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The Russian Sleep Experiment

Five prisoners. Thirty days. Zero sleep. What's the worst that would happen?

By Dharrsheena Raja SegarranPublished 7 months ago 4 min read
Image from Haddonfield-Horror

What do you think would happen to a person who is forced to not sleep at all for 30 days? They would literally become monsters as their non-human part would take over.

Let’s see how that transformation took place through the Russian Sleep Experiment.

This happened in 1947 at a secret Soviet test facility. The Russian Sleep Experiment was a military-sanctioned experiment.

The researchers chose five prisoners to participate in this experiment.

Image from Twitter User @CinemamindDavid

The researchers lied to the prisoners that they would be set free if they participated in this experiment for 30 consecutive days.

The prisoners agreed to participate unbeknownst that they would never get freedom. This was very sad.

The purpose of this experiment was to test a sleep-inhibiting stimulant that the researchers developed.

This stimulant was a gas. It was developed to revolutionize the war and make superhumans out of Russian soldiers who need not sleep for 30 days.

So the five prisoners were the guinea pigs to test out what would happen to a person who was kept awake for 30 days by that gas.

The prisoners were kept in a sealed gas chamber and the stimulant was administered continuously for 30 consecutive days.

They were provided with beds, dry food, water, books and a toilet. For this story, I’ll name the prisoners Alexei, Igor, Viktor, Nikolai and Dmitri.


The researchers monitored and communicated with the prisoners through porthole windows which were one-way glass. Everything was normal.

Image from Twitter User @CinemamindDavid


This was when slight changes in the prisoners’ behaviours were noticed. They were still talking to each other and the researchers as usual but the topic of their conversations went darker and darker.

Some of them started talking to themselves as if they were hallucinating.


Nikolai screamed at the top of his lungs non-stop for three hours. The screaming finally stopped when Nikolai tore his own vocal cords.

Image from Twitter User @CinemamindDavid

The other four prisoners didn’t react at all to this screaming as they were heavily hallucinating and didn’t hear the screaming. 

Then Alexei started screaming. The others prevented the researchers from looking by pasting torn book pages and their faeces to the porthole windows.

Image from Twitter User @CinemamindDavid

A few days went by without the researchers being able to look inside and they were worried as there was total silence.

DAY 15

The researchers decided to go inside the chamber and see what was going on. They turned off the stimulant before they entered. What they saw inside repulsed them.

Image from Twitter User @CinemamindDavid

Igor was lying dead on the floor in a puddle of his own blood. The other four prisoners had mutilated and disembowelled themselves!

Alexei had ripped his own chest open with his bare hands.

Dmitri had torn his own flesh and muscles from his arms and legs and had bones coming out of his fingers.

Nikolai had removed his own internal organs.

Viktor had a devilish smile and practised self-cannibalism. He was eating his own body!

The researchers decided to abort the experiment and wanted to evacuate the prisoners with the aid of soldiers.

However, the four prisoners became violent as they didn’t want to leave the chamber. Instead, they begged the researchers to turn the stimulant back on. They were now very addicted to it. 

During the attempt of evacuation, they murdered one soldier by ripping out his throat and severely injured another.

After they were successfully evacuated, the researchers noticed that the four prisoners exhibited extreme strength, high resistance to any sedatives given and were desperate for the stimulant.

It was also found out that if they were to fall asleep, they would die. This was how Dmitri died and now three prisoners were left.

When the doctor was putting back the organs into the prisoners’ bodies, they wanted the doctor to mutilate them further instead.

Image from Twitter User @CinemamindDavid

Although the researchers decided to call off the experiment, they were given an order by military officials to continue with the remaining three prisoners.

Against the will of the researchers, the prisoners were once again to be sealed inside the chamber.

Suddenly, Viktor fell asleep and died. He fell asleep due to not getting the stimulant.

The military commander then ordered three researchers to be sealed in the chamber with Alexei and Nikolai to monitor them.

Image from Twitter User @CinemamindDavid

The researcher pulled out a gun and shot the commander and Nikolai in the head. The researcher said that he would not be locked in a room with monsters that were no longer human.

Now there was only Alexei left.

He asked Alexei, “What are you?”

Alexei laughed eerily, “We are the inherent evil inside the human mind that is kept in check by the act of sleeping”. 

