While many viewers may find the prospect of watching Big Brother sleep-inducing, the show's contestants have been ordered to do the exact opposite and stay awake for the next two days.

On Sunday evening the housemates were told that this week's task would see them deprived of sleep for 60 hours, with basic rations awaiting them if they should fail.

Between them the 14 men and women are allowed to sleep for three hours before Wednesday morning, with a giant clock reminding them how much time they have left.

Upon being informed of the task's details, Big Brother began to ply the pyjama-clad housemates with cheese and wine, hot chocolate and bedtime stories.

As part of the challenge, contestants will also be required to give their weekly nominations midway through their sleep deprivation period.

Despite spending less than 24 hours awake so far, Laura and Billi have both come close to snoozing, while twins Sam and Amanda have proved their boundless energy supplies by bouncing around the house since the task was announced.

The lack of sleep has already tested housemates' patience, and sanity, however, with Ziggy launching into an anti-smoking rant.

"It's just cigarettes, cigarettes, cigarettes," he told no-one in general.

"Saying 'deal with it'. 'Deal with it' means 'shut up'. We want to complete this task. And I want to complete it not because you told me to deal with it."

Charley meanwhile shouted at anyone who would listen while Laura pretended she was on a secret mission.

25/06/2007 17:01:38