The man who have not slept for 45 years

The unusual case of Hai Ngoc, the man who claims to have been 45 years without sleep. The 78-year-old Vietnamese peasant farmer claims not to have slept a minute since 1975.
According to science, it is impossible for the human body to endure more than a few days deprived of sleep, but the Vietnamese peasant Hai Ngoc, 78, claims not to have slept a single minute for 45 years.
The life of Ngoc, whose story has been broadcast several times in the Vietnamese press and television and is mentioned in a National Geographic magazine blog, has barely changed since one day in 1975 he stopped sleeping forever.
‘I don't remember the date because I didn't give it importance. I thought it was a passing thing, but the days went by and I still couldn't sleep,’ he tells Efe Hai Ngoc in front of his humble home in the remote village of Que Trung, in central Vietnam.
The peasant receives the journalist dressed in a traditional black suit and asks for a few minutes to finish a ceremony that drives away the evil spirits from his cultivation field.
Agriculture and the sale of a rice liqueur that he himself produces are his main livelihood and, at 78, he maintains an enviable health that allows him to go out to work almost daily.
According to science, it is impossible for the human body to endure more than a few days deprived of sleep, but the Vietnamese peasant Hai Ngoc, 78, claims not to have slept a single minute for 45 years. The life of Ngoc, whose story has been broadcast several times in the Vietnamese press and television and is mentioned in a National Geographic magazine blog, has barely changed since one day in 1975 he stopped sleeping forever. ‘I don't remember the date because I didn't give it importance. I thought it was a passing thing, but the days went by and I still couldn't sleep,’ he tells Efe Hai Ngoc in front of his humble home in the remote village of Que Trung, in central Vietnam. The peasant receives the journalist dressed in a traditional black suit and asks for a few minutes to finish a ceremony that drives away the evil spirits from his cultivation field. Agriculture and the sale of a rice liqueur that he himself produces are his main livelihood and, at 78, he maintains an enviable health that allows him to go out to work almost daily. ‘ When I was younger I used the nights to work the fields or to clean up the road that leads to my house. Now that I'm older I don't do it that often anymore, I stay home watching TV or go for walks and smoke,’ he explains. He says he spends his nights watching television, walking and smoking His inability to fall asleep has other uses in his peaceful rural life, such as being the only one who endures several days in a row at the wake or wakes the neighbors when they need to go out to the field before dawn. At home he has hosted television crews from the United Kingdom, Thailand and Japan who, according to his version, left after several days, amazed at his inability to sleep. ‘The Thais took me to the hospital in Danang (the nearest city, about 50 km away) to be examined and they said that I was fine. The only problem is that of the hand,’ he says, pointing to his limb, deformed by a bomb from the Vietnam War, in which he fought between 1964 and 1966 on the side of North Vietnam. The doctor who examined him, Nguyen Gia Thieu, told the Vietnamnet digital portal that this insomnia is strange but not dangerous and he attributed it to a disorder of the nervous system. Although the peasant would like to sleep because he remembers it as ‘a pleasant sensation,’ he is not concerned with his rare condition. “I have tried traditional remedies and once they brought me pills from Saigon to sleep, but they had no effect. Only when I drink a lot of rice liquor do I lie down and my head goes a little, but I don't go to sleep, "he says. The liquor and tobacco that he himself plants are his greatest vices, but they hardly seem to have an impact on his health. "I never get sick, I don't even catch a cold," he says. His account could be corroborated with an electroencephalography that records the type of waves emitted by his brain for several days, but nearby hospitals do not have this technology and he is reluctant to leave his village. “The English who came here wanted to take me to Ho Chi Minh (old Saigon) to do more tests, but I don't want to go, it is very far away and I am fine. I never go to the doctor, "he says. Except for his occasional interviews with the press, Ngoc lives like any of his neighbors and says he has rejected offers to enrich himself with his story. "An Australian television wanted to pay me 30 million dong (1,120 euros) in exchange for not speaking to any other media in 18 months, but it did not seem right to refuse to attend people who come to see me from afar," he says. The known record Apart from the case of Ngoc, not endorsed by medicine, the best-known record of lack of sleep is that of the American Randy Garner, who as a student in 1964 endured 264 hours (eleven days) without sleeping under scientific supervision. There have been other famous insomniacs in history such as the American Al Herpin, who died in 1947 at 94 years old after spending more than five decades without sleeping, according to what the New York Times reported at the time. The Hungarian soldier of World War I Paul Kern also achieved notoriety, who since being shot in the head in 1915 did not sleep again until his death, more than 40 years later, to the perplexity of the doctors who examined him . A possible explanation for Ngoc's case, ruling out deliberate deception, is that he sleeps for a few minutes with his eyes open and without being aware of it. The peasant does not seem to attach any importance to his exceptional nature or to the fact that his story is an absolute nonsense for science. ‘I don't know if there is someone else like me, but I don't care. I lead a normal life and it does not affect me’ he insists." }
When I was younger I used the nights to work the fields or to clean up the road that leads to my house. Now that I'm older I don't do it that often anymore, I stay home watching TV or go for walks and smoke,’ he explains.
