Irritability, blurred vision, slurred speech, memory lapses, overall confusion, hallucinations, nausea, psychosis, and eventually death.
November 21, 2005 3:44 AM   Subscribe

From 24 hours of movies to 3 hour naps between 36 hour shifts on an ocean trawler, sleep deprivation can be just another narcotic.
posted by holloway (20 comments total)
Don't forget Joystiq's 48 hour Xbox 360 marathon!
posted by Plutor at 4:06 AM on November 21, 2005

Creepy. Truly creepy. However, I only managed to stay up (being an insomniac) for 38 hours, before collapsing, having spent that time dazed and full of sugar and caffeine.
Note: Stimulating mental activity increases the ability of a person to stay awake. I was on Ishar MUD for most of this time, having strange conversations as parts of my brain slowly shut down.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 4:17 AM on November 21, 2005

Thanks to a boss who hid, with decreasing success as time wore on, a history of paranoid schizophrenia and alcoholism, I once let myself be browbeaten into working 141 billable hours in an eight-day stretch. If I ever meet him again, I'll murder him and cheerfully accept the consequences.
posted by alumshubby at 4:24 AM on November 21, 2005

Haha, right on, malus. I think my record was 28 hours or something, also on a MUD.

Though Ultima Online never had a timer, so that could be a contender, too.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 4:26 AM on November 21, 2005

alumshubby: oh wait, he had pranoid schizophrenia and alcoholism and that made you work 141 billable hours..or you accepted that as you were satisfied with the pay ?
posted by elpapacito at 4:30 AM on November 21, 2005

I did 84 hours once, and got into the Big Book Named After Beer as testament.
posted by Hogshead at 4:41 AM on November 21, 2005

Damn, I just pulled an all nighter. I've now been up for 21 hours and it's 7.45am and I'm about to go to work. I'm a tad concerned.
posted by gaspode at 4:43 AM on November 21, 2005

The thing I like most about sleep deprivation is the simple clarity afforded by lacking the energy to do anything unworthwhile - too much effort to be irritated, to complain about how bad TV is, or to bemoan the state of the world/politics. That and the waves of hysteria and rampant hornyness.

I find this state corresponds quite reasonably to the notion of Zen/Tao or Burroughs' Discipline of Do Easy. It is also not unlike being stoned.
posted by MetaMonkey at 4:44 AM on November 21, 2005

epapacito, I learned the hard way the meaning of the phrase "no one should be allowed to abuse me without my permission."

And by the way, I'm glad you're able to make a joke about it. Fifteen years on, I fail to find much about it that was amusing.

No, wait: On second thought, fuck you very much.
posted by alumshubby at 5:10 AM on November 21, 2005

Exterminate all rational thought.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:45 AM on November 21, 2005

When I was a teetotaler, Sleep Dep was my drug of choice.
Working at a local Hess station, instead of sleeping, I'd pull an all-nighter every sat night, and usually do it again mid-week. I always found it was a trick to get to sundown the next day, then I could stay up for another 12 hours without issue (5AM was always the hardest barrier to stay up through).

Obviously, I appreciate this post.
posted by Busithoth at 5:54 AM on November 21, 2005

Once upon a time, long ago in a far away place, on an island filled with amazing towers (which reflecting the rising sun with amazing beauty), I was in the habit of working 32 hours in a go.

Lots of coffee, lots of nicotine and enough cannabis to keep away coffee cramps, were my trick. Then home and sleep 16 hours, relax a day, sleep, then back to another 32 hour stint.

I had no concept of loss of the effectiveness of my work. I had not the slightest idea there was a 4th drug involved in my behavior. I was addicted to fatigue.

Fortunately, it was fairly easy to kick this habit. A simple change in jobs (to a cushy corporate gig with phat benefits and perfect hours) did the trick. No reason to work long hours! Enough money to have fun, even playing amongst the amazing towers of steel and glass.

I no longer choose to miss sleep. I think I am afraid of doing it, anymore. But I'm much older. Maybe I wouldn't handle it so casually. Maybe I would be hooked again.
posted by Goofyy at 5:58 AM on November 21, 2005

.Has anyone else had the idea that that being used to sleep deprivation makes you more tolerant to alcohol?
posted by provolot at 6:22 AM on November 21, 2005

The toughest part is always watching the sun come up. Once I had kept awake for about 35 hours, and was still going strong—until I realized I'd have to watch the sun rise a second time.
posted by jenovus at 6:35 AM on November 21, 2005

If you go to any festivals like, say, Burning Man, you will be surprised at how little sleep the body needs for seven days of nonstop partying. It exhausts body as well as mind....but somehow you manage to keep going, convinced that some amazing Spectacle will unfold the minute you close your eyes.
posted by solipse at 7:20 AM on November 21, 2005

This weekend, I'll try for 45. Please note my obituary, which I have placed in all national newspapers in advance.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 8:25 AM on November 21, 2005

I once worked 73 hours nonstop.
Oddly, I quit drinking caffine after about 24 hours and ate junkfood/sugar from the vending machines only when hungry; in effect, maintaining my wakefullness by willpower alone.

Somewhere around 60 hours, I was lucid, alert, and solving problems better than the DBA who was merely 2 hours past his bedtime.

I attributed my ability to remain awake and alert to my decades issue of insomnia in that I've become acustomed to fighting against extreme weariness.

Now I find that perhaps I am addicted to the feeling. The notion feels peculiar and yet appropriate. I recall several times in my past where I did get fully rested - I felt decidedly uncomfortable and a little anxious; not mental stress, mind you, so much as a physical discomfort and a lack of ability to focus.

I still suffer from insomnia and would prefer to learn to sleep regularly by far. I've tried a variety of things, including abstaining from caffine since 1993. I'm sure I'll crack the code eventually, well, I hope.

posted by digibri at 9:41 AM on November 21, 2005

Hooray for the Movie Marathon! That's me on the right, in the fourth photo down, winning the Exorcism of Emily Rose possession spazz-out contest. So, yeah, add me to the list of people who agree that sleep deprivation can make you do really dumb stuff.
posted by Soulfather at 5:38 PM on November 21, 2005

I've had to stay up for about seven days. It's funny I never thought insomnia would be a blessing. Although you learn how much you can hate the sun late in the week. A particle of light boils from the center of the sun, travels 92,955,820.5 miles past other planets, clouds, birds, pollution, what have you, and slips through a little hole to hit you right in the eye. Shiny Yellow Bastard! Can't drink too much coffee though. Or if you do, you have to stay hydrated otherwise you'll lock up. I notice digibri that exersize helps me sleep. Of course it's good and bad in some ways. The longer you keep it up the harder you have to hit it because you get in better shape.
"So, you're a body builder?"
"No, I'm an insomniac."
posted by Smedleyman at 6:14 PM on November 21, 2005

The Wellington movie marathon was great fun too.
posted by holloway at 12:46 AM on November 22, 2005

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