What’s the longest time you’ve tried to stay awake?
A day? 2 days? Try 11 (well, maybe don’t, you’ll find out why shortly).
Randy Gardner is a man from San Diego, California, who set the world record for the longest period of time a person has gone without sleep in 1965.
He was a high school student at the time and decided to attempt the record as part of a science fair project. He was supervised by Dr. William C. Dement, a sleep researcher at Stanford University.
They weren’t kidding when they said life was simpler in the old days, I mean, a high school student attempting the extreme end of sleep deprivation as a science fair project, sounds neat!
Gardner began his attempt on January 8, 1965, and managed to stay awake for 264 hours, or 11 days and 24 minutes.
During this time, he was monitored by Dr. Dement and a team of researchers, who recorded his physical and mental state throughout the experiment.
The experiment showed that Gardner's cognitive abilities began to decline after about the first 72 hours of being awake. He experienced hallucinations, memory lapses, and irritability, and his reaction time slowed down.
He had trouble with simple arithmetic, and his attention span became shorter. He was exhausted, had trouble speaking, and was visibly disoriented.
After the experiment, Gardner was able to return to normal sleep patterns, and the long-term effects of his sleep deprivation were not severe. However, Gardner later detailed experiencing serious insomnia decades after his sleep deprivation experiment.
It’s not safe or advisable for anyone to attempt to go without sleep for such a long period of time. It’s not recommended to go without sleep for that long, as it can have serious negative effects on a person's health and well-being.
But you don’t need us to tell you why from what you’ve just read!
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