The experiment ended schoolboy who had not slept for 11 days
• How did the student experiment that had not slept for 11 days
At the end of 1963 in the US on radio twist The Beach Boys, the United States is gradually being drawn into the war in Vietnam, high school students have a rest during the Christmas holidays, and two teenagers are planning an experiment that will attract the attention of the whole country.
The experiment ended January 8, 1964: 17-year-old Randy Gardner spent without sleep for 11 days and 25 minutes. Bruce McAllister, one of two high school students - authors of the experiment, said that this project came up because of the simple need to spend at least some science experiment. With adolescence inherent creativity and fearlessness Bruce and Randy decided to beat the record of wakefulness, which at the time put the DJ from Honolulu. He had not slept 260 hours.
"First, we wanted to examine how insomnia affects paranormal abilities. Then we realized that we did not succeed, and decided to learn how lack of sleep affects the cognitive capacity and efficiency on the basketball court, "- said McAllister.
To find out who will be the guinea pig, the boys threw a coin. And fortunately Bruce, this lot fell to Randy.
"We were idiots. I did not sleep, to keep an eye on Randy. And after three sleepless nights I woke up when he wrote notes directly on the wall ", - said McAllister.
Teens realized that they needed a third person, and have asked for help from friend Joe Marciano. And later they were joined professional - researcher sleep problems William Dement of Stanford University.
"I was probably the only person on earth who at the time was engaged in the study of sleep," - said William Dement. Now Dement - professor, and in 1964 he took his first steps into another new field of sleep. He read about the experiment, students in San Diego newspaper and decided to help them, to the delight of parents, Randy.
"Randy's parents were very concerned that the experiment may harm him. Because at that time we did not know whether the lack of sleep will lead to death. "
McAllister argued that their experiment did not affect the chemicals.
"Randy occasionally drank a little bit of cola, but of Dexedrine, Benzedrine and other psychostimulants out of the question."
By the time when Dement arrived in San Diego, the experiment has lasted for several days, and Randy was optimistic. However, the further experiment was the more surprising results were detected. Randy periodically tested for the ability to taste and smell, to distinguish between sounds and after a while began to notice the deviation. McAllister recalled that Randy began to speak: "Do not make me smell it, can not stand the smell." Surprisingly, playing basketball skills had improved, although this could be attributed to the fact that he spent much time on the court, not to sleep.
"He was in good physical shape. We forced him to play basketball or taken to a bowling alley. If he closed his eyes, he would immediately fall asleep "- Dement said.
As the experiment continued, the media attention to it is gaining momentum. At one point the experiment was the third largest in the US press - after the Kennedy assassination, and soon The Beatles. However, according to McAllister, most of the experiment was treated as a prank schoolchildren. But the participants were serious. In the end, after 264 hours without sleep record was broken, and the experiment ended. But instead to give Randy a good sleep, he was taken to a naval hospital to examine brain function. "He slept for 14 hours, which is not surprising, and woke up because wanted to use the toilet. During the first night of REM sleep it had lasted very long. Then began to gradually decrease and become normal, "- said McAllister.
"And then he got up and went to school. It was awesome, "- said Dement.
The results of the study from the hospital were sent to the Arizona Science Center. It was concluded that the brain is constantly Randy fell into sleep and out of it. Some parts of the brain were asleep, others awake.
"It was not the first person who did not sleep more than one night. Apparently, the human brain in the process of evolution has learned to cope with it, giving certain parts of the rest. This explains the fact that with him nothing bad will happen, "- said McAllister.
Many people have tried to break this record, but Guinness World Records refused to register these attempts, believing it could be dangerous to health.
11 days without sleep seemed to have not affected the well-being Randy. Although he later said he suffered from insomnia over several years. Immediately after the experiment, students held a press conference. The guy who had not slept for 11 days, was able to philosophize on the theme of experience.
"This is a victory of the spirit over the body," - he said.