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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Sleepless record man feeling fine
Sleepless in Penzance
Tony Wright at the start of the challenge
Tony Wright cannot use any stimulants during the attempt

A Cornish man attempting to break the world record for sleep deprivation says he is feeling fine, despite being awake for more than a week.

Tony Wright, 42, from Penzance, started his attempt to beat the current record at 0600 BST on 14 May.

The current record stands at 264 hours - 11 days.

Mr Wright said: "It's a bit difficult for me to say but I feel fine - there's a lot of pressure and there's been troughs of tiredness, but I feel OK."

He has been passing the time by playing pool and keeping an online diary.

In one of the entries, Mr Wright described his experience of nearly falling asleep on Saturday as: "The flat screen starts turning into a multi-dimensional portal to another world and the text into a welcoming entourage of giggling dancing pixies and elves.

'Not going mad'

"Remarkably, one's nose heads in a similar direction, and without a last-second reprieve would have come firmly to rest on the Z key."

He said this entry was poetic licence and not an example of him going mad.

"I was partly being serious, but also I couldn't think of anything else to write as I haven't done anything."

The only physical change he has noticed is his speech becoming incomprehensible at times.

He is unsure if this is through lack of sleep or from talking too much.
I don't look any worse than in the beginning and can hold a conversation
Tony Wright

He has also noticed that colours seem very bright.

"I don't look any worse than in the beginning and can hold a conversation," he said.

He said the hardest part was that he had to stay in one place - Penzance's Studio Bar - in order to prove that he was not popping out for a sleep.

"Although this is a lovely place, staying in one place long enough drives you stir crazy," he said.

Increasingly confident

A live web cam and CCTV cameras are monitoring him 24-hours a day.

"It does seem kind of strange like a reality TV show," he said.

He said he was becoming increasingly confident that he would break the record which was set by Randy Gardner in the US in 1964.

"I've already done eight days so three more doesn't seem much of an effort. I can do that," he said.

The current record was set 43 years ago

Sleepless record attempt starts
14 May 07 |  Cornwall


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