I had a dream the other night about an alien invasion. In this dream, I was one of the first people to be aware that the aliens had landed, and of course I wanted to warn others. The aliens were locking me into a big box for the night, but secretly I had a mobile phone in my hand; I was planning to alert people by text once the aliens had shut the box and gone away. Unfortunately, as soon as the last latch on the box slipped into place, I fell instantly asleep, and (within the dream) only woke up again when the box was reopened.

Would this actually be possible, with science as we know it? If so, how would it be done?


  • some kind of sleep-inducing ray
  • a container which, when shut, releases said rays (perhaps by closing a circuit)
  • instantaneous effect: a person subjected to said rays wouldn't even have time to make a call before falling asleep
  • immediate reawakening once the circuit is opened again and the rays stop operating

In other words, a person locked within such a box would be asleep for exactly the period the box is closed, no longer and no shorter.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not very experienced with tagging on this site. Feel free to edit. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Apr 11 '17 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ "some kind of sleep-inducing ray" - why would it need to be a ray? $\endgroup$ – Mołot Apr 11 '17 at 10:47
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    $\begingroup$ Just fill the chamber with a gas designed to make you unconscious. $\endgroup$ – Gryphon - Reinstate Monica Apr 11 '17 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Gryphon Would that act quickly enough? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Apr 11 '17 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ Reminder to close-voters: The problem cannot be fixed if the OP isn't made aware of it. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Apr 11 '17 at 12:21

A regulated dosage of Chloroform, or trichloromethane.

Simply produce the amount needed and release it into the little coffin black box, but the aliens should strictly regulate the amount - too much could kill someone with breathing problems or even a physically fit person.

This regular anesthetic was used in surgery, and put people to sleep.

In science today, there is no such 'ray' that I know of that wouldn't kill you, but put you to sleep.

  • $\begingroup$ I suppose this doesn't answer the question, because it requests a 'ray,' but such a simpler solution is available. Occam's Razor again. $\endgroup$ – Mikey Apr 11 '17 at 15:23

Frequency Specific Pulsed Electromagnetic Field

Ah this is an interesting question ! For sure the most straight forward way of doing it is a consistent gas mix to induce sleep chemically. However, there are some studies to suggest that magnetic fields (Pulsed magnetic fields as opposed to constant, which the WHO have found there to be little scientific evidence to support the idea of electromagnetic hypersensitivity) have the ability to affect the brains abilities to sleep.

In therapeutic PEMFs for instance, it has been found that this field and intensity was effective in reducing sleep disturbances in 83% of the exposed group, compared with 57% in the controls, which further suggests that some kind of pulsed EMFs could induce a state of constant sleep.

Studies references : https://www.drpawluk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/PEMFs-and-Sleep-References.pdf


The answer is very simple the aliens pumped your chamber full of sleeping gas that is used widely in medical procedures today puts people to sleep for a predetermined time based on the person's weight.


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