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It might be helpful to speak to someone about it, and that might also be one possible route to sleeping better. Hi Kym Thanks for sharing your fascinating story. I went through forms of sleep deprivation rather recently. I was evicted from my apartment. Found a storage unit for belongings, joined 24 hr gym for roof over head. However, sleep was lacking unless checking into homeless shelter, and pride kept me from that for two months and they kicked the drunks out after winter.

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I was avging hours of broken sleep per day sometime for 2 weeks. I mean, you catch mins on a bus ride, asleep at soup kitchen until someone wakes you up, library, etc. I definitely experienced the micro sleeps and REM effects.

I would try as hard as possible to stay awake, drinking the most potent energy drinks, working out, sit down, your out the second you blink your eyes, and you are awake again in like 5m min. You would jump right to REM sleep in my case. Yet, it was more vivid and real then most REM sleep. That was huge and often, the crossing over between REM and reality. Lesser people probably would not have known the difference. Reality sometimes took a minute to sink in when I was alone though. I was awake, but thought I may still be in REM sleep. That was scary. It is hard to explain, but it seems in normal sleep, as you come out of REM, the dreams kind of get jumbled, sometimes ridiculous where physics dont apply.

Not so with the REM I experienced in those microsleep to abrubt total awakeness. Hi Scott Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experiences. It was interesting to hear about your microsleeps and thoughts on the blurring between dreaming and waking.

TV's Doctor Michael Mosley reveals how he defeated his sleeping problem

Something I never want to go through again. After day three, surfaces and objects in the room would shift and bend, my coffee mugs and empty cans would seem to slide around the table, and little spider legs appeared to poke out from and retreat back into the gaps between the keys on my keyboard. Hi there Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience. What inspired you to attempt a week without sleep? I have had either insomnia or hypersomnia throughout my entire life.

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Hi Mackenzie Thanks for your comment. I hope you manage to get some helpful support and advice from your physician when you see them. Brain functions such as perception, interpretation , memory, attintion span, etc. A brain that has no experience in sleep deprevation has no plan for such an account and reacts in a manner that would be expected. Which is a long term bennifit of sleep deprivation. The construction of the human mind never rests.

Then In December I went into the hospital for spinal surgery. I did not sleep the night before.

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As time progressed I could understand what was said to me but I had difficulty responding. I have a somewhat rare disease called adhesive arachnoiditis, no cure, chronic pain, and complicated by heart disease, diebetisis, severe sleep apnea.

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Approximately a year ago the VA in all their wisdom stopped my prescription of ambien, 2 night. So after 10 years it became too dangerous and was stopped. My life has been a nightmare since. They would only prescribe one a night which worked for a few days then over time sleep got more difficult back to short nights. I go days on no more than a few hours.

Hi Frank Thanks for your comment.

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I got a bit lost in the final sentence there with the typo…but I go hope you manage to get the help you need, and find something that can help you sleep better. Going for so long without good sleep is exhausting! When the underground station was get ready to open again….

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Hi David Thanks for your comment and for sharing your terrible experience. I wish you well and hope you continue to recover from this ordeal. I almost always confuse my very realistic, close-to-experience, days-long dreams, with what is real. I know those distortions I experienced were not intense hallucinations, as I have, for a period of my life, heavily used psychedelics such as lsd and psilocybin. Does anyone experience anything similar to that dream-like state, bear in mind I have been sober for almost a year?

I would like to understand more about the relationship between serotonin, sleep, thought patterns and perceptual distortions. I went through a bad time a few times when I had long periods without sleep 3 to 4 nights at a time, I tried everything natural that is. I tried reading, exercise, hypnotherapy land other herbal aids. None worked. I lost lots of weight and felt dizzy and almost jet lagged permanently.

TV's Doctor Michael Mosley reveals how he defeated his sleeping problem | Daily Mail Online

Fortunately this did get better. Yoga helped me not saying it cured it but it definitely helped me to relax. I have the odd night now but thankfully not as severe as previous. I think meditation may help lots with insomnia. Hi Lisa Thanks for your comment. I totally agree that activities like meditation and yoga can help with insomnia.

So when I find myself in those states, taking some time to do some relaxation exercises can totally change my ability to sleep that night. The short term bouts with virtually no sleep leave me feeling disconnected, sort of surreal and floating outside myself.

Whereas the mania sleep deprivation leaves me initially feeling great, euphoric and hyper focused. However, as it persists it starts to unravel.

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I start to doubt reality and lose simple abilities. It can often take some heavy medication to shake me out of a manic state. My experience convinces me that sleep is our tether to reality. I think most of us are so convinced of our sanity and our link to reality, but when you live with mental illness you come to see the fragile nature of those connections.

Hi Jeff Thanks for your interesting comment. I think sleep definitely plays a key role in helping maintain good mental health.