Thanks guys, for all the great ideas on how to improve Standard Poodle Safari. I especially like the thought of a daily “running of the poodles” stampede through the streets. Dangerous! Many other excellent suggestions, as well… Keep ’em coming.
And before I get to today’s questionable subject, I’d like to alert you to a fun new site co-created by our friend Jason Headley. It’s a good idea taken to the next level. Check it out. Are you presidential? Unfortunately, I fall a few electoral votes short, at 194. I guess I still have some work to do?
Now for the main topic… I’d like to know the greatest number of hours you’ve ever stayed awake. You know, in a row.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much to report on this one. I’ve never done drugs, or been in the military, or gone through medical school… And those are the obvious scenarios for sleepless marathons, right? Speed and/or extreme vocational requirements?
The only time I went for a “long” period without sleep, was when I was a kid and wanted to see how long I could maintain. My friend Mike spent the night with me, and we decided to stay up all night, and see how far into the next day we could make it.
Yeah, and the staying up all night part was easy. We watched old movies until they went off, then started playing poker. I had two boxes of poker chips when I was a youngling, and we liked to pretend we were Vegas high-rollers, etc. No problem making it till morning….
Somewhere during the night we did experience a minor bump in the road, and began dragging a bit. But a second-wind kicked in and we were fully awake and alert when my Dad got up, and started getting ready for work.
I remember watching the farm report, at a ridiculously early hour of the day I’d rarely experienced before. The farm report! What in the shit-flecked heck? I had a feeling Mike and I were the only two people watching that show, and I bet I wasn’t too far off.
After breakfast we launched into a normal day, and I felt great. We went walking around town (roaming aimlessly, one of our favorite pastimes), and everything was completely normal. I wasn’t tired in the least. I was starting to have thoughts about making it another 24 hours. I was confident we could do it, without much trouble.
But in the afternoon my entire world collapsed. We were bowling, at Dunbar Lanes, and my brain started betraying me. I think I was hallucinating a little (the hotdog carousel was levitating), and I felt really, really weird. Not so much tired, as drugged or something.
I remember it was my turn to bowl, and I nearly blacked-out during the approach. I almost fell asleep during the physical act of bowling; I’m lucky my head didn’t plunge down the ball return.
It was quite unpleasant, and I was foundering greatly while walking home. Mike was cheering me on, trying to keep me from giving in to sleep, promising a third-wind was right around the corner.
But I was done. I felt sick, not sleepy, and walked into our house without really saying goodbye to my friend. I went upstairs to my room, collapsed on the bed, and slept until early the next morning (I think I saw the farm report again).
This full collapse happened around 4 o’clock, so I’d only been up for about 31 hours, or so. Pretty lame, huh? But that shit kicked my ass. And I can’t remember ever going so long, since.
What about you? I’m sure most of you can beat my pathetic record. Tell us about it in the comments, won’t you?
And I’ll be back tomorrow.
Have a great day, my friends!
The Qweezy Mark says
WB in OH says
The Qweezy Mark says
BTW. Not totally sleepless but serious insomnia for 9 months. Nooooo shit.
If I don’t get to sleep the moment being tired hits me I become the Hulk and nobody wants to be around me. The same is true if I get woken up, or if I don’t get enough adequate sleep time through the night. I will be sick, feel lousy and be a raving bitch lunatic to anyone who comes near me.
I have never had insomnia and think I would kill myself if I did have it. No joke, I LOVE my sleep!
I say 31 hours is respectable. I’m somewhere around 40 I think. It was only a couple of months ago, but I don’t really recall when I went to bed.
I remember another time driving after being up for 36 ours and not realizing that I had run a red light until I was a good couple of hundred yards past it. I was pretty much driving like I was drunk, just without the fun part.
I went home and went to bed.
Jerry in WV says
At least 48 hours, possibly longer, when we were put on alert when I was in the USAF. Many times I went days with 3 or 4 hours of sleep thrown in every 24 hours or so.
I would’ve been first but the shagometer distracted me.
I stayed awake for 48 hours once on accident. I just didn’t get tired and I didn’t think about sleeping. I was in Germany for the first time, but I wasn’t drinking or doing drugs or anything. I just didn’t feel like sleeping.
I’ve stayed up for 24 hours many times for various reasons such as guard duty, partying, playing PS3 all damn weekend. Other bullshit reasons, like driving and what not.
None of my sleepless marathons were due to any drug use other than crysta…caffeine.
