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latest news What happens if you don’t sleep for 24 hours? You are basically drunk

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Editor’s Note: This content was originally published by USA TODAY in 2017.

For students, new parents and deadlines employees, sleepless nights are nothing new. But not sleeping leaves you basically drunk, which puts you at the equivalent of a 0.1% blood alcohol level when you drive to work, make decisions, and interact with others.

“The first thing that goes is your ability to think,” said Joseph Ojile, MD, board member of the National Sleep Foundation and founder of the Clayton Sleep Institute in St. Louis. Judgment, memory, and concentration are all affected by the 17th Sleepless Hour, he says.

“We know that at 5 pm you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08%,” he said, the legal standard for drunk driving. “At 24 hours, you are at 0.1%.”

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