According to science, it is impossible for the human body to endure more than a few days deprived of sleep, but the Vietnamese peasant Hai Ngoc, 78, claims not to have slept a single minute for 45 years. The unusual case of Hai Ngoc, the man who claims to have been 45 years without sleep. The 78-year-old Vietnamese peasant farmer claims not to have slept a minute since 1975.
The man who have not slept for 45 years
He says he spends his nights watching television, walking and smoking
His inability to fall asleep has other uses in his peaceful rural life, such as being the only one who endures several days in a row at the wake or wakes the neighbors when they need to go out to the field before dawn.
At home he has hosted television crews from the United Kingdom, Thailand and Japan who, according to his version, left after several days, amazed at his inability to sleep.
The Thais took me to the hospital in Danang (the nearest city, about 50 km away) to be examined and they said that I was fine. The only problem is that of the hand,’ he says, pointing to his limb, deformed by a bomb from the Vietnam War, in which he fought between 1964 and 1966 on the side of North Vietnam.
The doctor who examined him, Nguyen Gia Thieu, told the Vietnamnet digital portal that this insomnia is strange but not dangerous and he attributed it to a disorder of the nervous system.
Although the peasant would like to sleep because he remembers it as ‘a pleasant sensation,’ he is not concerned with his rare condition.
“I have tried traditional remedies and once they brought me pills from Saigon to sleep, but they had no effect. Only when I drink a lot of rice liquor do I lie down and my head goes a little, but I don't go to sleep, "he says.
The liquor and tobacco that he himself plants are his greatest vices, but they hardly seem to have an impact on his health. "I never get sick, I don't even catch a cold," he says.
His account could be corroborated with an electroencephalography that records the type of waves emitted by his brain for several days, but nearby hospitals do not have this technology and he is reluctant to leave his village.
“The English who came here wanted to take me to Ho Chi Minh (old Saigon) to do more tests, but I don't want to go, it is very far away and I am fine. I never go to the doctor, "he says.
Except for his occasional interviews with the press, Ngoc lives like any of his neighbors and says he has rejected offers to enrich himself with his story. "An Australian television wanted to pay me 30 million dong (1,120 euros) in exchange for not speaking to any other media in 18 months, but it did not seem right to refuse to attend people who come to see me from afar," he says.
The known record
Apart from the case of Ngoc, not endorsed by medicine, the best-known record of lack of sleep is that of the American Randy Garner, who as a student in 1964 endured 264 hours (eleven days) without sleeping under scientific supervision.
There have been other famous insomniacs in history such as the American Al Herpin, who died in 1947 at 94 years old after spending more than five decades without sleeping, according to what the New York Times reported at the time.
The Hungarian soldier of World War I Paul Kern also achieved notoriety, who since being shot in the head in 1915 did not sleep again until his death, more than 40 years later, to the perplexity of the doctors who examined him .
A possible explanation for Ngoc's case, ruling out deliberate deception, is that he sleeps for a few minutes with his eyes open and without being aware of it.
The peasant does not seem to attach any importance to his exceptional nature or to the fact that his story is an absolute nonsense for science. ‘I don't know if there is someone else like me, but I don't care. I lead a normal life and it does not affect me’ he insists.


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