I have had the opportunity to experience sleep deprivation before. Twice.

The first time, I had been awake for 5 days. Looking back, loss of mental acuity. Loss of fine motor control – I really had to concentrate to accomplish fine work that required attention to detail. I stopped eating, but was plenty thirsty. Very irritable. Quick to anger.

The second time, I was awake much longer. 9 days. Not going to go into the “why” of it, but I was to the point where I entered a twilight daze, just stumbling around, not really aware of my surroundings. Forming thoughts and speaking coherently was an effort. It was agony. Mental agony. And pain. Physical pain. Hallucinations, both auditory and visual. Memory loss. No more irritability, but then, I was just a zombie anyways… you could have probably put a lit cigarette out on the back of my hand and I wouldn’t have cared…

I remember reading somewhere that the human version of Mad Cow causes terminal insomnia. The virus eats holes in your brain and destroys your ability to sleep and enter REM, so as you deteriorate mentally from the virus, you’re not sleeping at all. At some point, once you’ve passed into and through the hallucination stage, it is probable you will drop dead from exhaustion. But, this takes a couple weeks to happen…

The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1