The Myth behind Russian Sleep Experiment

Three weeks is the time you can survive without food. Three days is the time you can survive without water. Three minutes is the time you can survive without air. Have you ever thought how long you can survive without sleep?

On a lazy Sunday morning, I had this particular question reverberating in my mind and ended up finding something which literally brought my gut out. So I’d like to give you the overview of the story which ate up my brains as short as possible.

In the 1940s, at the time of World War 2, five prisoners of Russian military are prepared for the worst time of their lives. They undergo an Experiment which is so simple to hear like- ‘you shouldn’t sleep for 30 days. We’ll use a special gas-based stimulant to have you awake. And after that we’ll set you free’ but it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

The five subjects were put into a room just like Bigg Brother/Boss contestants; they were given food, books, water, toilet facility, continuous oxygen supply and were monitored throughout by microphones and through a glass wall.

On Day 4 everything was quite normal, they started complaining about past traumatic lives to each other.

On Day 5 they stopped talking to one another, were in utter paranoia. Like in Bigg Brother/Boss they started whispering to the Microphones and tried to gain the attention of the experimenters.

On Day 9 real horror started. One of the subjects screamed at top of his lungs for three straight hours until he physically ruptured his own vocal box. His fellow subjects, like modern neighbors, didn’t bother to care.  The second subject also started running through the cell and screaming until he could shout no more. The third subject calmly kept tearing pages from books and started sticking them to the glass panel so that experimenters couldn’t see them. The glue he used to stick papers was his own FECES (gross!!!!)

On Day 12 no sound came from the cell. Because of paper sticking, they couldn’t see anything also.

On Day 14 they tried using the intercom to communicate with the subjects. They wanted to provoke a response from the subjects so announced that one of the subjects would get his freedom right now, for which only a single reply from a subject came which shook the roots of all militants “we don’t want to be free”

On Day 15 midnight, they opened the door and a few soldiers went in to find one of the subjects dead. From the angle of wounds, it was clear he had self-mutilated him to death.

The subjects were like zombies outta nightmares. Their own flesh and viscera were torn and ripped apart by their own hands. After a Day 15 Autopsy of deceased subject showed he had been ripped his flesh and has been eating it for a while now and had consumed 3X oxygen than the normal. The living subjects after so many struggles underwent surgeries to place their viscera back in place and were sent to the cell again along with researches this time.

Only God knows why one of the researchers had pointed his gun at a fellow researcher and shot him along with another subject. He then pointed his gun towards the last surviving subject and asked: “what are you?” The subject said,” I am something you humans hide and sedate to silence and paralysis” and when he was shot and was bleeding to death his last words were-So Nearly Free.

Where it all started

For all people who are traumatized by the story, the good news is it’s just a story. It was first published in 2010 on a website called which writes creepy and paranormal stories, so this is one such story which may have been influenced by incidents like the Stanford prison experiment. Since 2010 it’s circulated over the internet and its circulation surged in 2013 and reached its peak in 2014 & 2015.

Real or hoax:

From what I believe is, it is a cooked up story. I’ve enlisted the reasons

1. If this had happened way back in the 40s why it did gain popularity only in 2010 after released it.

2. It does not have any clear site evidence.

3. It was first published in, known for publishing “stories”.

4. References like heartbeats 2 full minutes after bleeding out completely, smiling during a surgery performed without anesthesia, talking philosophy like Paulo Coelho while bleeding to death are absolutely ridiculous.

5. The longest a person can live without sleep is 264 hours or 11 days (a record created by Randy Gardner in 1965). So this it proves the experiment’s results are wrong.

To conclude, I would say even after all this you want to know whether it’s real or fake, there is possibly only one solution, why don’t you give it a try.

Anyone can write on Redoact. Start writing!

Author Dharshaa,

Paramedical student at Madras Medical Mission. A voracious reader, having a lot of interest in writing and very good at putting myself in other’s shoes. I do have a great passion for cooking and traveling.


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