A study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that going just 17 to 19 hours without sleep produces blood levels over the limit of being legally drunk.
Drowsiness can be an alert but many studies and my personal experiences proves an individual will can’t make you escape a lights out fall to sleep.
I remember going home on the 101 after a long shoot, really tired. I rolled down the windows. I played the radio full blast. I even thought of Brent. The next thing I knew - lights out. I heard the para-medics debate whether I was dead or alive. Now I know, you can’t will yourself to stay awake.
Studies show sleepy drivers cause at least 100,000 accidents a year. And the number may be 3 to 4 times that. No one really knows.
In the film “Who Needs Sleep”, the doctor showed testing that he was doing and said:
"We looked at patients who we deprived of sleep, over one week two hours a night. And we kept one group up just 24 hours. And then we got one group drunk. And we compared the sleepy patients with the group that got drunk and they essentially had the same performance. The sleepy people acted just like the drunk people on the driving course."
This level of cognitive failure, not playing with all your marbles, may be boastfully celebrated and bragged about but it should be discouraged on the set, in the workplace, as well as being considered deadly on the road.
If anyone wants to read a more definitive medical paper on this subject, please take the time to read this dissertation called “Sleep Deprivation: Impact On Cognitive Performance”