How many days can you survive without sleep?


Quick Answer

In 1965, a high school student didn't sleep for 264 hours to test survival without sleep. In other studies, people have stayed awake for 8 to 10 days without serious medical side effects, reports Scientific American. However, there are no real definitive studies on the answer to this question.

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Full Answer

Lab tests of rats in 1989 show near-death conditions or death came on in 11 to 32 days without sleep. Sleepio indicates that tests of sleep deprivation have failed to prove that lack of sleep directly caused death. Lack of sleep can contribute to lack of mental focus or deteriorating health, which may contribute to fatalities. Fatal familial insomnia is a rare, inherited medical condition considered terminal. One person was known to have died after six months without sleep, but the exact cause of death wasn't proven as sleep deprivation, according to Sleepio.

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