My longest was 32 hours when I was switching between a graveyard and day-shift. I woke up at 3pm, went to work, got home at 7am, stayed awake all day until 10pm. I had a couple of coffees at work and one more before noon.
Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot accomplished that day. I remember stopping Quiznos for a bite to eat around 2pm and feeling my head swimming, and wondering how it would be even remotely safe to drive home.
A few months ago, I had a kidney stone that would not get the hell out. The MD prescribed hydrocodone, but rather than make me sleepy, the stuff was kinda like a miniature cup of coffee. So for about 3.5 days, I was in moderate pain combined with the horrible feeling that is insomnia. After finally passing it and stopping the pain med, I slept for 20hrs.
All in all a very disorienting week. But I did get a good deal of video gaming done.
It was the winter of 1975 (November) in Germany, I was covering the Reforger exercises for the Aschaffenburg military community newspaper. I was assigned (the word now is “embedded”) to cover the 1/4 Inf Bn, 3d ID.
You need to know my primary MOS was 05B, tactical radio operator, and I was attached to MilCom to write for the newspaper because I’d been a news writer for a TV station before going into the Army.
We broke bivouac at about 4 a.m. on a Tuesday morning amid heavy snowfall. 1/4 was an “aggressor” unit, which meant they mimicked the tactics and movements of an invading Soviet heavy infantry battalion. When they encountered the defending units, which were stateside units flown in as part of a war game meant to test American response to a Soviet invasion, they blew through the defenders and probably would have rolled into France if they hadn’t been recalled. But recalled they were, and in the deepening snow, managed to get several tracked vehicles stuck. I was marooned in one of the stuck vehicles until a recovery vehicle arrived, about 8 p.m. that night, and pulled us out. We were told to re-run the exercise while the defenders were coached. We reached our bivouac area a little after midnight, but had to service the vehicles and re-arm the simulators (big cannisters on the tank barrels that went “BANG” in the heat of battle). We finally got to eat about 3 a.m. Wednesday (first meal since breakfast Tuesday morning) at about which time the battalion commander’s radio operator fell off of an APC he was helping to service and broke his collarbone. The medic and I drove the casualty out to a clearing to wave in the medevac, and returned to the battalion just in time for everyone to form up for the second run at the defenders. I crawled into the back of the commo van hoping to sleep through the coming battle, but was soon summoned to fill in for the injured radio operator. I huddled in the back of the CO’s jeep while 1/4 swept down off its designated hill and again blew through the hapless defenders. This time the CO was called into a conference with the officers of the defending unit to 'splain to them what they’d done wrong, so the driver and I went off to fuel the jeep. We got back at about 2 p.m. Wednesday in time to grab some C-rations and haul ass back to the jump-off point to try to run the exercise one more time before nightfall. We attacked, the defenders defended, a pitched battle ensued, and we returned to the bivouac site to re-fuel and service and “re-arm” the vehicles for one more run the next day. I ate my fourth meal since Tuesday morning breakfast at about 1 a.m. Thursday and finally crawled into the commo van for some shut-eye. About 45 hours with no sleep.
Bear in mind, this was all PEACE TIME practice. Holy God, what must real combat be like!?
Well, from about 10 in the morning of Wednesday until about (or at least) 10 at night on Thursday, so 36 hours, and then not much more than about two hours at a stretch all that night.
That was the normal day, then mild labor all night and half the day, then the delivery and the aftermath. They didn’t even get me into a room until at least three hours after. Then they wondered why I had a low-grade fever the next day, after they kept coming in to poke at me all night.
Other than that, probably about 30 hours or so, once a week, when I was working a weird night shift that had three nights on, one off, and then two on. I should have just kept to the night schedule all week, but I usually stayed up on that middle day off and then took a nap before I went to work the next day. It’s a good thing I was young.
Not no sleep, but the way I felt afterwards it might as well have been. I didn’t sleep the night before moving to Japan because I was packing, and then only got a couple hours on the plane. We had orientation for 3 days in Tokyo, during which I stayed out until 5-7AM every night because I was just wandering around looking at things (the last night I would have gone to bed earlier but I got lost). Every day we had to be at workshops starting at 9. When I flew up to my final destination, I had to come into the office immediately, and when that was finished I was informed that the last night of the yearly festival was that night, and I had no time to nap before that.
My first good night of sleep was after the festival that night. I woke up the next day with the same light-headed feeling you get after a couple beers or a cigarette when you haven’t smoked in awhile. When I woke up with it again the following day I began to worry that I had caused permanent damage to myself, but it went away after my 3rd night of sleep. The heat probably didn’t help either.
