device from the early 1960's
reputed to dramatically cut down time spent sleeping
. According to theory, one put one set of electrodes
behind one's ears, and one set over each eyelid
and turned on the juice -- voila ! instant dreamland
. One hour of this (with accompanying vivid dreams) was supposed to be as relaxing as eight hours of the natural method. A triumph of Soviet technology
! The end to unproductive lying-about when tractors were to be made! Science fiction
writers, notably Isaac Asimov
, and R. A. Lafferty
featured it in stories, NASA
was green with envy, and every hip person in the Free World
coveted one under the name "electrosleep".
If only it were so. Attempts by westerners to try such devices themselves were met with vigorous stonewalling on the part of the Russian medical establishment, who always had a few testimonials ready to hand, but no boxen for trial or purchase. Nowadays, Russian sleep machines are to be found in museums of quack medicine. Even Russian web sites are loath to claim anything but "increased likelihood" that one can fall asleep by this method. On Keelynet there are a few circuit diagrams available, but I've yet to hear from anyone who's either built or used one. A shame.