2008
03.21

The Sun man Nick Francis writes:

“My sleep deprivation plan was sparked by University of California boffin Dr Jerry Siegel, who last week claimed humans can survive with NO shut-eye – and that we only go to bed at night because we once used to hide from predators after dark.

But in just 72 hours The Sun proved that a good night’s sleep doesn’t just make us feel better, it’s one of life’s necessities.

Armed with just my computer – and a few gallons of coffee – I forced myself to stay awake for three days and nights on the trot at The Sun’s London offices. I recorded my progress in a diary and online video blog.”

Andy comments:

We were asleep on our feet

Sleep deprivation goes with the territory in the military.

In one SAS exercise, Escape And Evasion, you go on the run for seven days and nights.

For the first three or four days the adrenalin carries you through. But then your body starts going down and you can’t stay awake.

You find yourself leaning against a tree and suddenly it’s two hours later you’ve been asleep standing up.

At the end of it you’d be interrogated to see how sleep deprivation affected you. In one exercise we were made to dig trenches and stay awake for long periods.

Every few hours we were shown a blanket on the ground under which were 16 to 20 items. The blanket would be lifted and you had to memorise and write down what you saw.

But after a couple of days of sleep deprivation you had trouble getting your mind in sync. Sometimes you could remember an item but couldn’t work out how to spell it even though the day before you’d got it perfectly.

You will find the article in The Sun here

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