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The Dangerous Amount Of Sleep The Cast Of Deadliest Catch Actually Get

The ocean is both a place of beauty and serenity, and one of hostility where the smallest mistakes can spell certain doom. The popular reality television show "Deadliest Catch" often focuses on the latter, and the series follows several crew aboard fishing vessels in the unforgiving waters off the coast of Alaska. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fishing and hunting workers are most likely to suffer an on-the-job death or injury, and this sector of employment is easily the most dangerous from a statistics point of view. Of course being on a boat that's been tossed and turned during an arctic storm is probably harrowing in and of itself, and leaves little room for rest.

As of this writing, "Deadliest Catch" has over 300 episodes and 18 seasons, and the show follows several crews, captains, and seafaring craft in the pursuit of snow crabs and Alaskan king crabs. These crabbing operations require not only fishers, but also support staff like medically trained personal and engineers to deal with any mechanical problems that may arise at sea. In 2020, James Gallagher, an engineer on the vessel Lady Alaska, took to Reddit during an ask-me-anything session and answered one particular question involving the amount of sleep he gets while on the job, and Gallagher's answer may come as a shock to some.

James Gallagher revealed he would stay up for 40 hours and only get 3 hours of sleep

Taking to the subreddit r/deadliestcatch, u/MiaChambo asked James Gallagher about the longest 'grind' he ever faced, and Gallagher had a relatively interesting answer. He replied, "During the Cod Derby in January I was awake for nearly 40 hours straight 3 different occasions in a 15 day season. It was my first time thrown into the engineer position so I was constantly trying to fix broken stuff. I dont think i slept more than 3 hours at time the whole season."

This is a staggering admission on the behalf of Gallagher — and to those of us without crabbing experience, seems like a pressure cooker of stress. Just think about what it must be like to constantly be working in order to keep one's boat functional, while at the same time being beset by one of the roughest oceans imaginable.

The Sleep Foundation notes that humans often require different amounts of sleep at different points in their lives, with newborns requiring 14 to 17 hours of sleep a day, while adults typically need between seven and nine hours. According to Healthline, sleep deprivation can cause many symptoms which include memory issues, irritability, trouble with concentration, and high blood pressure. Needless to say, three hours of sleep or staying up for 40 hours at a time isn't the best of ideas, and Gallagher is lucky to have come out from that particular trip relatively unscathed.