Death from lack of sleep.

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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

It looks like people can die from lack of sleep. How do they die?
 

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  • #2
honestrosewater
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I know rats have been killed by sleep deprivation, but are there actually cases of humans dying from lack of sleep?

Here's what someone says:
One of the possible side effects of a continued lack of sleep is death. Usually this is the result of the fact that the immune system is weakened without sleep. The number of white blood cells within the body decreases, as does the activity of the remaining white blood cells. The body also decreases the amount of growth hormone produced (8). The ability of the body to metabolize sugar declines, turning sugar into fat. One study stated that people who sleep less than four hours per night are three times more likely to die within the next six years (11). Although the longest a human has remained awake was eleven days rats that are continually deprived of sleep die within two to five weeks, generally due to their severely weakened immune system (10), (11), (12).

-- http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro01/web3/Ledoux.html
 
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  • #3
Pengwuino
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I remember there being a few articles about people dieing from playing World of Warcraft too much. They pretty much sat at their chair for some 35 hours and just died. No mention of any diseases or illnesses they had.
 
  • #4
DaveC426913
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Pengwuino said:
I remember there being a few articles about people dieing from playing World of Warcraft too much. They pretty much sat at their chair for some 35 hours and just died. No mention of any diseases or illnesses they had.
Presuming that story to be true, the likely complicating factor would be dehydration. Severe dehydation will mess up your electrolytes (C, K, Mg). The ultimate CoD is basically a heart attack.

I would bet that sleep deprivation has a similar result (heart attack), but a different cause - likely buildup of waste products in the blood stream and messing about with the heart's normal rhythm. This is only a guess.
 
  • #5
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Are you serious? Death by Wow? That is awesome, I gotta tell my Wow buddies about that lol, I play that every waking moment, and I guess those dead guys did too lol.

(Wow=World of Warcraft)
 
  • #6
Mk
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Death by WoW: I don't know if they are urban legends or not. I would think people would uhm... go to sleep. It is a primal urge, to go to sleep.
 
  • #7
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I don't think you need to decide to sleep. eventually you would faint. To die from lack of sleep you would have to be in a position where its impossible where its impossible to sleep.
 
  • #8
Pengwuino
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This was a semi-well know story... even the AP had it... I think the guy just loaded up on one of those energy drinks...

Another girl died from it too...

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-11/01/content_3714003.htm

A big online funeral was held for Snowly one week after her death. But the event was sadly overshadowed by the death of another game enthusiast nicknamed "Nan Ren Gu Shi".
.... sheesh...
 
  • #9
Mk
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pikapika! said:
I don't think you need to decide to sleep. eventually you would faint. To die from lack of sleep you would have to be in a position where its impossible where its impossible to sleep.
Wikipedia says:
It has been documented that depriving rats of REM sleep specifically leads to death in 3 to 8 weeks (which doesn't happen with depriving test animals of other specific sleep phases), but it has also been documented that humans survive without REM sleep for longer than other animals. There have been tests on humans in which REM sleep was deprived, and all subjects in the study had to quit before the study could run to completion. Obviously, scientists cannot ethically experiment how long it takes for lack of sleep to kill a person. As polyphasic sleepers get a lot of Stage 4 NREM and REM sleep, they may achieve higher alertness levels than those who do not practice the art of napping.
 
  • #10
i dont think someone would die after playing World of warcraft for only 35 hours... i have played for over 72 hours strait many times..well i used to and now i am in the Marine Corps were lack of sleep is something that i regularly go through. longest i have stayed awake was 5 and a half days. our plattoon was trapped in Al falluja Iraq and we could get back to our forward opperating base... we had to go on 23 hour shifts and we gave our selves 1 hour to eat, fix gear, and sleep for 10-15 minutes then we would do it all over again.... worst week of my life... lack of sleep and food was horrible
 
  • #11
Newspeak
I knew a person that lived on my dorm floor that lived for WOW. The only times I ever saw him when he was either playing WOW or going to the bathroom. He would consume almost 2X 12 packs of mountain dew(I am not exaggerating) every other day. He almost never spoke to anyone the whole year. He dropped out of college with a 0.4 GPA and is back at his parent's house still playing WOW.
 
  • #12
Evo
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I knew a person that lived on my dorm floor that lived for WOW. The only times I ever saw him when he was either playing WOW or going to the bathroom. He would consume almost 2X 12 packs of mountain dew(I am not exaggerating) every other day. He almost never spoke to anyone the whole year. He dropped out of college with a 0.4 GPA and is back at his parent's house still playing WOW.
To be that obsessed with something signals a problem. Have they taken him to a psychiatrist?
 
  • #13
DaveC426913
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i dont think someone would die after playing World of warcraft for only 35 hours... i have played for over 72 hours strait many times..
There are mitigating factors, such as whether he was eating and drinking properly. Typically what does someone in in these situations is heart attack due to electrolyte imbalance.
 
  • #15
Newspeak
To be that obsessed with something signals a problem. Have they taken him to a psychiatrist?
Sadly no. Friends and I have tried to have an intervention but he did not want anything to do with it.
I fear he has lost touch with reality. I have never seen anything like this--it is disturbing.
 
  • #16
You will not die from sleep alone. No matter what after long enough the body will automatically fall asleep.
 
  • #17
Monique
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This thread is ancient and your reply is something that has been said already, enough for a lock.
 

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