Stretching My Endurance

When I have too much to do and not enough time, sleep is the easiest part of my day to remove to create more available time. I don't usually plan to do this in advance, it's just how it works out. Sometimes it's due to poor planning, though mostly it's due to unexpected requirements placed upon me. I always think I can handle it, whatever comes my way. I hate to fail, even though I'm really good at it. So I make the attempt.

The longest I've stayed awake in one stretch was 56 hours. This was due to poor planning, though after I did it, I felt so accomplished. I was going on vacation to Mexico. I had to pack and still do all my normal daily activities including which was working at my full time job. So by deleting sleep I was able to do it all in the same time allotted. At the 56 hour mark I could've actually stayed awake longer, I wasn't tired at that time. Though I thought, well now I have the opportunity and no longer have any duties to fulfill so I finally rested. Though now as I look back, I wished I had stayed awake, you know to see how long I could do it.

As I get older I find it extremely difficult to stay awake more than 40 hours in one stretch. I can feel when my body is past my endurance point. My heart begins to pound really hard and I feel like a leaf in the wind. Usually at that point, no matter what responsibilities I still have waiting for me, they're no longer important and my body decides it's time to sleep, no matter how my brain feels about it. Mentally I never want to give up. So my body takes the reins. It's an internal strife, I suppose. Though even if I sleep only a couple of hours, I feel refreshed and ready to continue.

I judge the amount of time based on when I awoke from my last time sleeping. I can easily do 20 hours straight, this is still no problem. Usually between the 18 and 20 hour mark is when I begin to physically become tired. The most critical time span is within the 18 and 28 hour marks. This is the 10 hours that's usually the most difficult to get past. If I can avoid activities that normally would make me tired, I'll ideally be able to stay away past 28 hours. This time span varies. Though generally at the 28 hour mark I'm home free to stay awake as long as needed. The longer I stay awake, the easier it gets. So if I'm still awake at say 32 hours I feel so accomplished.

Sometimes I have mental difficulties. I begin to have trouble concentrating, thinking clearly or keeping up with what's going on around me. Though this doesn't happen to me every time. It's the mental stress factor. The more mentally stressed, the less mentally productive I am during this time. Less stress, less disorientation. I get this experience even when I'm not stretching my awake endurance. I don't handle mental stress very well in general.

I have done all kinds of things after that 28 hour mark that before I did it, I didn't know if I would get through. Though after again, I felt so proud of myself. I've walked 20+ city blocks for an event that was held, driven 80 miles for a funeral, gone to work and was just as productive as at any other time etc...

So now I know there are some people that think this is crazy. I don't look at it this way. I'm not crazy to push myself past what's comfortable. I'm glad that I can do this and will continue for as long as I'm able.

4vrUnique 4vrUnique
14 Responses Aug 21, 2009

Sounds like you're obsessed with productivity. Thanks for your comment philceta :~)

what ethnicity are you? I am Caucasian/White. Primarily White American with some Ukrainian and a bit of Cherokee Indian descent from my fathers side.

UGH. i am so glad to have read this. I also like to not sleep because i feel like i'm not being productive or i'm missing out so much.<br />
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I AM NOT CRAZY AFTER ALL! or am I just obsessed with productivity?

Wow, that's impressive. Hey 9 days is a long time. Good For You!

Almost every weekend. I do not think I will try to beat 9 days though.

Congratulations GhostInTheFog. Even after 56 hours awake I didn't have loss of lucidity. That's intense. Good for you. Now you know over 60+ hours is your limit. Have you stayed awake over 24 hours since?<br />
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AlexMercer its not a contest between me and other people. Mostly its a contest against yourself. To see how long you can do it.

I would lean more towards ''curious of my upper physical limits'' than ''crazy'' personally

That sure beat the hell out of 50 hours. And you ARE crazy

During the holidays me and a group of friends, had a 'stay awake' contest, the first went down after 23 hours. I lost count after 60 something hours and gradually started to lose lucidity. I finally fell down from extreme deprivation. When I woke up, my friends told me I stayed up for over a week and that I was crazy.

What? Fogarty... LOL

This whole conversation is making me very...very...sleepyzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Actually I used my ability to stay awake long periods of time during college, though have mostly used it since I graduated. One year I did it 5 times and it was spread out over a period of months. <br />
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I can still do it just as well as when I was younger. I hope to be going strong for many years to come.

No, as we grow older the ability to stay awake past 24 hours diminish quickly.<br />
Ahhh.. to think of what could've been accomplished otherwise.<br />
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When I was still in college, I took a lot of translations jobs and switched to my zombie mode to make sure my school assignments were done and deadlines were met. I think we enjoyed those times, didn't we? :)

So we are the same in this way. We both like to stretch our endurance, though we know our limits as well.

I stayed awake for five days straight before. Driven from Greenville Sc. to Couer d'Alene Id. straight non stop and hiked in the woods for two days non stop.<br />
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I think I do better if I push my body to the limit sometimes. Although I also know my limits and when not to go to extremes.