The cycle of sleep and wakefulness is one of the key human behaviours.
We spend about a third of our lives asleep and cannot survive without it.
When asleep, our brain memorises and processes information. Our body clears toxins and repairs itself, allowing us to function properly when awake.
Even short-term sleep deprivation significantly affects our wellbeing. Most of us begin to fall apart after just one night without sleep and after three nights of missed sleep, we are functioning way below par.
One study suggested that after 17-19 hours of staying awake, performance on cognitive tasks may be similar to having had too much to drink.
These effects worsen over time. The longest documented period without sleep of just more than 11 days prompted serious cognitive and