Riddles of a lethargyWho from us, the exhausted workaholics of the XXI century though once a week does not dream «to sleep really»? Long ago it is proved that for high-grade restoration of nervous system the average person should sleep not less than 7-9 hours per day. But the medicine knows examples when the dream begins suddenly, lasts much more long and does not bring pleasure...

History of «a sleepy illness»

Lethargy - from Greek "summer" (oblivion) and "orgy" (inaction) - a condition of a pathological dream with more or less expressed fall of a metabolism and easing or absence of reaction to sound, tactile and painful irritations. Cases of a so-called lethargical sleep have been fixed in different parts of the world and described by the people having authority on scientific community. So, still Russian academician Ivan Pavlov has described the patient by family name of Kachalkin who has overslept 20 years: from 1898 to 1918. All functions of its organism were slowed down at 20-30 time: heart instead of usual 70-80 blows in a minute did only 2-3, and instead of 16-18 sighs it did a minute of 1-2 imperceptible. Thus did not submit any signs of the life, all reflexes were absent, and body temperature was more warmish than air temperature. During this time he drank nothing, did not eat, and did not do any physiological departures. After Kachalkin's awakening looked as it is young, as well as 20 years ago, but then for 2 years has turned into the real old man …

To medicine cases of approach of a lethargy after poisoning with carbon monoxide, big кровопотери, a fit of hysteria or a faint are known. There are data that during the moments, when to life was threatened by real threat (for example, during bombardments in the Great Patriotic War) such patients unexpectedly woke up from a lethargical sleep and when danger passed, again fell asleep. Sometimes the woken-up people gained for some time paranormal abilities: started to speak in foreign languages, to read mind at distance, to cure illnesses, etc.

Virus or something another?

The lethargy reasons up to the end are not established and today. The lethargy has accepted mass character during the period between 1916 and 1927 and quickly has around the world accepted character of epidemic. Doctors guessed, from what it occurs. One considered that it is caused by an unknown virus, others confused it to epidemic of "Spaniard" (versions of the flu raging those years), the third approved that it consequences of the certain new weapon applied in the First World War. But when in 1948г. flash of new epidemic of a lethargy has occurred in Iceland, scientists of the whole world have seriously started talking about this mysterious illness.

The statistics on quantity "untimely fallen asleep" in the world was not conducted by anybody, however when in the middle of the XX century began to transfer old European cemeteries when random inspection of coffins becomes, have found out that the fourth part of all dead persons which have been buried, were still live at the moment of burial. To it testified to position of bodies in coffins: "dead men" after funeral unsuccessfully tried to get out of a grave …

In the early nineties of the XX century English scientists R. Deyl and E.Chyorch have assumed that there is a specific TWISTED («a virus of an infectious lethargy») which is connected with a rare form of a streptococcus. Researches in this direction are conducted still.

Known victim of a lethargy

There is a hypothesis that writer N.V.Gogol too could become the victim of a medical error and fall asleep a lethargical sleep which have taken for death. Contemporaries noted that all life the writer in panic was afraid to be buried alive. After the suffered malarial encephalitis in 1839 it often had faints after which it could oversleep some days and very much resembled at this time the died: wax complexion, cool to the touch extremities, very rare palpitation. Therefore "The chosen places from correspondence with friends" it has begun the book so: "Being in complete presence of memory and sensible mind, I state here the last will. I bequeath not to bury my body until obvious signs of decomposition will seem. I mention it because already during the illness found on me minutes of a vital onemeniye, heart and pulse ceased to fight..."

Alas, the last desire of the great writer has not been executed: him have buried in due time, on a country churchyard of the Danilovsky monastery in Moscow. When in 1931 the Council of Peoples Commissars has made the decision on transformation of a monastery in a colony for juvenile criminals, a cemetery liquidated, and some "well-known" graves перезахоронили on the Novodevichy Cemetery. On May 31 the same year in the conditions of strict privacy opening of a grave of Gogol has been carried out. One of being present thus the writer V. Lidin has noticed that … Nikolay Vasilyevich skull will turn on one side, and the skeleton lies in an unnatural pose. Then for the first time there was a version that the writer has run during lifetime into a lethargical sleep and has been buried alive. Whether so it actually or simply behind prescription of years the grave has given, and the skeleton has been deformed, today it is already impossible to establish.

But in the West supporters of the theory of a lethargy form a set of the societies protecting human rights after death. So, in England the law on which in all refrigerators of mortuaries there should be a bell with a rope that revived "dead person" could call a peal to the aid is passed. And in Slovakia in a grave together with the dead man put the mobile phone …

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