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Sleep deprivation is a mental state which gradually intensifies when one has been deprived of sleep for extended periods of time. This can occur naturally from lack of sleep resulting from insomnia or can be induced by extended stimulant use; it differs from stimulant psychosis in its somewhat predictable timeline of deterioration of psychical, mental, and visual abilities through predictable subjective effects.
The progression of the sleep deprivation experience can be broken down into hours gone without sleep, excluding micro-sleep sessions which may occur. A microsleep is a short period of time, from 10 to 60 seconds, in which the brain enters a sleep state, regardless of what the person is doing at the time. The affected individual often is not aware of the occurrence of the microsleep, experiencing only a brief skip forward in time.. While humans are physically capable of surviving extended periods of sleep deprivation, it becomes increasingly difficult to remain awake and alert, until the person is inevitably unable to consciously resist falling asleep.
Effects of sleep deprivation
The effects of sleep deprivation intensify as one is subjected to more time without sleep. Up to the 24-48 hour mark, the cognitive effects are manageable and perceptual effects are limited to the peripheral vision and hearing of the sufferer. However, as time goes on, the effects become all consuming and can render normal life impossible.
Sleep deprivation effects are expressed differently through populations including but not limited to age, gender, and occupation. Keeping this in mind, people will have different reactions to different levels of sleep deprivation.
As with other effects, the physical effects intensify as the sleep deprivation experience continues in time. What starts out as:
eventually ends up as:
As with all the effects of sleep deprivation, cognitive function deteriorates rapidly as the sleep deprivation experience goes on. The decline of cognitive ability may be negligible during the first 1-36 hours of sleep deprivation but becomes increasingly present after this time mark has been passed. This rapid deterioration of cognitive abilities onsets at a faster pace than the physical effects of sleep deprivation. These effects are:
During early stage sleep deprivation, some people may experience these effects, but these effects quickly fade.
In late stage sleep deprivation can cause these effects.
Sleep deprivation can induce hallucinatory states that most often involve. These visual effects often increase proportionally to the length of time without sleep:
As one continues to live without sleep, the visual hallucinations become more pronounced and may include these effects:
- Auditory hallucination - can occur as sleep deprivation progresses, including but not limited to hearing voices, hearing objects move that are stationary, and hearing real life people talking to you when they have been silent. Autonomous entities seen in late stage sleep deprivation may speak to you directly or there might be disembodied voices speaking within ones head. These voices follow the same progression of the leveling effects that are seen in the autonomous entity article.
- Auditory distortion - can also occur that make conversing with others more difficult than in a well-rested state.
Brain chemistry during sleep deprivation
A main neurotransmitter which is involved in the effects of sleep deprivation is adenosine. Adenosine is released and builds up when a person is awake, and with sleep deprivation this can cause high amounts of adenosine to be released. Sleep deprivation increases activation of adenosine A1 receptors, which inhibit release of glutamate and acetylcholine, which could be involved in hallucinations and delusions caused by sleep deprivation.
During sleep deprivation, increased amounts of dopamine are released in the brain. This is likely responsible for the euphoric and disinhibiting effects from early stage sleep deprivation, and may also have a role in the hallucinogenic effects of sleep deprivation.
- 4 Days Sleep Deprivation - Progression of Sleep Deprivation Visuals Over Time by Fishcenternicole
- 1 Tab DOC - Psychedelia Turned Into Stimulant Psychosis by Fishcenternicole
Additional experience reports can be found here:
- Coren S (March 1998). "Sleep Deprivation, Psychosis and Mental Efficiency". Psychiatric Times. 15 (3) http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/login?referrer=http%3A//www.psychiatrictimes.com%2Fsleep-deprivation-psychosis-and-mental-efficiency
- Alhola, Paula; Päivi Polo-Kantola (October 2007). "Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance". Neuropsychiatr. Dis. Treat. 3 (5): 553–567. PMC 2656292 Freely accessible. PMID 19300585 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2656292/
- Alhola, Paula; Päivi Polo-Kantola (October 2007). "Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance". Neuropsychiatr. Dis. Treat. 3 (5): 553–567. PMC 2656292 Freely accessible. PMID 19300585
- The effects of improving sleep on mental health (OASIS): a randomised controlled trial with mediation analysis
Freeman, Daniel et al. The Lancet Psychiatry , Volume 0 , Issue 0 ,