elb's hovel of thoughts

Thursday, May 12, 2005

50 hours

How much can the body cope with without sleep?

Here is my experience roughly documented over 50 hours straight without sleep:

Note: Before the start of the documented time, it should be noted that the subject was coping with an average of 4 hours of sleep for several days before that.

Zero hour: Approximately 10am on day 1. All other times are approximate.

Hours 1-20: Nothing much. One can of Red Bull consumed somewhere during the day.
Hour 21: Fell asleep for roughly 30 minutes during a lapse of concentration. Go woken up by a groupmate though.
Hour 27: Started to get really sleepy. Accuracy of thoughts and calculations become questionable.
Hour 31: Knees began to grow numb.
Hour 32: Finally managed to take a decent break and had a good chit chat with group members over a dinner of sandwiches and crisps.
Hour 36: Department design studio closes down for the day; we shift to the library for an all nighter.
Hour 38: Consumption of another can of Red Bull.
Hour 41: Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on the go. Screw library rules.
Hour 44: Began to get very very sleepy. Took a swig of a friend's watered down version of Red Bull.
Hour 46: Got myself a cup of coffee. Early signs of a pounding headache set in. Difficult to maintain a posture, and almost lost my balance on several occasions
Hour 47: Felt like puking. Could hardly do any more work; the screen look as if it were swirling and hardly anything made sense.
Hour 47.5: Adrenaline rush as deadline loomed restored some lost functionality.
Hour 49.5: Deadline! Bloody left the project in the library. Had to sprint 200m both ways to retrieve the project. Had the great opportunity to bump into the unit manager on the way back. Urgh. Nibbled on some biscuits. Body was barely functioning at this point.
Hour 50.5: Went home and fell asleep immediately for 19 hours.

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