Excerpts from the Michael Jackson court case involving concert promoter AEG Live have revealed that the King of Pop may have suffered ‘unprecedented’ sleep loss, a scenario that would likely have led to his death even without the alleged overdose that ultimately killed him. Harvard Medical School’s Dr Charles Czeisler, testifying last week, said that the two months of sleep deprivation that Jackson experienced in the run-up to his death may be the longest a human being is known to have survived without sleep.
While Jackson was using amnestic agent Propofol and achieving a degree of light sleep, his medication usage prevented REM phase sleep - meaning that he wouldn’t have experienced the vital rejuvenating and restorative effects of full sleep and his body would be reacting to sleep deprivation.
The revelations, while extreme, serve to underline the inextricable link that good quality sleep has with health and wellbeing, along with the dangers of abusing sleep aid medication over a prolonged period of time.
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