Al Herpin

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Al Herpin (January 1, 1862 in Paris – January 3, 1947) was an American known as the "Man Who Never Slept".[1]

Al Herpin, who lived in Trenton, New Jersey,[2] claimed to have never slept before. The supposed cause is unknown. While claims such as his have occasionally appeared in newspapers, there is a recognized medical consensus that all humans require sleep, and that they do so even if they are not aware of it. [3]

In the late 1940s, Al Herpin's claim attracted the attention of several medical professionals. Herpin claimed that after a long day's work, he would rest in his rocking chair reading the newspaper until dawn, then return to work.[citation needed]

A piece in The New York Times[4] on February 29, 1904, reported that:

Albert Herpin, born in France in 1862 and for fifteen years a hostler in the employ of Freeholder Walter Phares of this city, declares that he has not slept a wink during the past ten years. Notwithstanding this, he is in perfect health, and does not seem to suffer any discomfort from his remarkable condition.

Al Herpin died on January 3, 1947, reportedly at the age of 94.[5] His obituary in The New York Times read:

Death came today for Alfred [sic] E. Herpin, a recluse who lived on the outskirts of the city and insisted that he never slept. He was 94 years old and, when questioned concerning his claim of "sleeplessness", maintained that he never actually dozed but merely "rested".

No other person with total insomnia has lived for such a long period of time. It was likely that he died for other reasons, not sleep deprivation, as his insomnia did not seem to have any effect on his health.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gary Fincke (2003). Writing letters for the blind. Ohio State University Press. p. 11. ISBN 0-8142-0950-5. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  2. ^ Bessant, Annie (1930). Theosophist Magazine September 1930-December 1930.
  3. ^ Jim., Horne (2016). Sleeplessness Assessing Sleep Need in Society Today. p. 114. ISBN 9783319305721.
  4. ^ "Hasn't Slept in 10 years" (PDF). The New York Times. February 29, 1904. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Man Who Said He Never Slept Dies at 94; New Jersey Doctors Are Skeptical of Claim". The New York Times. January 4, 1947. Retrieved 2 September 2011.


  • "Hasn't Slept in Ten Years; So Trenton Hostler Avers and Physicians Corroborate Him", The New York Times, February 29, 1904
  • "Man Who Said He Never Slept Dies at 94; New Jersey Doctors Are Skeptical of Claim", New York Times, January 4, 1947.