So that’s about 7-9 hrs of sleep in 5 days.
In HS I used to pull all-nighters a few times per semester. In college, I couldn’t quite make it. I’d drop off to sleep for a couple hours in the morning. I think I used up my quota early on.
Triple empalmada, being 17, during Fiestas. That’s the last week of July, when day temperatures over 40C are considered normal and people only bother to moan about the heat if the thermometer isn’t going below body temperature at night. Well, that year, it didn’t.
That’s 3 whole days without sleep, I finally fell asleep on what would be the fourth morning, coming home after the bullrun (so about 8:30am, having awakened three days prior about 7am). There was lots of Pepsi and Cocacola and half a case of beer involved, but nothing stronger. The beer was consumed as part of a bet on “who can drink a bottle faster,” at 3pm and with outside temperatures over 45C in the shadow. A guy drank about as fast as me, but he left more foam… we never got drunk, even though my tolerance for alcohol is usually below ground level.
Oh, 20 min naps don’t count? Heck, that puts me up to about 4 days… all I could sleep when I finally dropped was less than half an hour, due to the ungodly heat! That’s the year the tar melted on the roads.
Back when I was 24, I woke up at 9am Central Summer Time. I had a flight the next day to the UK, and decided to stay up all night “so I’ll sleep on the plane”. +24 hours. I endured the next day and got the redeye that evening at around 9pm. +36 hours. Unfortunately I didn’t sleep on the plane - not one bit. I arrived into the UK at 10am BST. +44 hours. I then drove up to North Wales to see my new girlfriend. I arrived 9pm. +53 hours. We drank, smoked weed, and made out all night long, finally going to sleep at 9am. +65 hours (or is that +67? My math doesn’t work out).
I was completely insane at the end of it. During the drive to Wales I kept on seeing imaginary glowing foxes running across the road and I was babbling to my girlfriend about dolphins in a sea of pyramids.
Somewhere between 68 and 70 hours. I was treated for insomnia at university. None of this “I’m an insomniac, I only sleep 4 hours a night” crap, I just couldn’t sleep full stop. I started to crack up a bit. A few years later I found out that there had been discussions about me amongst people on my course as they thought I was a potential suicide risk due to how I looked and acted most of the time. It didn’t help that for soem time I didn’t socialise with them and so I was just the guy that no-one knewthat turned up for lectures looking like the kind of shite that shite shites.
Somewhere between 3-4 days with bronchitis; I couldn’t lay down because I’d cough too much, so I was awake the whole time. It was hell. Just walking to the bathroom involved me taking a break in the middle of the hallway, because it was so far away! When I finally did sleep, it was only for about 3 hours, and then I went another 2 days or so without being able to sleep again. I don’t think I would have qualified as sane throughout most of that week; my FIL, who is a psychiatrist, was incredibly concerned about me!
I’m an insomniac, with symptoms that vary from simply being unable to sleep at all (usually 2 nights of that) to waking up every 2-3 hours throughout the night (that’s a damn good night’s sleep for me!) I’ve had various 3-days awake phases over the years, though that might include the odd short nap, or at least some spaced-out semi-consciousness. Sometimes I barely feel it, and I just go a few days sleepless as if everything was normal, and other times similar lack of sleep will leave me feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck.
12 days. For 12 days there wasn’t a single time I could remember falling asleep or waking up. No lost time. It was a nightmare. It seems to have been a weird allergic reaction to Topomax, which my doctor prescribed for migraines. Even being prescribed Ambien didn’t help. And the nurse just kept saying, keep on taking it, I’m sure your body will adjust. I was an absolute zombie, and I’m lucky I didn’t kill anyone on the road. I finally stopped taking the Topomax and slept 2 days later.
When I started college I slept only once or twice a week, I did not use drugs (except extreme amounts of coca-cola) I would get more hyper and hyper until I collapsed and sleep for 15 hours.
before college my mother would tell me to go sleep and I would eventually fall asleep, (and she restricted my cola intake), I watched a insane amount of television, read piles and piles of bad fantasy, played way to much video games, had several game groups that would play on till the morning….but when we stopped I did not go to sleep I just went on
It did screw me up a bit, I couldn’t complete sentences, and I got more manic with every night of sleep I missed. But I felt fine; my college word didn’t suffer much. It was something I was proud of….
This went on for about a year
I learned how to sleep again when I got my first girlfriend…I can still miss one or two nights of sleep, but my body now knows it needs sleep,but if I don’t force myself to lie down….I will not fall asleep