“The more difficult answer to this question revolves around the definition of “awake.” As mentioned above, prolonged sleep deprivation in normal subjects induces altered states of consciousness (often described as “microsleep”), numerous brief episodes of overwhelming sleep, and loss of cognitive and motor functions”.
Sleep deprivation is not recommended. It affects memory, learning, mood and cardiovascular health along with altering your immune functions.
There is no definitive answer due to scientific research ethics. Experiments have been done where subjects stayed awake for up to ten days in a row. The world record however, belongs to Randy Gardner who supposedly stayed awake for 264 hours (11 days). This record was set when he was 17 years old in 1965, and was done for a science-fair project. Not getting enough sleep can be a very serious problem as sleep debt gathers over time, so it is not recommended to attempt to stay awake as long as you can.
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