This is precisely why reality and TV just shouldn’t mix. Shattered was a program shown on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. 10 contestants were challenged to go without sleep for 7 days, while their actions were carefully monitored.
Through the course of the competition, housemates had to endure daily performance testing and a variety of challenges, which included not trying to fall asleep as:
- They received a relaxing massage
- They were told the same bed time story over and over again
- They received a lecture on trigonometry
If at any point the contestants dared to shut their eyes for 10 seconds, they lost the contest. Eventually, the contestants became drunk on a lack of sleep, and began hallucinating; one contestant believed that he was the Prime Minister of Australia, another thought that she was in a tube station, etc.
The woman who won, Clare, endured 178 hours of sleep deprivation. She attributed her success to tensing her feet until they hurt and preventing herself from urinating.