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January 12th, 2015

Answer for question 4190.

What is the longest you've ever had to go without sleep? Why?
There have been a number of long times I have had to go without sleep. Most have been because of work, involuntary or due to travelling. But possibly the longest was when I was unemployed.

Back in the luxurious decadent times of the 1990s when I had a flat of my own and no job, I spent most of my time idling away life playing computer games on my trusty Amiga 1200 and watching X-Files.

Of course, not having a job to wake up for, one exciting day I chose to stay up for as long as I could and play computer games.

As I had woke up late in the afternoon anyway, I spent the first 24 hours successfully mooching about killing things and watching Duchovny and Anderson ham their way through series one and two. However, midway through the 26th hour my phone rang.

I had a little side line in doing the occasional "as required" evening at a bar, a bar that was known to have lock-ins. The phone call was from the manageress asking if I was available to work for a function that evening. Being low on cash and still full of beans (of the instant coffee variety) I thought that it would be a good idea to do a couple of hours there. So it wasn't any surprise that by twist of fate it turned out that I sacrificed my hours of killing stuff and ended up nipping out to work.

Of course things are not as clear cut as they seem. The function was an Irish function. Anyone of Irish decent will tell you that Irish functions go on forever. Anyone that has worked in an Irish bar will tell you that the bar only closes when the last person leaves.

36 hours later I was knackered but I managed to get out at a reasonable hour. Something like 2am in the morning I managed to get home. I got into my pyjamas and crawled into bed, switching out the light. With my head on the pillow and my eyes closing the doorbell rang. Looking out of the window it was 3 of my friends on their way back from a night out on the town laden with kebab.

It wasn't until 5am that I managed to get to bed again and it wasn't until 2 days later that I felt back to my normal self. The lesson I learnt? Never plan a 48 hour gaming fest without disconnecting the phone first!

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