Last year the Sleep Education blog reported that it can be a challenge to sleep in space. Now NPR’s Health Blog “Shots” reports that the challenge may be even greater for the crew on the current mission STS-131.
The astronauts had to synchronize their schedules with the crew on the space station. This requires them to work the “night shift” and sleep during the day.
To prepare they started changing their sleep schedules weeks ago. They also used bright lights in the crew quarters during the nights when they were awake.
The mission will provide scientists with more details about how astronauts sleep in space. The research is being led by AASM member Dr. Charles Czeisler.
The experiment monitors their sleep-wake pattern using actigraphy. Test subjects wear a wrist Actiwatch during the mission.
It records their activity and exposure to light. This information is compared with data collected before and after space flight.
Learn more about space sleep from NASA. Read more about sleeping provisions for astronauts.
Image courtesy of NASA