What Happens to You When You Don’t Sleep for Days?

Sleep deprivation is no joke. If you don't sleep for days, your physical and mental health will suffer. After just 24 hours of no sleep, you will experience impaired coordination, memory, and judgment. By 36 hours, your physical health will start to be negatively impacted.

And by 48 hours, you'll be micro-sleeping and disorienting. If you don't sleep for 72 hours, you'll experience significant cognitive deficits and hallucinations. So, how long does it take to recover from sleep deprivation? It depends on the person, but it usually takes a few days of good sleep to feel normal again.

At 24 Hours: Impaired Coordination, Memory, and Judgment

It's improbable that you wake up in the middle of the night if you are anything like most individuals. But what happens to your body if you don't get enough sleep for a long time? According to research conducted by scientists, your coordination, memory, and judgment all start to suffer after you have been awake for twenty-four hours. This is especially the case if it has been a while since you have had any shut-eye.

This suggests that you may have difficulties walking in a straight line, remembering what took place the previous day and making decisions that are in your best interests. In addition to these other sensations, you may also start to feel irritated, scared, and melancholy.

It will become increasingly difficult for you to fall asleep at this point, although your body will begin to indicate that it requires sleep. You face the chance of beginning to have hallucinations within the first 48 hours of going without sleep; this danger increases with each passing hour. When you next find yourself feeling irritable due to weariness, make a point to get some sleep to control your emotions better.

At 36 Hours: Physical Health Starts to Be Negatively Impacted

It is generally known that getting an adequate amount of sleep each night is critical to maintain our overall health. It is common knowledge that sleep deprivation can harm a person's physical health, but what implications can it have on his mental health? A study conducted not long ago and presented in the most current issue of The Journal of Sleep discovered that not getting enough sleep can lead to detrimental effects on one's mental health as well.

The study's findings indicate that your immune system will become less effective as you age, which will increase the likelihood that you will develop a variety of diseases. On top of that, not getting enough sleep can create discomfort in your muscles and joints, leading to harmful effects on your physical health, such as inflammation. You can avoid this by receiving the recommended amount of sleep each night.

If you don't get enough sleep regularly, it can have a cumulative effect on your mental health, making you more irritable and worried. You need to get enough rest each night to keep your physical and mental health in good standing.

At 48 Hours: Microsleeps and Disorientation

If you are anything like most people getting sufficient sleep, you don't enjoy going without sleep very much. But the fact is that not getting enough sleep is terrible for your health; it may also be fatal. If you go more than 48 hours without sleeping, your body will begin to enter a state known as micro-sleep. Microsleeps are short naps that can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

You might become disoriented in either time or space and have problems recalling things when you are having a microsleep. It is also possible that you may feel weak and have trouble remaining awake for extended periods. This makes you feel irritable, sleepy, and possibly even dizzy.

If you don't get enough sleep, your body will begin to conserve energy by shutting down its functions. Remember that lack of sleep leads to feeling irritated, irritable, or just lazy, and blame it on the lack of sleep!

At 72 Hours: Major Cognitive Deficits and Hallucinations

If you are sleep deprived for 72 hours, you must know the consequences which are Major cognitive deficits and hallucinations. But did you know that your brain starts to function differently after three days of sleep deprivation? In fact, at this stage, you will experience significant cognitive deficits, including problems with memory and attention.

Hallucinations are also common - you may see or hear things that aren't there. Sleep deprivation can be very dangerous, so getting plenty of rest is essential!

If you or someone you know suffers from sleep deprivation, talk to a doctor or sleep specialist to get the help.

How Long does it Take to Recover?

Many solutions can be universally applied to the problem of insufficient sleep. Research has shown that it might take up to four days for your body to recover from the effects of an illness. You will likely have feelings of exhaustion and irritability at this time.

In addition, the damage to your immune system will make you more susceptible to getting sick, especially infections. Some measures must be taken to address sleep deprivation as soon as possible. In that case, it can lead to several significant health problems, including reduced cognitive performance, weight gain, and even heart disease. Therefore, make it a priority to acquire sufficient sleep every day; doing so is necessary for a healthy lifestyle.


It is a fact that not getting enough sleep may harm our health, but how exactly this happens needs to be clarified. A brief lack of sleep can cause several adverse side effects, including feeling tired and angry and having impaired cognitive ability.

The effects of not getting enough sleep may only be moderate in the short term, but the long-term ramifications can be much more significant. These long-term implications include an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. You must make some alterations to your lifestyle to aid in improving your sleeping habits to get the appropriate amount of sleep each night if you are currently not getting the amount of sleep that is advised.

Updated on: 24-Jan-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started