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Russian Sleeping Experiment

 It started with an episode and ended up in binge watching an entire season. Little did I realize then that it could have some worst consequences. From then on, watching this series every night and depriving me of sleep became habitual. And my performance in every aspect deteriorated gradually due to lack of sleep. Yeah! You are right! I was talking about how watching GOT during nights lead me to insomnia.

         Around 10 million people in the world suffer from this condition (maybe not due to GOT). It is a topic that requires serious discussion but is often dismissed as we consider it to be trivial. Having learnt a little about its repercussions, I started reading related articles and came across something called Russian experiment. Soon I understood that it is a topic of conspiracy and so not found on Wikipedia.

           Around the WW2, I.e., in the 1940s, the over-ambitious Russian military wanted the personnel to be awake and attentive in the battlefield even during nights. Their researchers discovered the 'Nikolayev gas' which was found to arrest sleep when consumed in small amounts and proved to be lethal when taken in large amounts. The tactical Russians enticed the German political prisoners by offering to set them free if they accept to be lab rats for this experiment. This secretive mission by the Russians was conducted in a closed room with specialized glass window and the method of communication was through a set of microphones. Everything was normal for the first 5 days. Later the prisoners started going through traumatic episodes .They even started showing symptoms of paranoia. But the hard lined officials continued the experiment despite knowing its lethality.

     Each one of the subjects reacted differently. First person ran the length of the chamber screaming and tore his vocal cords after three hours. A few moments later, subject two also started to scream. The next three captives didn't scream but tore the books apart and smeared them with their own faeces and pasted them calmly over the glass portholes.

         Fourteen days of research was over. From the oxygen consumption in the chamber, the researchers assumed that all the five were still alive. Researchers announced that the prisoners should obey their orders if they wanted the chamber to be opened and threatened them that any sort of non-compliance would lead to immediate death. But the frustrated prisoners refused to cooperate and were even ready to yield themselves to death.

       Debate broke out among the researchers. Unable to provoke any more response using the intercom, they finally decided to open the chamber at midnight on the fifteenth day. When the Russian troops entered into the chamber,  the soldiers screamed from what they saw inside. Four of the five subjects were still alive and the food provided to them was left untouched. The flesh from the dead prisoner's body blocked the drain and hence sewage water accumulated on the floor. All four surviving subjects also had large portions of muscle and skin torn away from their bodies. The subjects had torn the muscles with their hands, not by their teeth.  The subjects' abdominal organs were squashed in the floor. They begged to be left in the chamber. They resisted every attempt made by the soldiers to bring them out of the chamber. Five Russian soldiers were killed by those subjects. The most affected subjects were given morphine, but it didn't have any effect and they died on the sixteenth day.

One of the perplexed researchers drew a commander's gun and shot the commander point blank between the eyes. He pointed his gun at one of the subjects and the research team fled the room. He couldn't figure out what happened to the prisoners and also didn't want to be locked in there with them. So he demanded the victim to tell him what had happened to him. The subject smiled and replied thus, "Have you not realized? We are you. We are the madness that lurks within you all, begging to be free at every moment in your deepest animal mind. We are what you hide in your beds every night. We are what you sedate into silence and paralysis when you go to the nocturnal haven where we cannot tread." The researcher paused for a while and shot himself to death.

   Studies show that on average, humans spend 1/3 of their life sleeping and the proportion slightly varies with the age. Now-a-days, the youth are not giving importance to sleep. We should have at least five hours of sleep every day. Inadequate sleep can lead to inattentiveness and can subject one to the risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

This historical tragedy shows us clearly how important sleep is and how disgusting the effects are when a person is deprived of it. Many rooms have their lights on even during late nights in hostels. But, it is to be always remembered that you derive pleasure from sleepless nights by mortgaging your health. This research is an eye-opener and reveals to us that our body starts reacting differently when we alter our pattern of sleep.

     Hence, I humbly request everyone to have a proper sleep and to stay healthy!

Tagged in : GOT, insomnia, Sleep,