Basic cognitive functions begin breaking down after just one night of lost sleep. The question is whether you can force yourself to do the same. Travel is a big part of my job. Utilize travel time. You need to work to reset your sleep schedule to your normal one. As a general rule, almost everyone falls within this range, though. So did Salvador Dali. Get some sleep. If it's a one-time thing, it's not a big deal, but you should not sleep so little consistently. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that only 24 hours of sleep deprivation can lead to schizophrenia-like symptoms, including a skewed sense of time, altered body perception and â¦ Sleep is vital for the brain and the body to function at their best, and when a person doesnât get enough of it, their brain canât repair or build new pathways, Buysse says. 6. Drink lots of water. Now that you've finished your test, go home, and get some sleep. Learn more: No. You can't make up for all the sleep you lost, but getting a good night's sleep the next night is essential. Remember that all of the above strategies for surviving on little to no sleep are only useful over the short termâthere is no long-term strategies to effectively function on little or no sleep. How to Stop Tossing and Turning at Night. 7 hours is the minimum required for most adults to function fully and avoid physical and mental deterioration over time (8 hours for teenagers, 9 hours for children). In order to sleep less, people would need to sleep betterâthat is, more efficiently, with more intense REM states, Tafti explains, which appears â¦ They survived the day with a few hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation can occur after just 24 hours of no sleep, and the symptoms become more severe the more time you spend awake. Margaret Thatcher did it. Not getting enough sleep consistently causes a sleep deficit. A good rule of thumb is that your biological need for sleep will eventually prevail, and you donât want this to lead to an accident. Know what the minimum amount of sleep you can still function with is and make an effort to allow yourself that time. Aside from drinking caffeine (in moderation), try these 10 other techniques in order to function on that suboptimal amount of sleep you had the night before. 1. Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window) ... Thankfully, sleep experts have your step-by-step game plan for powering through the following day â¦ READ MORE. Try to avoid sleeping in for more than 9 hours and waking up with less than 7 hours of sleep since this may disrupt your sleep â¦ Some people function just fine with 7 hours of sleep while other people may need up to 9 hours of sleep.