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Old 09-07-2021, 02:13 AM   #1
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Can you work a few days without sleep?

I often hear some say they could work and do not sleep (I think they mean on the bed) for a few days or even up to a week when they are preparing the big project, event, or end of the year school project etc...

When I was a teenager in school, I wasn't able to study at all if I did not sleep enough every day. When I was studying a bachelor degree in university, from time to time there are a lot of harsh and stressful homework and project that I saw my schoolmate could work all night long and then the next day they could still do many things.

From yesterday to now, I can live without sleeping for A night but this is my limit, and I won't be able to do anything serious, I would even make a mistake in simple math with + or -. And I am not able to think anything, I am only able to do very light tasks like buying some food, eating some food, watching some entertaining youtube videos without using the brain. For something a little bit more difficult I am not able to handle at all.

Why could some people work intensively for a few days or even a wee without a serious sleep? I know they may have taken a lot of laps, but lap doesn't help me either.

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Old 09-07-2021, 07:32 AM   #2
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I don't think people can be productive after a day or two without sleep. Studies show that after several days, people start to have symptoms of psychosis. It's not a good idea.

https://www.healthline.com/health/he...-without-sleep
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:58 AM   #3
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I know a few people who can work for hours and revive with just a small power nap. But not continuously. Once in awhile is one thing but all the time - as GG says, symptoms will start and burn-out once you've had it, well, it can become a repeating affliction if care is not taken.
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:18 AM   #4
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I have never been able to go days without any sleep. When i was in my early twenties, I could go on three or four hours sleep for a few days and still function reasonably well. But after three or four days, I would conk out. I would go to bed and just sleep for 12 or more hours, whether I wanted to or not. I was around 26 when I noticed that I couldn't really do that anymore.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:55 AM   #5
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At my age, I can't work a few hours without sleep.
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Old 09-07-2021, 02:50 PM   #6
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Sleep and food. Doing them both at the same time actually makes it a bit easier.

T

(ETA; that was a LONG time ago)
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:17 PM   #7
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When I was a wildland firefighter, I could get by on very little sleep. Sometimes we'd be stuck without a camp or transport and have to sleep on the ground (often near a smoldering stump for heat). When I was a supply chief, on a big fire, I'd put in 20 hours setting up the supply area and then sleep under the coms table in case someone needed this or that at an odd hour.

The line crews rotated, two shifts per day, but the support folks were on 24 hours. The idea was that we could sleep after the night crews headed for the line, but there were always trucks pulling in at 3 AM, or a helicopter evac, or some wake-up call.

But with 20+ hour days, you really rake in the overtime. Then there's hazard pay, which is 1/4 time. I made enough in a few months to cruise through the winter.

Couldn't do that now. In fact, it's time for the afternoon nap!
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Old 09-07-2021, 05:02 PM   #8
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Kenny, a long time ago we had a neighbor who said he slept only 4 or 4 1/2 hours a night (his wife verified that). If he slept more than five hours, he said he was sluggish for the entire day. I guess some people are just built to go on limited sleep - but I'm not one of them.

There were two times I pushed myself to go for 40 hours straight - both times we were moving from one house to another. Trust me, it wasn't my plan when I woke up before that "longest" day. It takes a toll on a person. It probably took me a full week to recover from that. Looking back, it doesn't seem like it was worth doing that marathon day, but at the time it had to be done. Not a schedule I'd like to run on all the time, though.

I guess people do what they have to do sometimes. We have twins. When they were born they slept for short periods of time - and not at the same time. The kids are 40 now, but Himself and I still tease about trying to make up the sleep we lost back then. We still call it our Sleep Deprivation Study.
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Old 09-07-2021, 05:15 PM   #9
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I have epilepsy (no seizures since '89, and that was a new antihistamine drug), and the way I got it under control was getting enough sleep! I used to have a seizure the day after pulling an "all nighter", and thought it was the stress from the exam I studied for. A doctor told me that it is very often not getting enough sleep, that caused seizures, and that seizures can be caused in non-epileptic people, by simply waking them up constantly, not allowing them to go to sleep. So I still make sure that if, for whatever reason, I don't get 7-8 hrs sleep, I take a nap, to make up for it.
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Old 09-08-2021, 07:19 PM   #10
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I have a lot of interest, a lot of things to work, a lot of things to read, I am often hearing there is saying that some people could work continually for a few days without sleep, in which I always have doubt. Do these people really exist or do they just exaggerate their ability? As I said, a lot of time I could be very excited that I want to spend extended period of time reading, working, or learning but I find that I couldn't really focus if I don't sleep just A night, I don't understand how those people say they could work for a few days without serious sleep
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Old 09-09-2021, 05:56 AM   #11
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When I was younger I could work for 48-60 hours without sleep but those days are gone.

We used to perform system upgrades or conversions on three-day weekends and often those projects required all of our attention.

I also remember coming home from vacations and heading straight into work in order to stretch my time off. Pulling an all-nighter painting a new apartment, baking Christmas cookies, etc... and heading to work without any sleep.

These days it would be tough for me to stay up for 24 hours but I'm sure I could do it if it was something important.

I suppose none of us really know what we are capable of.

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Old 09-09-2021, 07:19 AM   #12
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Ditto Aunt Bea,

..."was something important"
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Old 09-09-2021, 08:25 AM   #13
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Back in the day, in the army, my unit went for three days with no more than 2 hours of sleep. By the end of third day I was not lucid for sure.
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Old 09-10-2021, 04:49 AM   #14
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With enough Red Bulls you’re be able to do that…
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
With enough Red Bulls you’re be able to do that…
But would you do it well?

This reminds me, a friend of DH from his Navy days became a truck driver. To keep ahead of his schedule, he drank a lot of Red Bull. He ended up in the hospital with serious heart damage and was lucky to survive. That stuff is not good in large quantities.
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
But would you do it well?.


I wouldn’t, but I know a couple of people who swear by them, and they’re workaholics.
But they probably won’t live past 80, IMO…
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