We can fight off the sandman for a while, but after a certain point, sleeplessness leads to temporary madness and—just maybe—death, reports the BBC.

Any healthy individual planning to find out through personal experimentation will find it tough going. “The drive to sleep is so strong it will supersede the drive to eat,” says Erin Hanlon, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago’s Sleep, Metabolism and Health Centre. “Your brain will just go to sleep, despite all of your conscious efforts to keep it at bay.”