Do You Know the Truth Behind the Terrifying Russian Sleep Experiment?

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If I am asked what is that one thing that I could do endlessly? I would say sleep. Sleeping is an inseparable and essential part of my life and yours as well. According to the doctors and the WHO itself, sleeping for 6 to 8 hours is essential for a sound mind and a fit body. Now, what if you are asked to stay awake for not a day or a week but for a month? I can resonate with your thoughts on this, such a silly question I asked, how can a person not sleep for as long as a month? Well, what if I say that an experiment in Russia exactly did this to five of the prisoners. Scary! Want to know what exactly happened? Then scroll down to get all the deets.

All About the Russian Sleep Experiment

When the 1940s was coming to an end, an experiment took place. An experiment that still makes us think what all humans can do to attain what they want. This experiment was being conducted by some Russian researchers and their subjects were 5 prisoners. During those days, experiments were conducted on the prisoners and this is what happened to them. These researchers had discovered a stimulant gas that was capable of keeping humans awake. The researchers believed that if this experiment becomes a success, humans would no longer have to succumb to the need of sleep and as a result of which they will become more productive.

russian sleep experiment

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Now, let's get back to these prisoners. They were told that if they go without sleeping for 30 days, they will be set free and all charges against them will be taken back. This urged the prisoners to nod to become the subjects of this experiment. Once they agreed to the conditions of the researchers, they were locked in an airtight chamber after being dosed with a stimulant gas. This experiment was all about knowing the effects of sleep deprivation. In order to keep a tab of their behavior, they were observed through two-way mirrors. Even conversations of these five prisoners were recorded through electronic monitoring. 

Here is What All Happened During the Russian Sleep Experiment

  • For the first 5 days, nothing happened. But with the passage of time, they stopped talking to each other and started to bemoan in their microphones about each other so that they could get the appreciation of the researchers.   
  • By the 9th day, the screaming began. And, screaming was just the beginning. Subjects were seen walking in the chamber for hours without stopping. Some of them were so frustrated that they tore the pages of books given to them for reading and smeared it with their feces to paste it on the mirror glass of the chamber. They wanted nobody to see their actions and then a day came when they completely stopped talking. No sound was heard from the chamber for at least 3 days. To test them, they were warned to stay away from the door of the chamber as they were about to open it. When the researchers said that if any of them tries to run away, they will end up losing the chance of getting free. To this, they answered that they no longer wished to be free.
  • Many days passed without any contact and the researchers were scared to death. This is when, on the 15th day, they decided to abort the experiment. They flushed out the experimental stimulant gas of the room and filled it with fresh air, in order to make them feel better. But instead of feeling better they started to scream in fear. When the armed forces were called and the chamber was opened. Everyone was intimidated for what they saw was a spine-chilling sight. One of the prisoners was dead and lying in a pool of blood with his body completely torn apart. When they saw the other prisoners, they noticed that they were also hurt severely and the wounds were completely self-inflicted. They had torn apart their abdomen and emboweled themselves with their own hands.   

russian sleep experiment

  • When the researchers had a close look, they noticed that these subjects didn't just hurt each other, but had eaten their own flesh as well. When they were tried to be taken out of the chamber, they fought back with aggression and said they were scared of sleeping and wanted to remain in the chamber with the stimulant gas on. All were startled to see how lifeless bodies like theirs were fighting with such aggression.
  • Still, they were taken out and hospitalized. One of them were anesthetized, to which he reacted so violently that he broke all his bones and tore all his muscles as a result of which he died.
  • After what happened to this subject, the other three were treated cautiously by the doctor by giving them no sedatives at all. During the operation, they didn't shout with pain but laughed hysterically.
  • Once everything was done and settled, the researchers came together to euthanize themselves in order to demolish each and every trace of the horrifying experiment, but their commanding officer wanted something else out of them. He commanded them to resume the experiment and this time they too had to join the remaining three inmates who survived this experiment. Hearing this, the chief researcher lost all control and shot his commanding officer and the other researchers point blank.
  • This didn't end here, he shot dead all the remaining three inmates as well. When they were dying, one of them bemoaned this: "so…. nearly….. free….".

Reality Check

Every human being requires at least 6-8 hours of sleep to stay fit and active. Sleeping less than that causes a lot of diseases and dealing with them is not at all easy.

russian sleep experiment

Due to some reason or the other, even we suffer from insomnia for a few days and that does make us feel annoyed and weak, but is it possible for a human being to kill and eat another one if they are wide awake for a month? Can you become a man-eater if something of this sort happens to you? The answer to this will certainly be a ‘no'. So, did this experiment over-exaggerate or is it all a lie? Here is the answer. 

This Experiment Never Took Place

While this story makes up for a really good Hollywood horror fiction, scientific studies and pieces of research don't back this story. According to them, it never took place and whatever is being said about it is nothing but just a "work of fiction". So, any scope of any such thing happening goes straight to the bin.

russian sleep experiment

Now, you must be thinking can anybody really stay sane without sleeping? Well, they can, at least for some time. Here is that one person who did it.

The World Record

As of now, this experiment is considered to be nothing but a hoax. There is no world record of any person who has not slept for such a long time, except just one person who made it till the 18th day.

russian sleep experiment

England's Maureen Weston is the only one who holds the record till now for not sleeping for the most number of days. And, she didn't show any signs of being a cannibal or eating her own flesh.

So, that was all about this piece. Do let us know in the comments section below what you think of this article and how scared you are after reading this.

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