The Truth Behind the Horrifying Story: Is the Russian Sleep Experiment Real?

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While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students.


Is the Russian Sleep Experiment Real?

The Russian Sleep Experiment is a story circulated on the internet for a while now. Everyone who reads it has one question rise to the forefront of their mind – is the Russian Sleep Experiment real?

If there’s one thing that unites all humans, it’s the need for sleep. Okay, maybe that is not entirely true, but to some extent, it is. Think about it – every human needs to sleep to survive. It is physically, mentally, and biologically impossible to live a healthy life without sleeping. As someone who values their sleep time more than almost anything else – sorry, mom! – I can confidently say that sleep is essential for all human beings.

But what if it wasn’t? What if we somehow discovered a way for people to survive, and indeed thrive, without sleep? This is exactly what the story of the Russian Sleep Experiment focuses on. But there arises a question: is the Russian sleep experiment real?

Where Did the Russian Sleep Experiment Come From?

The story of the Russian Sleep Experiment comes from the Creepypasta wiki page. Creepypasta is the name given to various horror stories on the internet that are circulated to scare the readers.

These can be related to paranormal activity, alien activity, or just plain old gruesome stories. The Russian Sleep Experiment, for example, has to do with a science experiment conducted on prisoners by Soviet researchers.

Various sources have traced the origin of the Russian Sleep Experiment. It was first posted online on the Creepypasta wiki, a page dedicated solely to such horror stories, on the 10th of August, 2010, on a forum that challenged the users to create the terrifying urban legend. A user known solely as Orange Soda posted the tale of the Russian Sleep Experiment. The actual name or identity of the user is still unknown, although not for the lack of search effort.

Now, let’s answer the question you came here for: Is the Russian sleep experiment real?

Wait, So Is the Russian Sleep Experiment Real?

Short answer: no.

It is an urban legend, a story expertly crafted to terrify the audience – a task in which it succeeded. But it is entirely false, and not based on any truth or real scientific experiment that occurred.

There is no proof or evidence that the Russian Sleep Experiment is real, apart from assumptions and conspiracy theories. Still, there is a lot – a lot – of debate on the genuineness of the experiment that continues to this day, more than 11 years after it was posted! Most people on the internet are assured of its falsehood, while others tend to delve into conspiracy theories while searching for the truth behind experiments like this one.

The thing is, it is not entirely unfounded. During World War II, the Soviet scientists were infamous for performing inhumane experiments. They were often brutal, and they did not shy away from human experimentation in the name of science. They also attempted to cover up the Chernobyl disaster.

So, there you go! We hope that puts your mind at ease. Now that we have put the burning question of ‘Is the Russian sleep experiment real?’ at rest let us move to what precisely the sleep experiment entails.

What Exactly Is the Russian Sleep Experiment?

Okay, now that we have answered the doubt of ‘Is the Russian sleep experiment real?’, let us turn to what the Russian Sleep Experiment is actually about. What is in it that got the internet in such a tizzy? Fair warning, the story outlined below is quite disturbing – there are mentions of mutilation, murder, gore, and more. Please read at your own discretion!

The story takes place in the Soviet Union, in the 1940s – yes, during World War II. Soviet researchers wanted to find a way to make their people capable enough to remain awake and lucid for long periods of time, for example, a month at once. If proved to be fruitful, this strategy of using an experimental gas would be a big help for their soldiers – after all, who would not want an army of soldiers who needed no sleep?

The Russian researchers created a stimulant gas that would theoretically help people remain awake. However, as with every scientific experiment, they needed to test this experimental gas on test subjects before utilizing and implementing it in their armies.

For this purpose, they decided to use five prisoners of war as test subjects. The prisoners of war were promised that if they managed to stay awake for 30 days straight in a chamber with a gas supply of the airborne stimulant gas, they would attain their freedom. The prisoners of war considered this a good deal, and they agreed to partake in the experiment.

