Sleep Experiment

17 Oct Sleep Experiment

The constant demands of our of 24-hour society have drastic effects on our wellbeing, not the least, how well we sleep. This is particularly pertinent for shift workers, whom live in a flux of sleep and wake regimes. A team of researchers at The Appleton Institute Lab in Adelaide have set out to discover how altered sleep regimes affect productivity, motor function, and mood. The subjects were Jennifer Mills, Sean Williams, Thom Buchanan and Fee Plumley; strangers to each other at the time they entered the experiment. The lab director was Professor Drew Dawson from CQ University.

The four artists were locked in a Time Isolation Laboratory. In this climate-controlled lab, the researchers adjusted the day/night cycle to suit their needs. It has no windows or clocks. They were allowed no coffee, tea, alcohol, nor chocolate. The scientists wired them up to brain monitors at night and for seven days and nights kept them under constant closed circuit surveillance, while subjecting them to barrages of tests. If they dozed, they were woken. More details of the experiment can be found on the website (

To learn more and hear about the experiment from the four subjects, follow the link and listen to the Podcast from ABC Earshot.