Does Sleep Deprivation Lead To Insanity?
Credit: Jason Rickard
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One of the biggest misconceptions about sleep is that it if you go for a couple of days with no sleep, you will end up losing your sanity.
Apparently discoveries were made a few years ago, and this has changed this great misunderstanding about sleep.
A man named Robert McDonald (may be related to Ronald McDonald the clown) holds the world record for having stayed up for almost nineteen days with no sleep. All that was reported was extreme drowsiness, and intense difficulty with concentration. That explains why an occasional car accident has been reported due to the sleep deprived idiot falling asleep behind the wheel. Another person by the name of Randy Gardener went without sleep for eleven days and again extreme drowsiness, and intense difficulty with concentration was reported. Surprising considering he was a narcoleptic.
These cases cleared the biggest misconception about sleep, which was that sleep deprivation leads to insanity. It is clear that sleep deprivation does not lead to you losing your sanity but in fact here is a really surprising fact for you. In a recent study on over one million participants, it was discovered that those who slept less, actually went on to live a longer life. This excludes the extra time gained by sleeping less. It is also reported that these people were most likely using methamphetamines such as crystal meth or smoking crack cocaine. So while "losing" sleep you are also in effect losing your financial stability, your teeth, & of course everyone close to you.
In some cases, lack of sleep was reported as a major problem. For example, many insomniacs experience hallucinations, slow speech, movement, reactions and poor concentration. This however does not confirm that lack of sleep can lead to insanity. No not at all! Hallucinations and other signs of lack of sleep mentioned above are never associated with insanity, are only temporary and can be cured upon a good days sleep. So who said you don't need sleep again?
One astonishing discovery made recently on the aspect of sleep is that a lack of sleep interferes with memory. Memory has a very clear link with sleep. An experiment conducted on individuals who had not gone to sleep for nearly two days showed that their memory retention on identifying individual faces was weak and difficult for the subject. However the subjects were able to distinguish familiar faces from the unfamiliar ones with a positive outcome.
This in some way can be the reason from where, the false theory of insufficient sleep can lead to insanity, may have been derived. Although it goes without saying if you went without sleep for two days you'd likely forget what day it was, show up to work a day late & as a result a dollar short. "You're FIRED!" Let's not forget medical personnel such as interns or doctors who are performing surgical procedures while in these states. "Ooops, I forgot to get the sponge, the hemostat, the saw, and the coffee pot before we sewed the patient up. Nurse?!"
Who said a lack of sleep wasn't detrimental?
Many people today complain from the lack of sleep and blame many of their health problems due to the insufficient sleep. Experts argue that any association between sleep and health problems almost always emerge weak at best and could without difficulty be explained by other causes. So just keep drinking coffee, slamming energy drnks, popping no-doz or diet pills & staying up all night. Before you know it you'll end up on skid row just like this guy!
But at least he's getting some sleep!