"Sleep Less" column redux: Electronarcosis

Does anyone have experience with or at least some definitive information on Electronarcosis, aka “Russian Sleep?”

My understanding is that it’s a way of forcing the brain waves into patterns conducive of sleep using electrodes. Sorta an EEG in reverse, or a variation on the “flashy-light” or “binaural beat” generators, only more invasive in it’s current (ha ha) form.

This is an idea championed by one of my favorite authors, Arthur C. Clarke. While I love him for his visionary skills, like any visionary, Arthur often backs the wrong horse.

A quick web search informs me that yes, Electronarcosis does exist, but the results are not quite ready for prime time.

Does anyone have any hard information on Electronarcosis that could be explained to an interested layperson? If the concept could be adapted to a workable product, it’d be a multi-million dollar idea.

Heck, I would have paid a few dollars to miss my bedmate’s 3:00am coughing fit last night, and I’m sure she’d do at least as much to miss my nightly snoring like an ill-tuned diesel engine.

What is the story on Electronarcosis?


Welcome to the SDMB, Max Heck.
Link to the article referred:
Is there a way to sleep less?

It’s also championed (fictionally) by Larry Niven, in a number of books and stories. Every time I read about “Russian sleep” devices, I wished I had one. I always wondered if there was anything to them, or if it was something Niven heard about back in the 1960’s that never panned out. What information were you able to find, Max Heck?

Ice Wolf: I thank you very much for the welcome, and also for the reminder to actualy read the sticky that’s right at the top of the page, rather than just skimming the title… err… Ooops. Thank you! :slight_smile:

Here’s a site that lists quite a few references, but also IMHO lists a lot of bullhockey. If you keep reading from this page onward it starts to get strange, and that casts doubt on the original page, but I think the actual references are genuine:


Another site, another person who doesn’t understand William of Ockham. I have to give him kudos for doing a literature search though:


I don’t directly have access to the references made, and so I have no idea what to think. The internet is a wonderful thing so far as finding pointers to sources, but not terribly helpful in showing the sources themselves. That would explain my original question, >>Does anyone have experience with or at least some definitive information on Electronarcosis, aka "Russian Sleep?<<