With a lot of fun, there are lots of everyday task too that need rethinking in space. From drinking water, washing and going to the toilet. But something that we do for nearly 1/3rd of our lives is sleeping.
And trust me it’s way more complicated than you think! How do astronauts sleep in space, then?
Well, in this article we’ll deal with this only, covering all the difficulties & their weird solutions.
There are some interesting effects on body position when an astronaut sleeps in space. That’s why the sleeping position in space should be such that their total body should should be at a “neutral point.”
Okay, so without any further due let’s disclose the sleeping secret!
Astronauts face 16 sunrises and sunsets during sleep
Do you think the sunrise & sunset in space is just how we see on earth?
As you may know, in order to remain near planet earth the spaces station has to orbit earth & while doing this, it faces sun multiple times that’s why astronauts see many sunrise & sunsets!
While orbiting the Earth, astronauts has witnessed 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours.
Every sunrise lasts 90 minutes which may seem like an incredible experience to astronauts but is a conflict as it make it difficult for astronauts to maintain a regular sleep pattern.
Luckily, astronauts use Greenwich Mean Time to keep a regular schedule. This time zone represents a compromise between the mission control centers in Houston and Moscow.
They has to sleep vertically
Even though astronauts are allotted about 8.5 hours for sleep every day, many of them have reported needing just 6 hours to feel fully rested.
This is believed to occur because the body tires less quickly in weightlessness, the muscles don’t have to work as hard as on Earth.
Talking about the sleeping position in space, sleeping on the floor is just as comfortable as sleeping on the wall, there is no difference in the weightless environment.
However, as astronauts are used to sleep on a mattress on Earth, their sleeping bag are made with a rigid cushion, to exert pressure on their back.
One more short issue is the noise level on ISS that creates poor conditions for getting a good night’s rest. That is why astronauts usually wear earplugs while they sleep.
They sleep in their personal “Sleep Stations”
Astronauts go to bed in their “sleep stations,” personal sleep compartments which has the size of a telephone booth, it includes:
- a sleeping bag
- a pillow
- a lamp
- an air vent
- a personal laptop
- a place for personal belongings
Members who wanna sleep outside the sleep compartments can even secure their sleeping bag to the floor, the ceiling or the wall. They generally use earplugs and a sleep mask to block out the noise and light as I told earlier.
Okay, that’s it, with all that conflicts astronauts are good to sleep in space. If you can tolerate all this, you too can have a dreamy sleep at Space Station.
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