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Man who stayed awake for 11 days shares the crippling effects it had on his body

Man who stayed awake for 11 days shares the crippling effects it had on his body

Most of us feel pretty rough after missing one night's sleep, let alone staying up for nearly a fortnight.

We all feel a little rough after a bad night's sleep but spare a thought for the man who went 11 days without nodding off.

Having stayed awake for almost a fortnight, Tony Wright claims that the intense sleep deprivation had awful effects on his mind and body.

It's unsurprising given that he somehow stayed awake for 266 hours, only to have his record beaten a month later. He explains all below.

Wright, who is from Cornwall, says he attempted the ambitious world record in 2007.

He claims to have stayed awaked for 11 days, surpassing the previously record set by teenager Randy Gardner in 1964 - who went without sleep for 264 hours.

However, this record was broken just a month later, with a time of 276 hours set by Toimi Soini in Hamina, Finland. And in 1986, a Guinness World record time of 453 hours was set by Robert McDonald.

Besides, record-holder or not, staying up that long is no mean feat, and Wright opened up about why he did it and the effects it had.

"Basically, you're starving the rational mind, the egotistical mind of sleep, and it's battery's running down," he said. "And of course, it doesn't feel very good, it feels tired.

"But if you push beyond that, its ability to stay in charge starts to break down as well. And that's where you can start to get glimpses of access to the other side of the brain, the other self."

Tony Wright claims he went 11 days without sleep.
YouTube/Sleep Gods

He continued: "I've spoken to a lot of people about this. Most people have recollections where they've been partying, or they've been working hard, and sure they get tired, but within within that they get glimpses of something else.

"That kind of softness, or a more relaxed state - often more emotional, because again, there's more access to that emotional side of the brain.

"Even feeling quite good, quite an altered state for brief windows, or getting a second wind even. You know, be really, really tired, no sleep, and then suddenly feeling fine for half an hour or an hour.

"So all I really did, or what I was interested in, is making sense of that. And is it possible to exploit that and bring in combining techniques to tie the left side of the brain up, which initially doesn't feel great, but the reward on the other side of that makes it worth the effort."

Having heard his story, it's unsurprising that Guinness World Records given the insane health risks of sleep deprivation and hasn't done since 1997.

There are some serious health risk related to not sleeping.
Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

In an article on the organisation's website, they explain some of these and it's pretty grim reading.

They wrote: "Firstly, during the 1960-70s, sleep researchers discovered the existence of 'microsleeps'; momentary lapses into sleep that last for just a few seconds.

"These are impossible to accurately monitor without continuous physiological recording equipment," it added, claiming Randy Grander would have also experienced this.

It continued: "Another reason we no longer monitor this record is due to the existence of people who suffer fatal familial insomnia, an extremely rare genetic disorder.

"Victims initially experience trouble sleeping, and over time this evolves into total insomnia (agrypnia excitata), causing speech problems, hallucinations, dementia, and eventually death," the article said.

Here's hoping people get serious about getting their forty winks. We suggest you do not try this at home.

Featured Image Credit: Youtube/Sleep Gods

Topics: UK News, Health, Guinness World Records