Sleep Deprivation

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Without sufficient sleep, overly tired people can experience waking dreams.

Sleep Deprivation

(dreams)

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
AIRLINE pilots are susceptible to microsleeps. An experiment on 12 pilots flying from London to Miami found 10 of them either slept or displayed signs of extreme sleepiness during the flights.
We are unlikely to know we have slept unless it lasts at least two minutes, and microsleeps of a few seconds are common -even among airline pilots while flying a plane.
This explanation would be consistent with the concept of microsleeps, in which the brain stops processing information, even though the eyes may still be open.
Sleepiness is also associated with a strong tendency toward brief mental lapses (or microsleeps) that greatly increase the risk of motor vehicle and other kinds of accidents.