Thai Ngoc

Thai Ngoc – A man with no sleep for over 60 years!

Thai Ngoc lost his sleep during the American invasion of Vietnam. The continuous bombing made him so scared that he could never sleep after that. Yes, he didn’t sleep since 1962.

The Thai man who never sleeps – Thai Ngoc

Thai Ngoc, a normal 80 years old farmer from the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam. But, he is famous for his sleep deprivation for more than 62 years. It’s unbelievable but true. If you check Wikipedia for sleep deprivation records, then all the records go up to only 18-20 days.

However, I will not go into details of records and all that, as this article is not about records and further, nothing is near to this man’s situation. His age now is over 80 years and he claims to not have had a single day of sleep for over 60 years now.

Earlier, he lived a normal and happy life and used to sleep normally like everybody else. He has 3 houses in Vietnam, all nearby, just a few kilometers from each other, where he lives with his wife and family. One house is in mountain fields in lush greens. So, he has everything needed for a happy life then how this problem started?

Thai Ngoc doesn’t sleep – How it started?

In an interview, Thai Ngoc told an American YouTuber Drew Brinsky that it’s all because of you Americans. He said it in a bit angry but laughing way because his insomnia started due to regular American bombings in Vietnam around 1960. He told that he and others were under continuous fear of death during sleep, as bombers used to come at night. However, after the war, others resumed their normal life, but he could never return to normalcy.

Thai Ngoc why can't I sleep
Photo by Charles Parker

What is insomnia and what causes it?

While reading his story, I know, many people may relate his situation to their own. A lot of people around me in real life and on social media are seriously struggling with this problem of sleep deprivation. Insomnia is a worldwide problem, but, perhaps they at least sleep for some time, may be for a few hours daily.

You must have seen labor-class people sleeping easily anywhere, and anytime in uneasy postures. On the other hand, a lot of people having all the worldly facilities crave deep sleep or even some sleep. This is insomnia – when one can’t go into sleep, or not getting enough sleep. In some cases, people do sleep, but their quality of sleep is so poor that they get up even more exhausted than they were before sleeping.

There may be many reasons for insomnia, but the biggest causes remain stress, anxiety, fear, and the absence of physical labor in daily routine. Those people who just can’t stop or at least reduce their mental activities become easy victims of insomnia. 24*7 connection with technology also plays a big role, however, all the reasons for this problem are still unknown.

Why sleep is needed and how much?

In the case of Thai Ngoc, this problem started in 1962 when he was around 18-20 years of age. This means he was approaching adulthood, and according to experts he would have required around 7-8 hours of sleep. This much sleep is needed for proper functioning of the human body. During the sleep the body repairs itself, vital organs get rest and prepare themselves for the next day.

If a sleep deficiency continues for many days, then the efficiency of the body starts reducing. It takes a toll on the heart, mind, and overall functioning. But, Thai Ngoc somehow sustained. Further, as observed by the YouTuber, he is a chain smoker. Further, he consumes a liter of self-made wine daily. Still, he works hard daily and moves on a cycle for miles at the age of over 80.

How was Thai Ngoc able to survive without sleep?

In the nighttime, he prepares rice wine for selling the next day and enjoys himself also. This wine preparation is like the driving force which keeps him going. However, this activity also needs physical labor as he doesn’t use any modern machines for that. He has a traditional setup to prepare the rice wine.

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However, Thai Ngoc said that whenever he consumes over 1 liter of wine, then he falls nearly unconscious or in a nearly sleepy state in bed for an hour or two. In fact, he tries to get some sleep like that , but, soon he founds that he is not in sleep. So, this is nearly no sleep state. This 1-2 hour state of losing the senses because of overdose of strong wine is not sleep.


As is evident from his situation, he knows the root cause of the problem. But, since he is unable to find any psychological solution to his deep-rooted fear, he needs the help of an expert. Only an expert can send suggestions to his deeper layers that war is over, and that now no bombers will come. Then only he can come out of this trauma and get a peaceful sleep, which he is desperately craving for.

  • Featured Image Credit: Drew Brinsky’s YouTube video
  • Tag: What does Thai Ngoc have?

2 thoughts on “Thai Ngoc – A man with no sleep for over 60 years!”

  1. Interesting. The mind can do anything; the body is its creation. He woke up the sleeping part of his mind that believes humans are bodies and need sleep; now he never needs to sleep against. Many mystics have done this, including Lahiri Mahasaya.


    1. Timeless Mayank

      Thanks for the interesting comment. Earlier, I had planned to include the “Mystics sleep part” also in this article. But, as the post progressed, I thought it would take the post out of the topic. Hence postponed the decision for some future day.

      The mystics (I have also read about a few) attain that state with spiritual depth, and they are comfortable with it. However, in the case of Thai Ngoc, he slipped into this state out of fear and since then is craving for sleep.

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