The longest period without sleep was when I was working in the FEMA truck yard for my Hurricane Katrina duty. I was up and moving about for between 72 and 96 hours. We were the first ones there, so we had to set up all the operations bases, aid distribution points, security, all of it. It was sleepless day 3 when I was driving a forklift moving stuff around. I was sitting on the lift and lit a cigarette. When I took it out of my mouth, the other cigarette I was smoking (that I forgot existed) fell in my lap. I was so tired/delusional that I forgot I had started smoking one and immediately lit another one. Oh yeah, I am a smoker in uniform only. I don’t know what it is about the uniform.
I think people would be amazed at the power of the sun. When staying up for days at a time, make sure, no matter what, be outside when the sun rises. No shit. It is revitalizing. It’s like getting life potion or something.
So if you are on alert, duty, or get stuck driving (I don’t know why you wouldn’t be outside while driving) or something; make sure you see the sun rise.
Not only is it nice to say that you defeated the night, but It perks you up too.
Longest time sleepless? Hmm… maybe just a shade shorter than this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Machinist
Big Bear in OH says
3 days or so… Finals week freshman year of college…11:00 pm history final, 6 am political science final, 5 pm English final and a 10 am roman civilization final… No sleep, no drugs, just good old fashioned caffeine binges and fear of failure.
I am with Melissa. Even in my days of serious drug use I would not be awake for more that 24 hours usually. Of course when I was taking acid all bets were off, you just can’t sleep on that stuff. Stupid stupid girl i was.
I have a lot of sleepless stories. The first time I remember hallucinating was because of sleeplessness. I was driving down a road and it turned into a long human female arm. The reflector lights in the street became bracelets that kept falling off the back of the arm.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
Travelling overseas is usually the cause of sleeplessness for me. I’ve gone about 28 or 29 hours in a row awake a few times while heading over to Europe. I don’t tend to be able to fall asleep on airplanes.
I just scored a 301 on the shag map. Do I have to become the president now or something? I don’t wanna be president, because there is always someone looking over your shoulder criticizing everything you do. It’s like having a fast food job, and the bitchy night-manager is Sarah Palin.
For me, probably about 24 hours…drug induced. Which preceded to ruin and waste the following day. Not worth it.
I am a complete mess without enough sleep. My patience wears very thin. I feel achey and get “cold-like” symptoms…like I coming down with something. A good night’s sleep usually cures that. Not to mention my eyes look like two pee holes in the sand. Not pretty.
Oh yeah, the shag map. I have been to all but 14 states. And my score, not that, great. I don’t get enough doin’ it goin’ on in the places I’ve been; a paltry 145. California and Illinois gave me that much.
Shiny Rod says
Longest period of no sleep = 84 hours – stood two consecutive at-sea watches for 48 of them and then the other 36 hours on liberty rampaging around Hawaii bar hopping. Came back to ship and crashed for 12 hours and was up again at 6:00 am to start in on another day.
Presidential score = 288
In grad school it wasn’t uncommon to go 36 hours with little or no sleep, but who’d want to do it intentionally? I like sleep. A LOT. I’m a grumpy bitch when I’m sleepy and, frankly, that’s not good for anyone.
JeffInDenver (InCleveland) says
Roughly 110 hours, in the early 90’s, ummmm…. “assisted.” Started talking to people who weren’t there. Knew they couldn’t be there while I was talking to them. Decided it was time to quit that particular “assistance.” Slept for three days after, only occasionally getting up to use the bathroom, or stand in front of the fridge, eating.
Davey Dog says
Had a similar experience to the sleeping-while-bowling incident during a 24 hour adventure race — mind was falling asleep while my body was still trucking along paddling the canoe. Hallucination central! Almost fell out of the boat. I find it really scary that so many people in the military are asked to make life or death decisions in these conditions. They can’t ALL be tougher than me.
Had a regular useless day at work. headed home for dinner but got called back in because of a serious technical error. Spent the next 20 hours trying to restore a production database and re-typing in orders lost the day before. I drove home after ~33 hours of no sleep and continuous work; drove off the side of the road – luckily very slowly.
Generally my family motto is ‘never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can lay down’.
Rat Bastard says
This should come as no surprise to some of you here, but I’ve done somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 or 4 days awake more than once, and I don’t really remember the details all that well. Chemically fueled mayhem with alcohol to take the edge off.
I *almost* made it to the Presidential level on the shag map. Maybe if I had visited Texas or something…
Woke up at 7am to go to work.
Left Ottawa at 5pm that day, heading to Cape Hatteras.
Drove all night (did all the driving myself.)
Start drinking as soon as I see the ocean.
Arrive at our rental house in the OBX around 10am.
Continue drinking until 5am.
Total: 46 hours awake
Jersey Don says
I’ve had my share of sleepless days and nights. Some fooled by amphet… er, caffeine, some by sleepless babies and by work deadlines.
