Can you die from lack of sleep

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A: Maybe indirectly. The strongest evidence is for an increased risk of accidental death.

Your brain goes woolly, your limbs feel like lead, and the smallest mishaps make you intensely cranky. But do the ill effects go deeper than that? Can lack of sleep be enough to kill you?

At least one popular television show has suggested it can. The scriptwriters on the fictional American TV show House MD went as far as suggesting death was inevitable after precisely 10 days without sleep – a plot device that reportedly sent insomniacs across the United States into a flurry of anxiety.

So is lost sleep something to... lose sleep over?

Yes and no, says Sydney sleep researcher Dr Nathaniel Marshall.