Science & Tech

Man who stayed awake for 11 straight days shares how his brain ‘broke down’

Man who stayed awake for 11 straight days shares how his brain ‘broke down’
YouTube/Sleep Gods

A man who stayed awake for 11 straight days to set a world record has spoken about how he experienced his brain starting to ‘break down’.

Englishman Tony Wright went an incredible 266 hours without sleep back in 2007 and set a new record – only to see it broken by someone else just a month later.

Wright spoke about his experience in a clip posted by the YouTube channel Sleep Gods, saying that an entirely different part of his brain was activated during his record attempt.

"Basically, you're starving the rational mind, the egotistical mind of sleep, and it's battery is running down. And of course, it doesn't feel very good, it feels tired.

Wright added: "But if you push beyond that, its ability to stay in charge starts to break down as well. And that's where you can start to get glimpses of access to the other side of the brain, the other self."

Man Who Didn't Sleep For 11 Days Explains Sleep

"I've spoken to a lot of people about this. Most people have recollections where they've been partying, or they've been working hard, and sure they get tired, but within that they get glimpses of something else.”

He went on to say: "That kind of softness, or a more relaxed state - often more emotional, because again, there's more access to that emotional side of the brain.

"Even feeling quite good, quite an altered state for brief windows, or getting a second wind even. You know, be really, really tired, no sleep, and then suddenly feeling fine for half an hour or an hour.

"So all I really did, or what I was interested in, is making sense of that. And is it possible to exploit that and bring in combining techniques to tie the left side of the brain up, which initially doesn't feel great, but the reward on the other side of that makes it worth the effort."

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