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Unusual people like Al Herpin stand days without sleep

Updated on January 22, 2014
MENACHEM BEGIN, (21 June 1977-10 Oct.1983), 6th Prime Minister of Israel
MENACHEM BEGIN, (21 June 1977-10 Oct.1983), 6th Prime Minister of Israel

How sleep deprivation is used in interrogation

Here's how SLEEP DEPRAVATION is used in Interrogation: A subject is kept awake for several days and when finally allowed to fall asleep, is suddenly awakened and questioned. MENACHEM BEGIN, the Prime Minister of Israel from 1977-1983 described his experience of sleep deprivation when he was a prisoner of the NKVD in Russia. In the head of the interrogated prisoner, a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep... Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with

Famous people who go to sleep but little

There are famous examples of people being able to live on just a fraction of sleep. Ex-British prime minister MARGARET THATCHER was thought to have as little as 4 hours of sleep during her leadership of the country, and Thomas Edison, creator of the modern light bulb, spent long periods awake with limited effect

 MARGARET THATCHER (4 May 1979-28 Nov.1990), Prime Minister of UK
MARGARET THATCHER (4 May 1979-28 Nov.1990), Prime Minister of UK
 THOMAS ALVA EDISON (Feb. 11, 1847-Oct.18, 1931)
THOMAS ALVA EDISON (Feb. 11, 1847-Oct.18, 1931)

Loss of Sleep

May I cite some stories as eye opener:

AL HERPIN was known as the "Man Who Never Slept.” Born in 1853 in, Trenton, New Jersey, he claimed to have developed a rare case of insomnia, whereby he could not sleep. The supposed cause is unknown, although it may be linked to his mother suffering a major injury a few days prior to his birth

Al Herpin's claim attracted the attention of medical professionals, who visited him. They found no bed, or other sleep-related furniture, but only a rocking chair. Herpin said that after a long day's work, he would rest in his rocking chair reading the newspaper until dawn, then return to work. He was in good health, and had a constant level of high awareness, defying all scientific understanding of the necessity for sleep.

Then the New York Times on February 29, 1904 carried the following news: Death came today for Alfred E. Herpin, a recluse who lived on the outskirts of the city and insisted that he never slept. He was 94 years old and, when questioned concerning his claim of "sleeplessness", maintained that he never actually dozed but merely "rested". No other person with total insomnia has lived for such a long period of time. It was likely that he died for other reasons, not sleep deprivation, as his insomnia did not seem to have any effect on his health.

Let’s listen to this one from Wikipedia: THAI NGOC or Hai Ngoc (born 1942) is a Vietnamese insomniac. According to Vietnamese news organization Thanh Nien, he is best known for his claim of being awake for 35 years. Thanh Nien also claimed that Ngoc acquired the ability to go without sleep after a bout of fever in 1973, but according to the Vietnam Investment Review, there was no apparent cause. At the time of the Thanh Nien report, Ngoc suffered from no apparent ill effect other than being unable to sleep. He was mentally sound and was able to carry two 50 kg bags of pig feed down a 4 km road.

In October 2006, however, Ngoc reported that he was beginning to feel "like a plant without water" due to the lack of sleep.

Here’s another claim: In January 2005, the RIA Novosti published an article about FYODOR NESTERCHUK from the Ukrainian town of Kamen-Kashirsky who claimed to have not slept in more than 20 years. Local doctor Fyodor Koshel, chief of the Lutsk city health department, claimed to have examined him extensively and failed to make him sleep. Koshel also said however that Nesterchuck did not suffer any of the normally deleterious effects of sleep deprivation.However, when a reporter from The Guardian followed up on this report, Nesterchuk said he was getting 2-3 hours of sleep per night.

Here’s another story: RHETT LAMB of St. Petersburg, Florida, was initially reported to not sleep at all, but actually has a rare condition permitting him to sleep only one to two hours per day in the first three years of his life. He has a rare abnormality called an Arnold-Chiari malformation where brain tissue protrudes into the spinal canal; the skull puts pressure on the protruding part of the brain. The boy was operated on at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg in May 2008. Two days after surgery he slept through the night.

