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erichw1504's avatar

What has been the least amount of sleep you have had to run on for a day?

Asked by erichw1504 (26420points) March 21st, 2011

Only got about 5 hours of sleep last night and I have to say it doesn’t feel great.

What is the least amount of sleep you have gotten to run on for a day? How did you feel? What did you experience? How were you around other people? Did you have to work, go to class, anything? What did you do to stay awake? Why did you not get a lot of sleep last night?

What is the longest amount of time you have gone without any sleep at all?

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38 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

None. Back when I was a teen….

But in recent history (10 years ago,) 2 hours. Two nights in a row. Had no idea I still had that in me! I don’t now, pretty sure about that.

erichw1504's avatar

One time in college I pulled an “all nighter” and it was actually pretty neat. I felt fine, actually a little giddy for most of the day.

Other times, when I have only gotten 4 or less hours, I usually feel horrible, grumpy and zombie-like. In other words: “Don’t come near me or talk to me.”

erichw1504's avatar

@Dutchess_III Wow, two nights with 2 hours each. I wouldn’t be able to function.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

None.I had to go to work then school at night.I don’t remember the details of times I have done that.;)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, gotta answer questions. Well, the stint I did 10 years ago it was just putting one foot in front of the other. After that first night I planned, of course, to get to bed at the hotel early, but let myself get roped into a repeat. The next morning we had classes/training to attend. There were about five of us that looked like shit! I also had to drive home that last day, about 3 hours. I was really afraid of falling asleep at the wheel, but I didn’t. I also thought, “Well, I’m going to hit rush hour traffic leaving Wichita and THAT will wake me up. But, in fact, the never ending swoosh and passing of cars was hypnotic. That was the toughest part of the drive.
Of course, I couldn’t get to sleep after I finally arrived home.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@erichw1504 It was wild! But…it’s a couple of nights I will never, ever forget. One of those bonding things that no one involved will ever forget. I also played some of the best pool I’ve ever played in my life that second night. Go figure!

CaptainHarley's avatar

When I was in Vietnam, there were times when I ran on less than empty, in every sense of the phrase. During the Post Tet Offensive of 1969, I ran for several days with less than four hours of sleep over as many days, and just about the same number of meals. But then again, I was only 24/25 years old. If I tried that now, this tired old body would just say, “Ok, butthole, I ain’t doin’ this anymore! I quit!”

erichw1504's avatar

@CaptainHarley Now that is admirable! Thank you for serving.

CaptainHarley's avatar

[ Blush ] Thank you, but I was just doing what I thought at the time was right.

blueiiznh's avatar

I can run on minimum of 5 hours a day.
I still do all nighters as I am a nightowl and given a reason to stay awake, I do. I am able to still function ok. My nightfall, I do fade fast.
College days were something completely different and I would go 3 days without sleep at times.

Try little cat naps if you can to help create some pockets of energy.

12Oaks's avatar

None. Twenty-some years ago I bet a co-worker I could stay on the job 48 hours straight. With the boss’s permission I did 49 just to avoid any controversy. Am too old to do that kind of thing now. Was some nice tax-free income I made from winning the bet, though.

JmacOroni's avatar

5 days, essentially no sleep. (I slept for 2 hours on the 3rd day) Happened last autumn, and by the end of it I was physically ill. I have struggled with insomnia my entire life, but that was by far the worst. I can function on 3 hours of sleep a day with no problem, though I prefer not to do that, of course.
As for “last night,” I’ve been awake since about 9am yesterday morning. It is now 11:38am

tedibear's avatar

None, but it was one all-nighter back in college. I was trying to cram for a test. Didn’t work as I still just squeaked out a “C.” More recently – 4 hours. That wasn’t pretty but work wasn’t terribly taxing that day, thank heaven.

ETpro's avatar

Zero hours in the Navy. Four on and carry on watch in the fireroom of a Destroyer. We were a reserve training ship, and when we didn’t have a contingent of reserves on board the regulars had to run the ship. Full or Flank speed required everyone with fireroom or boiler tender specialties down there keeping the engines running 24 hours a day.

YoBob's avatar

Erm… zero. (Ah… those were the days!)

Not sure of the longest amount of time I’ve gone without sleep, but I’m guessing around 48 hours.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

0 hrs. Too many times. I do not recommend it. Sleep deprivation is ugly.

marinelife's avatar

0–2 hours.

Coloma's avatar

The worst is international travel and the time changes and jet lag. Gah.

The last time was last March when I traveled to asia.
Was up all day, drove 3 hours to San Francisco, flew out of SFO at midnight, slept maybe 2 hours on a 13 hour flight, and was up til after midnight the first day.. A total of about 2 hours sleep in 48 hours.

I found Fluther the day I got home and, well, here I still am, the worlds longest case of jet lag. lol

MilkyWay's avatar

You wouldn’t believe it but just last week, I made do with just an hour and 20 minutes….
and stayed awake for the rest of the day.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ouch, @queenie! Did it have anything to do with your foot?

ragingloli's avatar

The worst part is, after you have been awake for so long, you start to get this terrible feeling in your head, especially behind the eyes, that prevents you from falling asleep, even if you try.
That is how I got some involuntary 40 hour days.

