How Long Does An Average Person Stay Awake (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 8-10days 

Generally, a person can stay awake up to 18 hours a day to do his daily routines and work. However, there come times when a person needs to keep awake for more than the average awakening time. For a short time, this would not be a problem. But if this continues for a long time, then it may lead to severe problems.

There are many effects of not getting sufficient sleep. A person may get emotionally weak due to sleep deprivation. Irritation is also a common symptom that is experienced in such a situation.

How Long Does An Average Person Stay Awake

How Long Does An Average Person Stay Awake?

Sleep science is one of the new disciplines where we only started to make progress in our knowledge of the significance and purposes of sleep in the last few decades. Each person has individual physical and mental needs that must be satisfied to maintain a healthy life.

If those needs are not provided, it leads to a severe significant health concern, including prolonged insomnia, following under the road. A person whose work involves physical stress may stay awake less than an idle person. If we stay awake for too long, we gradually develop more compilations in our bodies.

While researching awake time in humans, people had continued to stay awake for nearly 8-10 days regularly while being carefully monitored. However, no psychological, neurological, or medical problems evolved due to the lengthy time of being awake in every situation.

Every person could revive during 1-3 regular sleep cycles. Contrarily, staying awake for an extended period also reveals that humans experience continuous and vital drops in their perception, motive, and concentration. Sleep deprivation is found to be delayed in other higher-level mental processes too.

There’s also debate about if we require all phases of sleep to sustain. For instance, As most scientists accept that the REM cycle is essential for human survival, there are still examples of sustained brain injuries that deny them the REM cycle. They are now able to withstand and also recover.

PersonTime Staying Awake
Infant3-4 Hours
Military Men3-4 Days
Average Adult1-2 Weeks

Why Does An Average Person Stay Awake That Long?

 Almost every creature on earth needs to sleep for the proper functioning of all organs. Sleep is one of the prominent components of life. Moreover, it is something we all do every day. However, there are a few situations where we may require to stay awake for a long time. We could not resist those situations.

Our muscle growth and repair, brain’s cognitive ability depend on how much sleep we get daily. A person may encounter many health problems like obesity, depression, type-2 diabetes, and decreased life span. Given below are the effects of sleep if we go on awake without sleeping.

  1. 10-12 hours: After a sound nap, a person can actively do the work for nearly 10-12 hours. We can observe no deprivation of sleep in this stage.
  2. 14 hours: After 14 hours, our body will begin to produce melatonin, an essential sleep-inducing hormone, which will provoke us to sleep. We can say this is the natural way to induce sleep. 
  3. 24 hours: This is the time when a person feels exhausted. Then develop grogginess, tiredness, and irritability. In this period, it is similar to the effects of overtaking alcohol. 
  4. 36-48 hours: In this time, the body is exceptionally sleep-deprived. However, surprisingly a person becomes hyperactive during this period due to adrenaline secreted by the brain.
  5. 3-5 days: A person encounters Confusion, hallucinations, blurred sight, and delusional episodes during this period. It can lead to life-threatening situations in the long run.
  6. 1-2 weeks: The body’s need to sleep will become too robust during this period. There is no other option but to sleep after this phase.


There are several side effects if a person stays awake for too much time. If you keep ignoring these side effects, then it will affect your overall health severely. We become unhappy, paranoid, and hallucinate. Many studies have shown that the body’s parallel deterioration along with sleep deprivation.

Hormones like adrenaline and cortisol rise in the blood, in turn raising blood pressure. A sleep-deprived person, therefore, feels anxious and is more inclined to an illness. Although it is still unclear precisely how long a person can last out of sleep. These effects of sleep loss which we experienced, start to show no longer. After three or four days without sleep, a person begins to hallucinate.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. The effects of chronic sleep deprivation are nothing to scoff at. They highlight the critical role that healthy sleep habits play in maintaining our overall well-being.

    1. This article has certainly made me more aware of the dangers of sleep deprivation. It’s definitely a wakeup call.

  2. The fact that a person can stay awake for 8-10 days without major health problems is astonishing but I still don’t think it’s something that should be tested for extended periods.

    1. It’s definitely a controversial topic that needs more research to fully understand the long-term effects.

    2. I think it’s unethical to subject individuals to such prolonged wakefulness for the sake of testing. There are other ways to conduct sleep studies.

  3. The slippery slope of sleep deprivation is a serious issue that should be addressed more rigorously. This article provides compelling evidence of its potential harms.

    1. I agree, more attention should be given to the importance of sleep to prevent the adversities of prolonged wakefulness.

  4. Fascinating to see the progression of negative effects that come from extended periods of wakefulness. It really emphasizes the importance of sleep.

  5. The mental and physical detriments of chronic sleep deprivation are deeply concerning and warrant more attention from the public and medical community.

    1. It’s evident that sleep deprivation has significant health implications that should not be overlooked. This offers valuable insights into its effects.

  6. This article is an invaluable resource for understanding the potential dangers of sleep deprivation.

  7. As a society, we should take the issue of sleep deprivation more seriously to prevent the damaging effects it has on individuals’ health.

    1. It’s alarming to see the detrimental consequences that prolonged wakefulness can have. This underscores the need for a more holistic approach to wellness.

    2. Absolutely, the societal attitude towards sleep needs to shift towards recognizing its importance.

  8. Sleep deprivation is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. The negative impact it has on our physical and mental health is quite alarming.

  9. The human body needs sleep to function properly, and anyone who pushes the limits of sleep deprivation is playing a dangerous game.

  10. Understanding the consequences of sleep deprivation is crucial for promoting better sleep habits and overall well-being.

    1. Absolutely, raising awareness about the dangers of sleep deprivation is essential for cultivating a healthier society.

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