您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 健康 >> 正文

连续11天不睡觉的少年

更新时间:2019/10/22 9:42:59 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The boy who stayed awake for 11 days
连续11天不睡觉的少年

At the tail end of 1963 in America, the Beach Boys were playing on the radio, the Vietnam War had begun to draw in US involvement, high school kids were on their Christmas break and two teenagers were planning an experiment that would capture the nation’s attention.

时光拉回到1963年底的美国,电台里飘扬着"沙滩男孩"(Beach Boys)乐队的歌声,美军开始涉足越南战争。此时,中学生们开始过圣诞假期,两名少年则开始规划一项即将吸引全国关注目光的实验。

It ended on 8 January 1964; 17-year-old Randy Gardner had managed to stay awake for 11 days and 25 minutes.

实验于1964年1月8日结束,此时,17岁的兰迪·加德纳(Randy Gardner)已经连续11天又25分钟(264小时又25分钟)没有入眠。

Bruce McAllister, one of the high school students who came up with the idea, says it stemmed from the simple need to come up with a science fair project. Teamed with the creativity and cockiness that goes with teenage years, Bruce and his friend Randy decided they wanted to beat the world record for staying awake – which at the time was held by a DJ in Honolulu, who'd managed 260 hours, or just under 11 days.

想出这个主意的高中生布鲁斯·麦克艾力斯特(Bruce McAllister)说,当初他只是为了一次学校的科学展想一个题目而已。青少年特有的创造力和狂妄不羁让布鲁斯和他的朋友兰迪决定要挑战连续不睡觉的世界记录,当时这个记录是260小时,略短于11天,由檀香山的一位电台主持人保持。

“[The] first version of it was [to explore] the effect of sleeplessness on paranormal ability,” McAllister explains. “We realised there was no way we could do that and so we decided on the effect of sleep deprivation on cognitive abilities, performance on the basketball court. Whatever we could come up with.”

"我们最初是想研究失眠对超自然现象能力的影响,"麦克阿里斯特说。"后来发现这个实验没法做,因此我们决定研究缺乏睡眠对于认知能力以及篮球运动表现的影响。我们开始时并没有特别明确的实验目的。"

They flipped a coin on who would stay awake and much to McAllister’s relief, he won the toss. But their naivety surfaced in how they planned to observe the effects on Randy.

他们玩丢硬币的游戏决定谁不睡觉。麦克艾力斯特松了一口气,他赢了。但是他们还得解决谁来监测这个实验对兰迪影响的问题。

“We were idiots, you know young idiots,” he says “and I stayed awake with him to monitor him… and after three night of sleeplessness myself I woke up tipped against the wall writing notes on the wall itself.”

"我们是白痴,你知道年轻人很多都是白痴,"他说,"为了观察他,我必须保持清醒……连续三个晚上不睡觉之后,我已经撑不下去了。"

The teenagers realised they needed a third person involved so they roped in another friend – Joe Marciano – to help out. Shortly after Marciano came on board, a sleep researcher called William Dement from Stanford University arrived.

两位少年意识到他们需要第三人帮忙,因此他们找来一位朋友乔·马西亚诺(Joe Marciano)。就在马西亚诺加入后不久,斯坦福大学睡眠研究专家威廉·德门特(William Dement)也来到现场。

Dement is now an emeritus professor – but in 1964 he was just starting his research in the still new field of sleep science. He had read about the experiment in a San Diego newspaper and immediately wanted to get involved – much to the relief of Randy’s parents.

德门特现在是一位大学名誉教授,但在1964年,他才刚开展研究刚起步的睡眠科学。他在一份圣迭戈的报纸上看到了实验的消息,立即决定去参与实验,这让兰迪的父母一下感觉轻松了很多。

“I was probably the only person on the planet at the time who had actually done sleep research,” Dement says “[Randy’s parents] were very worried that this might be something that would really be harmful to him. Because the question was still unresolved on whether or not if you go without sleep long enough you will die.”

"当时我可能是世界上唯一一位专门研究睡眠问题的科学家,"德门特说,"兰迪的父母非常担心实验会危害到兰迪的身体健康。长时间不睡眠是否会导致死亡,当时还是个未解之谜。"

Our capacity to go without sleep is something that BBC Future has explored previously. Experiments on animals, such as one which kept cats awake for 15 days at which point they died, point to whether other factors such as stress or chemicals are the cause of death, rather than lack of sleep.

BBC未来频道曾经探讨过人类保持不眠的能力。动物实验(例如有个实验让猫15天不睡,最后造成猫的死亡)表明,是压力或化学品等因素,而非缺乏睡眠最终导致了动物死亡。

Indeed, McAllister insists that those experiments involved the use of chemicals, which muddied the results. “Randy had occasional Cokes but other than that, you know, no Dexedrine, Benzedrine, the du jour stimulants in those days,” he says.

麦克艾力斯特坚持认为,这些实验中使用了化学品,从而混淆了实验结果。"兰迪会偶尔喝杯可乐,但是不服用右旋安非命和苯丙胺等等当时流行的神经刺激剂,"他说。

Back to San Diego and by the time William Dement arrived a few days into the experiment, Randy was upbeat and didn’t seem particularly impaired. However, as the days wore on, the experiments they did on him threw up some unexpected results.

