Sleep Deprivation(redirected from Voluntary sleep deprivation)
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Even though sleep researchers have studied the effects of sleep deprivation for decades, they have discovered little not evident from ordinary, everyday observation: sleep deprived individuals become tired, irritable, and less effective. Empirical tests conducted to discover if sleep is really necessary have shown that laboratory animals deprived of sleep for extended periods of time sicken and die. Human beings have resisted sleep for upward of 11 days under controlled conditions, but, naturally, no experimenter has compelled human subjects to endure sleep deprivation to the point of death. In the course of extended sleep deprivation, subjects tend periodically to experience delusional episodes that are probably forms of hypnagogic experience. Whether these episodes (or, for that matter, certain other forms of delusional hallucinations) are “waking dreams” is an open question.