Man who stayed awake for 11 days shares the scary effects it had on his mental state
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Sleep deprivation can cause all kinds of health risks and concerns, from a weakened immune system and mood swings, to weight gain and high blood pressure.
But if you can go long enough without shut-eye, you could find yourself in a mind-boggling new mental state.
That's according to Cornish man Tony Wright, who went 11 days without sleep, while trying to break a world record.
Although Tony didn't manage to beat the record for the longest time without sleep, he did stay awake for a devastating 266 hours.
For most, the mere idea of staying awake for that long would almost have you in tears.
But after Tony's sleep-deprived marathon, he says he almost felt enlightened, after managing to access a whole new section of his brain.
Shortly after the intense experience, Tony spoke in an interview about how his mental state totally shifted while he stayed awake.
"Basically you're starving the rational mind, the egotistical mind, of sleep, and its batteries are running down," he explained.
"Of course it doesn't feel very good... but if you push beyond that, [the rational mind's] ability to stay in charge starts to break down as well, and that's where you can start to get glimpses of the other side of the brain, the other self."
He continued: "There's nothing new in staying awake to get to a different state - it's not understood anymore, it often seems it must be some kind of primitive nonsense - but it's still a living tradition.
"I have spoken to a lot of people about this. Most people have recollections, after partying or working hard.
"Sure they get tired, but within that, they get glimpses of something else.
"A kind of softness, a more relaxed state, often more emotional - because there's more access to that emotional side of the brain - and even feeling quite good for brief windows, or getting a second wind, even.
"What I was interested in, is making sense of that. And was it possible to exploit that and bring in combining techniques to tie the left side of the brain, which initially doesn't feel great, but the reward on the other side of that makes it worth the effort."
While Tony, and many of his followers, are advocates for sleep deprivation and the ways it can alter the brain, Guinness World Records aren't any more.
In fact, the organisation no longer keep track of this record because of the seriously damaging impacts of sleep deprivation.
In March of this year, Guinness World Records said in a statement that, 'although [they] no longer monitor the record due to the inherent dangers associated with sleep deprivation, [they] can say that no one is known to have broken it since [Robert] McDonald.'
Robert McDonald was the last person to hold the world record for no sleep, and that was all the way back in 1986.
His record was 453 hours and 40 minutes, which adds up to about 18 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes.
No point in trying to beat that record - so do yourself a favour and avoid trying this one at home, eh?