威廉·德门特到达圣迭戈后,在进入实验几天后,兰迪情绪积极,缺乏睡眠没有对他产生太大影响。然而,随着实验的继续,出人预料的事情发生了。

They tested his sense of taste, smell and hearing and after a while his cognitive and sensory abilities began to be affected.

他们测试了兰迪的味觉、嗅觉和听觉,一段时间后,他的认知和感知能力开始受到影响。

McAllister recalls Randy beginning to say: “Don’t make me smell that, I can’t stand the smell.” Surprisingly though, his basketball game got better although this could be down to the amount he was playing.

麦克艾力斯特回忆起兰迪当时说:"别让我闻那东西,我受不了那个味道。"然而令人惊奇的是,他的篮球技术却有所提高,虽然这可能和他的练习量有关。

“He was physically very fit,” says Dement. “So we could always get him going by playing basketball or going bowling, things like that. If he closed his eyes he would be immediately asleep.” Night time was harder as there was nothing to do and they had a terrible time keeping him awake.

"他的健康状态很正常,"德门特说。"所以我们能把他带去打篮球或保龄球。他一闭上双眼就会立刻睡着。"晚上没什么事情可做,很难熬,他们费了好大力气才让兰迪保持清醒。

As all this was happening, attention from the media began to gain momentum and for a brief time the boys’ experiment became the third most written-about story in the American national press – after the assassination of John F Kennedy and a visit by The Beatles.

随着实验的继续,媒体热度在不断升温。于是,这位少年参与的实验在一段时间内成为美国全国媒体上第三大热点报道事件(前两大事件分别为肯尼迪总统遇刺和披头士乐队访美)。

However, it was portrayed as a prank, in the same bracket as “telephone booth stuffing and goldfish swallowing”, according to McAllister. The students were very serious about it and pushed through. Eventually after 264 hours of no sleep, the world record was broken and the experiment was over.

然而,据麦克艾力斯特回忆说,当时的报纸把这次实验描述成如同类似"电话亭塞人和吞金鱼比赛"的一场恶搞。两位少年对实验非常严肃,并坚持实验。最终,历经了264小时无眠无休后实验结束了,他们打破了原有的世界纪录。

Rather than curling up in his own bed to get some much needed rest, Randy was taken off to a naval hospital where his brain waves were monitored. McAllister describes what happened next.

兰迪没有回到自己的床上大睡一场,而是被送到海军医院检测脑电波。麦克艾力斯特对我们描述了接下来发生的事情。

“So he sleeps for 14 hours – we’re not surprised – [and] he wakes up, in fact, because he has to go to the bathroom. His first night his percentage of REM state sleep, which was at that point associated with dream-state sleep – it isn’t anymore – skyrocketed. Then the next night it dropped in percentage points until finally days later it returned to normal.

"他睡了14小时(没有让我们吃惊)后,因为要上厕所而醒来。实验后第一个进入睡眠状态的晚上,他的REM状态睡眠(即梦境睡眠)时间比例急剧增大。第二个晚上有所下降,最终恢复到正常状态。"

“And then he got up and went to high school… it was amazing,” Dement adds.

"他起床后就返回学校上学……非常有趣,"德门特说道。

Randy’s results from the hospital were sent off to Arizona to be studied. McAllister says the results concluded that “his brain had been catnapping the entire time… parts of it would be asleep parts of it would be awake.”

"兰迪的医院检验报告被送往亚利桑那州进行研究。麦克艾力斯特说,检验报告称"他的大脑在整个检验时间内都处于浅睡状态……部分大脑可能属于睡眠状态,部分则处于苏醒状态。"

For him it makes sense in the context of human evolution. “He wasn’t the first human being – or pre-human being – to have to stay awake for more than one night and that the human brain might evolve so that it could catnap – parts of it could catnap and restore – while parts of it were awake – made total sense. And that would explain why worse things didn’t happen,” he says.

从人类进化的角度来说,这一切都他来说很正常。"他并非第一个超过一晚不睡觉的人类(或者史前人类),人类大脑可能进化出了浅睡能力——部分大脑组织会进入浅睡进行修复,而其余部分则保持清醒。这种能力非常重要,这可以解释为什么长期失眠并没有产生极为糟糕的后果,"他说。

A number of people tried to break Gardner’s record for the longest time anyone had stayed awake in the following years – but the Guinness Book of Records stopped certifying attempts, believing it could be dangerous to people's health.

后来,有很多人想打破兰迪最长不睡眠时间的记录,但是吉尼斯世界纪录出于该实验对人体健康的影响,不再接受申请。

Randy seemed to show no ill effects from his 11 days awake – although he later reported suffering from years of unbearable insomnia. At a press conference outside his parents’ home after the experiment had ended, the teenagers fielded questions from a huge crowd that had gathered.

在超过11天不睡之后,兰迪的健康好像没有受到影响,尽管他后来据说患上了顽固的慢性失眠症。实验结束后,在他父母家外召开的记者会上,面对汹涌而来的人潮,这位少年镇定地回答了提出的问题。

The boy who hadn’t slept for 11 days somehow managed to be philosophical about his endeavour.

这位整整11天未眠的少年对实验的态度很豁达。

“It’s just mind over matter,” he said.

"这是一次意志的胜利,"他说。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表