It’s common to think of food, water, clothing, and shelter as the essential needs for human survival, but we would argue that something is missing from that list. Few factors have the potential to diminish our health and day-to-day quality of life the way sleep does. A Goodnight Sleepstore is part of a growing collective voice working to remind people of the importance of adequate sleep. To illustrate, we’re about to go to extremes.

Extremely Dangerous Deprivation

Do you know that extreme sleep deprivation – we’re talking more than a week without rest – can be fatal? What might be more surprising, though, is that a lack of sleep starts doing damage long before the 7-day mark. Just 24 hours of sleep deprivation will chip away at your alertness, cognitive functioning, and physical ability. It can even mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia. You’ve probably felt the discomfort that follows an all-nighter or that comes with raising an infant. But imagine being mentally and physically limited by fatigue in a situation where your safety or survival depends on alertness, reaction time, or problem-solving.

Symptoms of Insomnolence

  • Accumulation of stress hormones
  • Buildup of toxins in the brain
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of mental acuity
  • Weakened immune response
  • Impulsiveness
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Depression
  • Diminished memory
  • Impaired judgment

A Spiral of Sleeplessness

Fortunately, few people have experienced (or ever will) a do-or-die need for sleep. You can imagine how a lack of sleep in a survival situation can cause a domino effect. Sleep gives us vital skills for dealing with stress. When an anxiety-provoking situation starts robbing you of shuteye, you can wind up in a vicious cycle – stress leading to less sleep, which leads to more stress, which prevents you from sleeping. You get the picture. Shut-eye also rejuvenates our bodies in countless ways so that we can do what’s demanded of us during the day. Basically, in order to function effectively in a crisis, we need all the sleep we can get.

Surviving Survival Mode

You know who does understand survival without sleep? Soldiers. Extended sleep deprivation is part of the training for elite Navy SEALS. Since they may find themselves in life-or-death situations without the opportunity to sleep, these warriors need to know how to cope. One soldier reported that all he could do was keep moving and keep himself uncomfortable to stay awake. Members of the military conditioned by sleep deprivation do have some helpful tips, however. They mostly involve staying busy and managing your time. Look at each task at hand as one chunk of time you need to get through and be sure to keep your focus on it. Don’t focus on how tired you are. Smile, move your body, and talk to the people around you – or sing a song. Most of the tips you’ll find are about getting through the pain. As soon as you give your body a chance, it’s going to force you to catch up on some much-needed Zs.

There’s no need to go to extremes.

Welcome back to your life of (hopefully) mild, intermittent, and non-extreme sleepiness. Now that you know just how painful sleep deprivation can get, aren’t you inspired to get the best rest of your life? When you’re serious about going all-in to nourish your mind and body with high-quality sleep, venture over to A Goodnight Sleepstore. You can find us in our eight stores throughout North and South Carolina, or chat with us live online from anywhere. We deliver the best mattresses on the market to homes across the continental US. Better yet, though, is how our Goodnight Sleep Guarantee assures you get the comfort and support you’re looking for at the best price available anywhere. Go ahead. Chat live with a sleep expert now. It’ll be extremely helpful, but it’s not an extreme thing to do.

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