Tony Wright (sleep deprivation)

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Tony Wright is an author and consciousness researcher from Penzance, Cornwall, UK. He claims to hold the world record for sleep deprivation.[1]

Sleep deprivation record[edit]

Wright claimed the world sleep deprivation record in May 2007 with 266 continuous hours of sleeplessness.[2] He based his record-breaking attempt on the belief that Randy Gardner was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as holding the deprivation record of 264 hours,[2] However, the Guinness record was actually for 11½ days, or 276 hours, and was set by Toimi Soini in Hamina, Finland from February 5 to the 15th, 1964.[3] and Wright did not in fact break the Guinness record.[4] However, Wright's friend Graham Gynn asserts that the Gardner record was the accepted record in the sleep research community.[4] Regardless, Wright's record claim was not credited by the Guinness Book of Records, since after 1990 it no longer accepted records related to sleep deprivation due to the possible health risks.[4][5]


Wright claimed that his deliberate insomnia was made possible in part by his biochemically complex diet of raw foods (carrot juice, bananas, avocados, pineapple and nuts).[6][7] He also asserted that his motivation for breaking the world sleep deprivation record was neither fame nor fortune, but that his intention was to promote his radical theories of human neurological degeneration that were proposed in his self-published book Left In The Dark.[4] Taylor cites Wright's theory that sleep deprivation decreases the dominance of the left brain and allows more right brain creativity.[8] This is in line with other researchers who have found that sleep deprivation produces hallucinations and states of altered consciousness.[8][9][10]


  1. ^ Nick Watt (14 November 2007). "'Trauma and Desperation': The Serious Effects of a Sleepless Night". ABC News. Retrieved December 31, 2014. Tony Wright has pushed it as far as any human we know of 
  2. ^ a b Salkeld, Luke (26 May 2007). "Cornishman sleeps after 11 days (but he's in for a rude awakening)". The Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. 
  3. ^ Toimi Soini, of Hamina, Finland, ... 276 hours recorded in the Guinness Book of Records from 1965 until 1990. Salkeld, Luke (26 May 2007). "Cornishman sleeps after 11 days (but he's in for a rude awakening)". The Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 26 May 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Man who stayed up for 266 hours awakes to bad news". The Times. London. 26 May 2007. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. 
  5. ^ Ian Sample (26 May 2007). "11 days awake - but is it record?". The Guardian. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  6. ^ "About Cornwall: Sleepless in Penzance". BBC News. 22 April 2008. 
  7. ^ Cornwall Consciousness Centre. "Introduction". Archived from the original on May 27, 2007. Retrieved May 26, 2007. 
  8. ^ a b Taylor, Steve (2010). Waking from Sleep: Why Awakening Experiences Occur and How to Make Them Permanent. London: Hay House. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-1-4019-2870-4. 
  9. ^ West, Louis Jolyon; Janszen, Herbert H.; Lester, Boyd K. & Cornelisoon, Floyd S. (1962). "The psychosis of sleep deprivation". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 96 (1): 66–70. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1962.tb50101.x. 
  10. ^ Naitoh, Paul; Kelly, Tamsin L. & Englund, Carl (1990). Health effects of sleep deprivation (PDF). Report (Naval Health Research Center (U.S.)), no. 89-46 (NHRC-89-46). San Diego, California: Naval Health Research Center. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 January 2014. 

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