How would you feel after a restless night?
How about two nights? Or 10 nights in a row?
On December 28, 1963, Randy Gardner, with the help of two classmates, went on a mission to find out how his body would respond if he stayed awake until January 8, 1964, making a total of 264 hours (or 11 days).
To begin, he woke up bright and early at 6 am, alert and energized. But by the second day, he had trouble focusing on his surroundings and recognizing objects given to him. By the third day, Gardner became grouchy and his speech began to slur. The day afterward, he imagined himself to be a Paul Lowe, a 200-pound football player, while he was barely 120 pounds.
The experiment was originally meant for a high school science fair, but news spread to Stanford researcher William Dent, who flew down to San Diego to get involved.