March 10, 2012
Sleeping is one of the most important activities we need to do in order to function well. For some people, sleeping is not only a form of relaxation, it is also something that can be pushed to the limit. Different feats have been attempted in this area. Here are some of the world records on sleeping.
Longest Sleeping Time
There is no official record involving the world’s longest continuous, uninterrupted sleep. This is because many factors have to be considered before setting such a sleeping record. Exceptions must be made for people who are in a coma or those who are suffering from Kleine-Levin Syndrome—a rare neurological illness that can put a person to sleep for one to three weeks.
However, the Longest Hypnotic Sleep on record is eight days. The media provided coverage while this record was being set, and the event was televised live in the UK and all over Europe. This was done by Peter Powers, a famous hypnotist.
Longest Time without Sleep
The first attempt on this extreme and wilful stunt on sleep deprivation was done by Peter Tripp in 1959. He didn’t sleep for 201 hours, or 8.4 days. He was monitored in a makeshift laboratory. Tripp suffered from paranoia and multiple hallucinations four days after he accomplished his historical stunt.
Randy Gardner currently holds the official scientific record for longest sleep deprivation. In 1964, he kept awake for 264 consecutive hours (11 days) without the use of any stimulants. Gardner achieved this record when he was only 17 years old. His attempt was supervised by Stanford’s sleep researcher, Dr. William C. Dement. The Guinness World Records also recognizes Gardner’s attempt as the longest official record for sleep deprivation.
An attempt to beat this record via rocking chair marathon was done by Maureen Weston in 1977. She went without sleep for 449 hours, or 18.7 days. Like Peter Tripp, she also experienced hallucinations toward the end of her marathon, although no lasting effects were recorded.
By the way, before you get any crazy ideas, The Guinness World Records are not acknowledging sleep deprivation attempts anymore due to health reasons.
The largest sleepover, or Pajama Party, ever recorded by Guinness World Records was organized by Girlguiding UK last May 8, 2008. The event was attended by 1,626 participants in Kent, UK.
Sleeping is the best way to relax and recharge. While it may sound astounding to set a sleeping record, the health risks involved in doing so may not be worth the fame. It’s best to sleep soundly without any pressure and allow your body to enjoy its benefits.