Upon hearing this, the researcher shot him in the heart.

Image from Twitter User @CinemamindDavid

Alexei was on the floor and right before he died, he whispered his last words:



Thank you for reading this. If you liked my writing, please subscribe and click the little heart below this piece or near my name, at the top of this page.

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About the Creator

Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

I'm a Certified Nutritionist 🌱 and these are what I mostly write:
〰️ Fiction (Horror/Thriller)
〰️ Non-Fiction (Nutrition and True Crime)
〰️ Poetry

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Expert insights and opinions

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  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (74)

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  • Ramya18 days ago

    Woo!!!!, I loved it, Great work

  • Roy Stevens18 days ago

    While this is an apocryphal story and scientifically impossible -though it's very well told here by Dharrsheena- if you want to investigate a very, very weird, creepy Soviet era true story look into the Dyatlov Incident of 1959. I did heavy research into this 'occurrence' for a chapter in my first novel, and it still leaves me utterly creeped out and baffled! Good tall tale telling Dharrsheena.

  • Donna Renee28 days ago

    Omg that was so freakin creepy 🤣😱😁. I picked it to read because of the title since my kids kept me up all night and now I’m absolutely demanding a nap ASAP. Although I may have nightmares 😱🤣

  • Alex H Mittelman 3 months ago

    This is great! Intense the whole time.’ To many stimulants

  • wow wow wow!! This was so enlightening! This especially hit me, “We are the inherent evil inside the human mind that is kept in check by the act of sleeping”. Goodness! Great work excellent research

  • Great work. I have never read this version before, but it was quite engaging.

  • Alina Z5 months ago

    In the beginning, the premise of being a true story was believable. However, starting with Day 9, there were some inconsistencies that took me out of it. How can someone "disemboweled themselves" and be still alive? Thanks for sharing though, a revision of the second half would change it to a more engaging story!

  • Novel Allen7 months ago

    Was this a top story? I looked, did it disappear. Truthfully I could not read the entire story. Someone says it is not a true story. Oh dear. Too creepy, but interesting. You have a dark side Dhar, nothing wrong with that, but it is a bit scary.

  • David Heitz7 months ago

    Clickbait. I thought it was a real experiment. I don't understand Vocal and never will.

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  • Demi Oni 7 months ago

    This is an excellent piece. I actually got goosebumps.

  • Makayla Wach7 months ago

    I'm a little confused. This was a creepypasta written over a decade ago by an anonymous author. But you're obviously not the original author, because while you summarized the plot almost exactly, you didn't write out the story itself word-for-word. I think it's a little disingenuous to claim this to be your own writing when really, all you did was take something that was already written and re-word it/condense it. If you stated at the beginning that it was based on a famous creepypasta, I wouldn't have a problem.

  • D-Donohoe7 months ago

    Wow! That just shook me! Deserving of a top story!

  • Oluebube Nwokedi7 months ago

    oh wow! This is something else...I love it

  • Kamran Mehmood 7 months ago

    Although i am not a fan of horror fiction but this work excellent.

  • Kamran Mehmood 7 months ago

    Although i am not a fan of horror fiction but this work excellent.

  • I remember first reading this, it sent chills down my spine. Great piece!

  • Wow. This is great

  • Zayn 7 months ago

    Mam, ap india se ho, mam Mujhe apki help chaiye, please help me!

  • Joseph June7 months ago

    Thanks for sharing 👍

  • Denise Larkin7 months ago

    Wow, this is outstanding. I was caught up in it. It is truly an eerie thing to read about but I was enthralled in it and wanted to know what would happen with this experiment. Brilliantly written too.

  • Georgenes Medeiros7 months ago

    Awesome, I loved the text.

  • Dylan Crice7 months ago

    This was awesome! Really enjoyed this one. Congratulations on getting top story!!! Very well deserved.

  • Tomos Jackson7 months ago

    Wow that is some dark and creepy stuff. Really well written and an interesting idea, in a morbidly fascinating kind of way.

  • Jen Sullivan7 months ago

    I've read about this before, and while it's always terrifyingly fascinating, it thankfully is not true. It seems to have originated from the website Creepypasta in 2010. It makes its rounds every few years, just like all great urban legends.

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