Shattered

Shattered

[shat-er]

Shattered was a reality television programme shown on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom in early 2004.

Ten contestants were challenged with going without sleep for seven days while their actions were constantly monitored. Over the seven days the ten housemates had to endure daily performance testing and a variety of challenges. They were competing for a potential prize fund of £100,000 though, at any point, if a contestant closed their eyes for over ten seconds, then £1,000 was deducted from the prize fund.

In order to ensure the contestants' safety they were allowed to sleep an hour per day. Without this the show would probably have been deemed too dangerous and damaging to the health of those involved.

Daily tests and challenges

Performance tests

These included a memory test, a clock test, which measured their perception of time, a reaction test and a stroop test, which examined their mental agility. The two people that showed the strongest drop in performance had to face off in a live challenge that evening, the loser being evicted from the house.

You Snooze You Lose

Every day a contestant was chosen by their peers to endure an hour-long "You Snooze You Lose" challenge. These included:

  • A relaxing massage
  • Cuddling a giant teddy bear
  • A bedtime story, repeated again and again
  • Watching paint dry in a warm, comfy chair
  • Counting sheep on a television

Contestants

  • Chris
  • Claire M
  • Clare S (winner)
  • Craig
  • Dean
  • Ellen
  • Jimmy
  • Jonathan
  • Lucy
  • Salma

Adverse reaction

Though research has gone into the effects of sleep deprivation nobody knew exactly what to expect. Hallucinations and odd behaviour were evident quite quickly in some contestants. Numerous contestants suffered from both hypnagogia and hypnopompia (both essentially dreaming while awake, normally just prior to or after sleep).

  • Chris believed himself to be the Prime Minister of Australia and also thought he was on the set for the popular Australian soap Neighbours.
  • Jimmy got angry when the others refused to put on their Japanese armour and play with an imaginary ball
  • Dean and Jonathan were convinced their clothes had been stolen
  • Clare S thought she was in a tube station
  • Dean nearly fell over as he started to succumb to sleep while still standing

After 75 hours Lucy walked out, having talked to the psychiatrist and deciding that she could no longer continue. Chris, Dean and Jimmy were the only contestants to have an illegal sleep and they only did it once each.

The Sleep Off countdown

At 3.45pm on the final day the contestants were sent to bed - the last to fall asleep won. The show reported that Jonathan and Chris fell asleep within a quarter of a second of each other at 4.12pm while Clare continued to stay awake until 6.10pm, easily winning the competition and £97,000. She endured 178 hours of sleep deprivation and attributed her success to tensing her feet until they hurt and preventing herself from urinating.

External links

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