It is in the nature of humans that we tend to exaggerate. We exaggerate about stories, events, facts, pretty much anything that needs to be said. This is one of my many flaws; I often tend to exaggerate to emphasize the situation. One of my most common exaggerations is my standard statement: "I am an insomniac." If I have been in bed for two hours, and can't sleep, most of the time I will text one of my friends complaining about my insomnia issues. However, I am not legitimately diagnosed with this condition. Insomnia is defined as the chronic inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for an adequate length of time. One person who attempted to challenge the effects of insomnia, and more broad, sleep deprivation, was Randy Gardner.
When he was 17 years old, Gardner tried to break the Guinness World Record for the longest amount of time without sleep. He survived 264 hours. According to the article, he was basically "cognitively dysfunctional" by the end of the trial. But how exactly did he do it? As Gardner once put it, "It's mind over matter. Your body will shut down. If you don't override it with your mind, you're f***ed. You're going to sleep. You're gone." During the trial he was noted to have serious hallucinations and eventually passed out.
The bottom line is that our bodies aren't meant to survive without sleep. Insomnia is a very serious condition that needs to be treated. According to the Lilienfield textbook, successful ways in treating insomnia include psychotherapy and in some situations, Ambien, a popular sleeping pill. The video below shows the effects of what lack of sleep can have on a person.