Once in college, I was making up multiple accounting homeworks. I took a pill when I got up Saturday morning, and spent all day Saturday, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon doing accounting spreadsheets. This was pre-PC days; it was all manual. My girlfriend (now my wife) calls to say that she and her parents are coming to take me out to dinner. I was pretty much a basket-case at that point, so I figure a few slugs of bourbon would calm me down. By the time we met at the restaurant, I was gone. An amphet… er, caffeine jag, a “few slugs” of bourbon, followed by wine at dinner, I poured myself home.
There was a kid at my school who stayed up for 7 days straight because he was trying to beat the world record of 11 days. His friends would stay over in shifts to make sure he stayed awake, and he did, but the 7th night I think he passed out and could not be woken up, he slept for 3 days straight.
I, on the other hand, have only made it about 30 hours also. Even during some trippy times I’ve only made it until 7 am.
I love sleeping…I don’t like when people say to me, “You can sleep when your dead!”…no, you’ll be dead when your dead.
I stayed up for about 36 hours once during a “Relay for Life” event. Every couple hours you had to take your turn walking. After being up for 24+ hrs, it was my turn to serve breakfast in the concession stand……needless to say, I don’t remember much about that……except a lot of laughing with the other sleep deprived people serving pancakes!
hot fuzz says
Jeff – I think we’re tied at best – The most I’ve ever missed at one time has been one night (yeah I know,,,,what a party animal) during band trips (this one time, at band camp…); Implementations at work; transatlantic flights; a few parties over the years; and during the birth of the boy and girl. I’d feel like crap towards the end but recovered after a few hours I sure as hell wouldn’t do it by choice now though.
I love naps – MY GOD but I love naps. Especially outside. A nice day, in the shade, gentle breeze, in a shaded garden swing, full belly, no noise, cool enough for a blanket… yay…
I’m on a med now that really drains me at about 4:12 pm every day. I get really tired really quickly and start to fade and lose tra
Army Basic Training kicked my ass too. Before going I was afraid of the exercise, cause I am a fat ass by nature…and by bread. But that was the easy part. They murder your sleep habits there. I still have my smart book, all the basic soldier tasks and skill in a continent 3 pound book that is supposed to fit in your pocket. I have some incredibly delirious writings in its margins.
Some such as: “My gun should get out of my bullets way.”; “These ghost spot on my brain lead.”; “Make love to the little black dots.”; “Gas masks look good in red.”, and my favorite, “Don’t throw grenades at the dragon running at you.”
Probably about 46 hours, no reason, just couldn’t sleep. I average 2 1/2 to 3 hours sleep per day. Can’t sleep at night, usually crash from 9 AM til around noon. And no one in my family will wake me when I do manage to sleep, I wake up swinging at anyone dumb enough to be near me.
The longest I’ve gone was around 60 hours back in grad school… woke up on a Wednesday morning at 8:00am, and didn’t get to sleep until Friday night.
Things started getting really weird by the end of it… someone walked behind me in the computer lab, and I panicked, because in my head I thought I was at my desk at home. I think I was also getting irregular heart palpitations, and all of my joints became sore. Fortunately, I was back to normal after about 12 hours of sleep.
Dave's not here, man says
I’ve gone about 40 or so hours, not too much, but then it hits me hard. I’m gettiing old.
I did see a documentary on 48 hours or some other show where a guy actually died because he could not sleep. They filled him up with as much drugs as they could, but that would only knock him out for an hour or so. What a terrible way to go!
I was up for about 3 days once from a Cortisone shot. God what an awful feeling.
I sleep very solidly for about 4 hours, then wide awake, then doze for a while until I get up for work. I have terrible sleep habits, but also vivid dreams so it works.
I get headaches when I wake up from naps.
@Icecycle – So do I sometimes, I don’t know why.
When I nap I wake up feeling more groggy and tired than when I layed down. I try to avoid naps but there are times when I am either very bored, or sick that they are necessary.
My problem with naps is even with alarms (like I said, I HATE being woken up) I can’t sleep for less than two hours. Some people claim to be able to take 10 minute ‘power naps’ but I have no idea what they are talking about. 10 minutes of sleep is impossible for me.
I don’t get that either, how can you even fall asleep in 10 minutes? Takes me at least an hour.
Probably around 36 hrs or so in high school or college.
I remember my first time ever was when my best friend was turning 11 or 12 or so. We stayed up all night I was probably up at 7 the previous morning and crashed hard at 10 am on my parents living room floor. I slept all afternoon and didn’t go to the movies with my mom and brother for his birthday (I still feel bad about missing that). That was only 27 hrs or so.
I know in high scool and college I did more.
Since then, probably not.
I can sleep on a plane like a champ.
