Why You Should Go to Sleep in Russian Prisoner’s Airborne Stimulant
If you are like most people, you probably have heard of the Russian Sleep Experiment. This is an imaginary story about an experiment involving an airborne stimulant and five prisoners of war. Luckily, it never actually happened, though it has been made into a horror movie. But it did manage to make its way around the Internet in early 2010, so it deserves a place on your “sleep-related” list.
It may not have been the first time that this particular story was told, but it was the first time that it was discussed in public. It was so popular, that many people believed that it really did happen. The story is so fanciful that a wiki page was created to record its details. Despite the hype, it remains a mystery as to who actually conducted the experiment.
Although there are no conclusive proofs, it is generally accepted that this particular experiment arose from an online forum thread. Whether or not this was a true-to-life story, it has captivated the imaginations of internet users around the world. Besides the aforementioned wikipedia article, the Russian Sleep Experiment has also appeared in several Creepypasta forums. As a result, it has become an enduring urban myth.
The truth is that the Soviet Union had a lot more to do with the technology. They had access to a wide variety of deadly poisons. One of these was a colorless, odorless gas, akin to today’s cyanide. In the name of scientific research, they used this to rig an experiment to find out whether or not the gas could keep soldiers from sleeping for 30 days.
During World War II, there were tons of war prisoners in the country. Scientists were looking for a way to help the Soviets win the war. To get a jump start on their research, they set up an experiment that involved an airborne stimulant and five prisoners of military and political descent. Those who survived the test were promised the freedom that comes with being a prisoner of war.
What was the significance of the other five subjects? Their test was to see if the aforementioned gas could keep them asleep for thirty days, or if their brains would simply give out after 48 hours of sleep deprivation. While no one knows for sure if the experiment was successful, there are plenty of accounts of the men being sedated and dead in the end.
Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned from this particular homage to Soviet science is that a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle are essential to a good night’s sleep. This is true even if you aren’t going to be getting less than seven hours of sleep at a stretch. That being said, it is not advisable to overdo it, as this could have serious health consequences.
In fact, it has been demonstrated that sleep deprivation can impair motor skills, thereby increasing the risk of accidents. So, it is important to get enough sleep, but it is equally important to eat right and exercise regularly.