He set a record by staying 264 hours without sleeping/ Here's what happened next to American Randi Gardner

2023-05-03 11:34:00, Kuriozitete CNA

He set a record by staying 264 hours without sleeping/ Here's what happened

Some people have a crazy penchant for setting special records that warrant their name in the Guinness Book of Records. To do this, they commit extreme acts that can even endanger their lives. Something similar happened to a young man who experimented on himself, not sleeping for 264 hours and set a record.

Although the experiment was successful, it still faces severe side effects today, even after 50 years. Randi Gardner and Bruce McAllister were on Christmas vacation. They were aiming to come up with a great idea for their project to present at the school science fair.

Their initial idea was to see if insomnia could enhance human paranormal abilities. But they soon realized that such a concept lacked credibility. So they decided to look at the effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive abilities and performance during a basketball game.

The boys decided that one of them would stay awake and the other would monitor him. After a heads up coin was tossed, it was decided that Randy would stay awake and Bruce would monitor him. But at first they didn't realize that to monitor one, the other would also have to stay awake. Things got out of hand when, after three sleepless nights, Bruce woke up momentarily to find himself leaning against the wall writing on it. For this reason, they decided to include another friend, Xhoi Marciano, in the experiment.

Word of their experiment reached William Dement, a sleep researcher at Stanford University. Intrigued by their idea, Dement joined the particular experiment. At the time Dement was the only one who had done a study on sleep.

So Randi's parents were very relieved that he was included in the experiment. However, the 2 friends and the researcher were concerned that Randi could die as a result of extreme sleep deprivation. But previous animal experiments had yielded mixed results.

One study successfully kept cats awake for 15 days straight, but some skeptics said the chemicals were to blame for their insomnia, not lack of sleep. Thankfully, the teenagers did not use any of the stimulants that are in vogue today like Dexedrine or Benzedrine, which could have further confounded the results.

Instead, they relied on occasional consumption of Coca-Cola. By January 8, 1964, 17-year-old Randi Gardner had gone 11 days and 25 minutes without sleep. The previous record holder was a Honolulu radio DJ who managed to go 260 hours without sleep. Randi had beaten that record by a considerable margin. After staying awake for 264 hours, Randi finally laid down to sleep and did so for 14 straight hours. When he woke up, he was still groggy for a few minutes, but then quickly returned to normal. He even went to school as if it were a normal day.

After breaking the record by staying awake for 11 consecutive days and nights, the results of the tests he did at a local hospital were sent to Arizona for further studies. Doctors discovered that his brain was out of tune. Some parts of him that were asleep while other parts were awake.

This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, since in the past humans likely stayed awake for long periods. Although many people tried to break Rand's record in the following years, the Guinness Book of Records stopped certifying such attempts, considering them too dangerous for people's health.

Randi herself did not seem to suffer from any serious side effects. But he later reported that he struggled with insomnia for years. Today, when he is a little over 70 years old, Randi regrets being part of this experiment. Because he suffers from a severe form of insomnia.

Even the smallest things annoy him, and he understands how much of a problem this is for the people close to him. He advises everyone not to stay up past the normal time when they should be asleep. The nagging effects of 11 days without sleep have extreme consequences on him, even after 50 years. According to many media reports, Gardner's record has been broken several times. However, his case remains notable due to extensive documentation./ Adapted from CNA.al

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