TX Dave says
Worked in hazmat spill response and went 54-60 hours several times. We’d be working all day, then get an emergency response call which meant an all night drive and 24-48 hours of spill containment before we could rest or get relief. I remember a train derailment in upstate New York that was at least 60 hours. Time blurs after 48 hours for me…
Lester Bangs says
104 hours. Got up Sunday morning, went to bed Thursday night. Working on a programming project for school and working two jobs. During that stretch, I spent 24 hours in one chair, only getting up to piss and drink from a water fountain that was next to the bathroom.
Along about the 90 hour mark, I began to see roaches the size of dates (the fruit, not the social function) crawling around my monitor. Freaky.
Went to bed, slept for 16 hours. The worst part of all of it was my eyes. They burned like there was cat piss in them.
About 5 days. Drug induced, not much fun after a while, I thought I’d died and was in the atheist version of Purgatory. How could I know I *hadn’t* died, we don’t know what death is like, do we? For days… I don’t do that any more.
Today I’m a wreck if I don’t get 8 hours sleep.
@Lester: Piss in your eyes?! You kinky bastard.
@Lester: I thought you said you drank piss from those fountains. Then I re-read your comment and realized my mistake. For a second there I thought you must have been REALLY out of it!
38 hours…I was part of a Pit Crew for a friend in a 24Hours Motor Race, bloody car needed gas every 2 hours or so and driver changes…..that was a long day night day.
Like everyone else in the military, I’ve been up 40+ hrs due to alerts. I think my longest time up was ~92 hrs but I don’t think it counts since I had a 20 minute nap in the car at one point and 15 mins of sleep on the plane.
“I’m on a med now that really drains me at about 4:12 pm every day.”
Fuzz, are you sure that’s not 4:20?
Les, one reason I don’t call myself Buddha or Jesus on this site is my respect for the other Reporters’ spiritual beliefs. Just don’t sully that name and we’ll be fine.
I’ll not report my sleepless hours nor my presidential score. I’m afraid both have been the victim of a little memory loss or gain today, and I don’t wish to compound the felony. (Actually, we could bargain it down to a gross misdemeanor, but it would involve some community service time).
I will say that I have been in the infotec business for 35 years, and there have been some long, long stretches at work. In I/T, the long marches are generally in three classes:
1) Conversions, migrations, upgrades, installs
2) Big-ass outages
3) Disaster recovery tests
All three will help one realize the virtue of a 20 minute nap. About halfway through a BAO (2), maybe 36 hours in, I made a food run for the team. I fell asleep in the drive-through line at a KFC and the guy behind me bumped my car because his horn wasn’t waking me up.
As for my feeling about sleep, I’m with my man, Warren Zevon: I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
Chuck in Belpre says
Zevon IS dead…so take a fuckin nap!
Back in the mid 80s when I was a night security guard (12AM-8AM shift) I used to grab double shifts on major holidays for extra cash. There was one time that one of those planned double shifts turned into a triple shift when the next guy to relieve me called with car problems, and since I was shift supervisor I had to cover the vacancy (the guy had covered for me before, so I was happy to help out).
Anyway, I remember that about half way through the third shift I noticed some guy had just got one of those Far Side desk calendars, so I started flipping through the pages and ran across one that I thought was the funniest thing I’d ever seen in my life. You know, one of those laughing so hard you can’t breathe kind of funny. After that point just about anything was funny.
After work, I started nodding off about half way home and swerving so badly that I nearly swerved into some road construction. At that point I pulled off into a housing development under construction just up the road and napped for a while in the driver’s seat, then drove the rest of the way home.
Figure that if I got up about 4 hours before my planned extra shift (I’d take the extra 4-12 AM shift before my usual one), I was up for about 29-30 hours. Not much compared to some of the posts, but that was the longest single stretch awake that I ever did.
Interesting question . I’m a 19D (Cavalry Scout) so we tend to not get any sleep…BUT…my hours for staying awake, militarily wise, would be:
37 hours on an OP in Iraq,
28 hours on a LP in Afghanistan,
46 hours doing PSD for a 4 star General.
and a millennium wondering what the hell is going on with this world. The acronyms are confusing but hey, what isn’t!
Pass the fucking beer nuts!
Mountain Dew, Tylenol, and, Milky Ways would help too…
I don’t know. My earlier years lifestyle would certainly point to many. Hours on the road driving to the next gig, (sometimes 16 hours after being up all day and playing the gig and then striking the stage and loading equipment into the our four vans, get there, set up, (shower, maybe) and then do opening night for five sets and six hours on adrenaline and then take four hours to wind down. Later on we found substitutes for adrenaline….and took longer to wind down. Never logged it…dunno?