Is is possible to put someone to sleep and, while they are sleeping, attach muscle stimulating pads, causing the muscles to do work and causing exercise to be done without consciousness?


closed as off-topic by Cyn, Bellerophon, Alex2006, elemtilas, Mark Olson Jan 14 at 0:18

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not clearly about worldbuilding and it's something you can figure out with a bit of research. If your research doesn't cover every aspect, ask about what you couldn't find out. $\endgroup$ – Cyn Jan 13 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Cyn not being well-researched is not a reason to vote to close - it is a reason to downvote (hover of the downvote option) - as even the general guidelines only say "should contain". I will agree that this seem a bad fit for worldbuilding (not building a world) $\endgroup$ – JGreenwell Jan 13 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ I try not to downvote, in part because I don't want to give up rep to do it. I probably would not have VTC if the only issue were the lack of research, but, frankly, that lack is precisely what makes the question too broad. It's a "tell me everything you know about this subject" type question. $\endgroup$ – Cyn Jan 13 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Cyn downvoting questions has not cost rep since 2010 $\endgroup$ – JGreenwell Jan 14 at 1:43

Yes, it is perfectly possible.

This paper, Neuromuscular electrical stimulation prevents muscle wasting in critically ill comatose patients, details that it is indeed a good idea.

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) represents an effective method to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and alleviate muscle disuse atrophy in healthy subjects. We investigated the efficacy of twice-daily NMES to alleviate muscle loss in six fully sedated ICU patients admitted for acute critical illness.

One leg was subjected to twice-daily NMES of the quadriceps muscle for a period of 7 ± 1 day whereas the other leg acted as a non-stimulated control (CON). No muscle atrophy was observed in the stimulated leg.

In conclusion, NMES represents an effective and feasible interventional strategy to prevent skeletal muscle atrophy in critically ill comatose patients.

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    $\begingroup$ Good answer, assuming the OP doesn't want to grow muscles like a body builder during sleep. And keep in mind that electrode pads can only stimulate surface muscles, so the patients would suffer atrophy in core muscles and the heart nonetheless. $\endgroup$ – Elmy Jan 13 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Elmy If the heart isn't working long enough to suffer from atrophy you may have bigger problems. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Jan 13 at 20:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Bellerophon Maybe clinical atrophy is too strong of a word, I was referring to the difference in size and strength of a heart of a couch potato compared to a trained athlete. What use is all your muscle mass if your heart cannot keep up with the demand for blood? $\endgroup$ – Elmy Jan 13 at 20:14

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