The five subjects were sent into a sealed chamber and electronically monitored. There were also small glass windows through which the scientists could monitor the subjects, microphones installed in the chamber, and secret two-way mirrors. For the first few days, the subjects behaved normally. They spoke and casually interacted with each other. The sleep loss did not seem to be affecting them adversely just yet.

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After about four days passed, things took a turn for the worse. The subjects started discussing dark matters like the horrors they had witnessed during the war and the traumas they had endured. By the fifth day, the situation was spiraling – now, the test subjects exhibited signs of psychosis – they talked to themselves and whispered stories about other subjects into the microphones. The scientists were vaguely disturbed, but they knew about the effects of sleep deprivation and were not surprised. However, they were concerned about whether these effects were indeed of sleep deprivation or of the experimental gas itself.

By the ninth day, even the scientists’ concern grew when one of the prisoners simply started screaming at the top of his lungs, continuously and with no pause. He also ran up and down the length of the gas chamber without rest. He screamed to such an extent that he tore his own vocal cords, and thereafter all that was heard was a squeaky sound. The days that followed passed in eerie silence, as the subjects seemed to have stopped talking altogether.

From the cameras, the Russian researchers were unable to see the prisoners inside the chamber. However, after examining the oxygen level inside the gas chamber, it was clear that they were still alive. Following these developments, they made the executive decision to open the chamber on the fifteenth day.

One of the scientists announced through the speaker that they were opening the chamber and that the subjects should stay away from the door and remain on the floor. By following these instructions, one of the patients would be set free. However, a voice replied rather calmly: “We no longer want to be freed.”

The Soviet researchers tentatively opened the door, and what they saw inside the chamber horrified them to no end. One subject was found dead with lethal injuries, brutally murdered, and torn apart. The surviving subjects, too, had chunks of their own flesh torn from their hands and legs. The severe injuries seemed like it was self-mutilation. The organs of the remaining subjects were strewn around on the floor, and they seemed to be eating it – yes, you heard that right. The severely mutilated patients seemed to be performing self-cannibalism.

The Soviet researchers hurriedly left the room and called for backup. It was not a pretty sight when the soldiers arrived and entered the room to remove the patients. The patients had a desperate desire to inhale the stimulant once again, and in this madness and with extreme strength, they killed five of the soldiers. While heavily sedating the patients, one of the patients bled out, and his heart stopped. The last words he said were a request for more gas.

The remaining subjects were strapped down in a secure facility. Prior to performing surgery on one of the patients, the doctor injected him with anesthesia, following which his heart immediately stopped. When the time came to perform surgery on the other subjects, they decided not to use anesthesia. The doctor sewed everything back up and grimly wondered how the subject had even managed to remain alive despite the extent of his injuries.

The other surviving subject, too underwent surgery, in the middle of which he kept screaming for the gas rather than appreciating the fresh air after days spent inside a chamber. When asked why, he replied, “I need to stay awake.” The researchers decided to put them back on the gas. However, their troubles were not resolved yet.

Once the subjects were back on the gas, they seemed fine for a while until one of them began exhibiting erratic brain activity, and eventually, he flatlined and was declared dead. The surviving subject was removed and put on observation, but researchers were in the room with him. One of them had had enough by that point. The researcher shot the surviving prisoner, but just before the subject finally died, he asked him, “Who are you?”

The subject eerily replied, “We are you. We are the evil that resides in every human mind, that is kept tame by sleep.” That is where the story ends.

Is the Russian Sleep Experiment real?
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Next time you are having a slumber party with your friends, you have a horror story to terrify them with – but don’t forget to answer the one question that all of them are sure to ask – “Wait, is the Russian sleep experiment real?”

We hope this answers all those queries you might have had, from “Is the Russian sleep experiment real?” to “What is the story about?”. If you liked this article, be sure to check out Is Lack of Sleep Affecting Your Health?

While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. -----------------------------------

Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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