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Jesse McCartney - How do you sleep + Lyrics

To the question HOW MANY DAYS CAN A MAN STAND WITHOUT SLEEP? The answer is 11 days or 264 hours. This documented record for the longest period of time a human being has intentionally gone without sleep not using stimulants of any kind is held by RANDY GARDNER in 1964. A 17-year-old high school student in San Diego, California—Gardner stayed awake for 264 hours (eleven days), breaking the previous record of 260 hours held by TOM ROUNDS of Honolulu. Gardner’s record stands as the official record for it is well documented. Indeed news have been received that Gardner’s record have been broken or superseded but they have not been substantiated.

Psychologist Thorne who studied Gardner found that Gardner had recovered better, despite experiencing vision and speech problems,

The foregoing cases were presented as facts that there are persons who can go for days, months or years without sleeping and yet feel not its adverse effects. They are the exceptions rather than the rule. Some of them were abnormal. Al Herpin was an insomniac so with Thai Ngoc. Nesterchuk’s claim was a hoax for he contradicted himself by admitting he slept 2-3 hours per night. Rhett Lamb was suffering from an abnormality. Menachem Begin preferred sleep more than hunger and thirst during his ordeal. Margaret Thatcher and Thomas Edison were not entirely devoid of sleep although little. And Gardner did experience vision and speech problems.

The bottom line is very clear. Sleep is a vital part of human existence It is as important as the air we breathe, the water we drink with and the food we eat. We can’t live long without sleeping. Human beings need enough sleep for the proper functioning of his total bodily systems. If we deprived ourselves enough sleep, we may suffer the following:

Main health effects of sleep deprivation. Generally, lack of sleep may result in:

  • aching muscles
  • dizziness and nausea
  • dry mouth
  • hallucinations
  • hand tremors
  • headaches
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased risk of diabetes
  • increased risk of fibromyalgia
  • irritability
  • memory lapses or loss
  • nystagmus (rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement)
  • obesity
  • slowed word recall
  • temper tantrums in children
  • yawning
  • symptoms similar to:
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD)
  • Psychosis

The National Sleep Foundation identifies warning signs that a driver is dangerously fatigued including rolling down the window, turning up the radio, trouble keeping eyes open including rolling down the window, turning up the radio, trouble keeping eyes open. Drivers having these fatigued signs are advised to pull off the road and take a nap. Lone drivers plying between the midnight and six AM routes are at greater risk.

MICROSLEEPS occur when a person has a significant sleep deprivation. The brain automatically shuts down, falling into a sleep state for a period that can last 10 to 60 seconds. The person mentally falls asleep no matter what activity he or she is engaged in. Microsleeps are similar to blackouts and a person experiencing them is not consciously aware that they are occurring

“If you can't sleep, don't count sheep. Talk to the shepherd.”


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    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      Robert, I feel you really had a bad effect from that accident. Perhaps you've already seen a doctor and wish for you with God's help to fully recover soon.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      hello my name is robert. im from europe 38y old.In year 1991 i have motorcycle first day at school i went it with motorcycle and i dont have lucky. car turned left and closed my pass. i crush in to car and fly abaut 8meters it to the heavy stone near sidewalk with head .when i stay back on my feet i feel i almost die from pain a paste away . when i wake up i feel almost normal but strange filings in my hade.i feeld it thats be very wrong.after 4 days went to sleep but no feleng abaout worm drouzy in head for sleep i couldnt sleep 4 days ive ben near to die.after 4 days i sleep for tiny 2 hours i lost 10 pounds in 4 days i feel gona die soon . im knew that it from head blow.I LIKE TO KNOW SOMEONE WITH SAME FATAL ACIDENT AND PROBLEM!its long story how my sleep in 22 years destroyed my life an email


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