Tyler Shields Plans to Stay Awake for 40 Days Straight set world record 2011

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I always thought it would be pretty cool to set a world record. Unlike Tyler Shields, a 28-year-old photographer who’s determined to stay awake for 40 days straight, I lack the necessary self-discipline. Shields, who hails from LA, has long had problems with insomnia but recently decided to embrace his sleeplessness and set a world record for the longest stretch of time awake – 960 hours. He’s made it a long way already, as today he crossed the 38-day mark.

 Shields explains the motivation behind his stunt, “People live in a ‘why’ world. I live in a ‘why not’ world.” He adds, “If you’re the greatest bread maker, you should make bread. If you’re the guy who doesn’t sleep, you shouldn’t sleep.”

(I’m not really sure I follow the logic there – but alright.)

 Shields’ stunt has provoked a great deal of controversy due to its highly dangerous nature. The Guinness World Records organization, for example, has refused to take part in the ordeal, stating that the organization has long refused to recognize sleep-deprivation records. Shields has had to turn to his family and friends to help monitor his wakefulness.

 Even more unbelievable, however, is that Shields continued with his daily work obligations up until very recently. He explains that he has trained himself to function very well on little sleep due to his insomnia. In these last days, however, Sheilds’ body seems to be lashing out. He explains that simple daily activities such as taking a shower are unbearably painful. He has lost feeling in his legs and is having severe bladder-control issues.

Medical professionals have voiced concern as to the tremendous harm he is doing to his body and mind. Friends and family have expressed concern about possible long-term effects of the experiment.
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