 days and nights with the help of the old pink crank. What was then called fed red.
  18. opheliah
    SWIM can't go anywhere near as long as she used to! These days she'll occasionally go for 72 hours, but is in a different headspace in the final 12 hours or so. SWIM, like others, experiences alterations in perception after approx 48 hrs, but recognizes them as symptoms of sleep deprivation and doesn't suffer paranoia. SWIM and one very good friend are often in this state together and the two of them can spend hours laughing at one and the other's off the wall remarks, because in this state they (think they) are hillllaaaarious!! When they finally lay down, the banter continues and SWIM is sure that during at least the last 10 minutes of conversation they are sleep talking, because she has vague awareness that her words (and his) are bizarre and make no sense - but they are funny all the same....

    About 4 years ago when SWIM found herself regularly staying awake for 3, 4 and 5 days at a time, her body was fit and strong. She could power through with meth, which was particularly good at the time. SWIM remembers a 7 day stretch with no sleep... it was after this that she came to realise that sleep is not the enemy and since then she has tried to sleep at least 4-5 nights each week... which is still not enough, but she's working on it..
  19. High :D
    Swims made it 4 days once. Swim had a bet with his friend to see who could make it the longest. He made it like 5 days and beat Swim lol. 100% sober too rofl.
  20. source
    Wow interesting article.
    I've been awake since Thursday morning (84hrs ish) and even though last night I tried to sleep it just wasn't happening. Everyone knows that the frustration of not being able to sleep makes you even more awake :(
    Hey :) mentions the trance like state and flashing images and I've been going through those since Saturday.. I was at a wedding yesterday and was just incapable of holding a conversation with anyone for longer than one sentence. It was very annoying to be honest and ruined the day.
    So shortly I am actually going to bed again to see if my mind can switch off.
    Any stimulant in my body ('probably' just caffeine (!)) should have worn off now so fingers crossed, I have work tomorrow :/
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