JmacOroni's avatar

@ragingloli I agree. Being overtired makes it just as difficult to sleep as being wide awake, sometimes.

MilkyWay's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yeah, it was the night before the operation .. : 3

Zaku's avatar

What has been the least amount of sleep you have had to run on for a day?
Zero hours.

How did you feel? What did you experience?
Usually my body’s thermometer is messed up, usually trying to heat me up so I will get cozy and sleep, sometimes being chilled. I need to have stimulation of some sort (even if just in my head) or I’ll lose concentration and/or nod off. However, sometimes, if I am focused and/or really present, I can remain quite alert well through a sleepless night and into the next day. Other times, just being awake like that would keep me stimulated and interested in whatever it was I was awake for, and I was able to be alert and enthusiastic about whatever that was (e.g. having fun with friends, traveling, exploring outdoors, marathon game sessions, marathon programming sessions).

How were you around other people?
Usually pretty mellow and matter of fact, reflective.

Did you have to work, go to class, anything?
Sometimes. Sometimes in high school and often at University I would stay up all night procrastinating and then working on a writing assessment (especially in the backward USA, where teachers think it’s right to punish students for turning in papers late), and then go to classes throughout the day, then come home and usually fall asleep there.

What did you do to stay awake?
Sometimes drinking caffeinated beverages. In Freshman year I had a “Coke wall” of empty cans filling up the window of my room, for a while. Usually that’s not necessary for me, unless I am tired from before, or the situation is boring.

Why did you not get a lot of sleep last night?
As above: Usually writing for school, or programming for work, or doing something fun with friends, or some odd travel situation.

What is the longest amount of time you have gone without any sleep at all?
I don’t remember. Probably about 60 hours. There have been weeks where I’ve only gotten a few hours of sleep scattered between days. In one case like that, I was working very long hours and getting little sleep for about ten days. When my project was finally complete, it was maybe 11am and I was at work, and it was like my left (logical) brain had passed out, but my right (artistic) brain was still awake and amused. It was an interesting experience. I took an online IQ test where some weeks before I had scored 160 or so, and that time I scored more like 120, and I could kind of see why: I didn’t really care or relate to logical stuff much. I felt like teasing people and flaunting rules and making fun of things others took seriously. I laughed a lot.

erichw1504's avatar

Last week I remember I woke up for work from little sleep and I had the TV on while eating breakfast. For some reason I couldn’t read a full sentence on the screen. I’d get through a few words and then my brain wouldn’t comprehend the rest. It was very strange and also scary. Luckily I wasn’t have a stroke and could read everything by the time I got to work.

Cruiser's avatar

I rarely get more than 5 hours sleep a night. Sleep seems like a true waste of time. I did go 3 nights in a row without sleep and didn’t think I would ever be able to fall asleep again. I started freaking out over it too! Benadryl came to my rescue there!

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

An hour. We were driving from Florida to NY, and my family got sufficient sleep, but I have insomnia, so I only got about an hour of sleep. We drove in two cars, and I was with just my sister, who was driving. I had to help her with directions, and keep her awake. I didn’t get to sleep on the car ride. We were up for about 30 hours. After the initial first few hours that the sleepy feeling had kicked in, I stopped feeling groggy and tired. I felt really light which I know sounds weird. I didn’t get to sleep until 1 AM the next morning, which is nothing compared to some people on this thread.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I can do fine on four, as long as it’s not more than two days in a row. After that I drain.

Mr_Grimm's avatar

whisper please don’t judge me!
I have ADHD, so i take a bunch of medications, and im maxed out on the dosage on all of them… one of them is Adderal. Adderal is commonly known to keep people awake… and I take it every morning! I rarely sleep sometimes! But the longest i have stayed up is I’d say a week. i got probably 3 hours throughout the week but counter-strike source kept my eyes open

rooeytoo's avatar

I go to bed at around 9 and get up around 5. I generally sleep in 2 hour increments, I wake up at 11, 1, 3 and then out of bed at 5. I haven’t slept straight through the night in years. They say as you age you need less sleep, I guess it is true because I manage quite well on this schedule.
Thank goodness for boring books on the iPod, they put me back to sleep quickly before my head gets into full thinking mode.

starsofeight's avatar

I once took a bus from California to Alabama. It was a five day trip. I can’t sleep on a bus. After the trip, I was so exhausted, I couldn’t sleep for another two days.

On the other hand, I once slept 25 hours straight. Went to sleep in the old bed, on one side of the room, awoke in a new bed on the other side of the room. I wonder if the moving men even tried to wake me.

On the other hand, I had an uncle who could not sleep at all. Spent all his money on Doctors to no avail. He finally shot himself.

ETpro's avatar

@starsofeight Wow, that bus trip sure would have been a time for some Ambien.

Bellatrix's avatar

I used to stay up all night and then go to work and be fine. Now I need a good 7 hours. I can function on say four solid hours but I find it harder to focus and feel tired until I really get into my day.

starsofeight's avatar

@ETpro That would have been great. I still get sleepy when I remember the trip. Now, in my old age, sleep is tricky: if I lose an hour or two, there is no momentum for getting things done, but if I get extra sleep, I am sleepy all day, the body aches, and a head ache is likely.

ETpro's avatar

@starsofeight Complete sympathy form a fellow traveler facing similar interesting “benefits” of aging.

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