Sleep is an absolutely vital part of our lives. Those important hours of sleep every night give us the rest we need to power through our days, and that’s why sleep deprivation can have serious repercussions on your physical and mental state.

So when Russian scientists performed an experiment that attempted to keep people up for weeks straight, the results were absolutely chilling.

In the late 1940s, five men who were considered enemies of the state by the Russian government were chosen to take part in an experiment involving sleep deprivation. The goal was to use small doses of an experimental gas that could supposedly eliminate the need for sleep in humans.


The subjects were kept in a sealed environment so that the researchers wouldn’t be exposed to the gas, and the prisoners only had microphones to communicate with. They were provided with books, a toilet and running water, enough food to last each of them a full month, and a cot with no bedding.

For the first three days, everything went well, with the prisoners given the false promise that if they cooperated and didn’t sleep for 30 days, they would be freed. As all of their actions and dialogue were monitored, researchers noticed the prisoners opening up about past traumas. After four days, the conversations got even darker.


By the fifth day, the prisoners started exhibiting paranoia, as well as complaining about the past circumstances and decisions that brought them here. Instead of conversing with each other, they began to whisper into their microphones. Apparently, they thought that they could win the trust of the experimenters by betraying and turning in their fellow prisoners.


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