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Astronauts Are Sleep-Deprived in Space

Stashed in: Sleep!, #health, Science!, NASA, Space!

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Well, this is not good:

Researchers discovered that 64 astronauts on board 80 space shuttle missions, and 21 astronauts on the International Space Stationslept for just six hours per night on average, even though their schedules called for 8.5 hours of slumber.

NASA is already attempting to fix the problem and will continue to monitor astronauts for any ill effects:

"The study provided us valuable data and insights into incidence and severity of sleep deficiencies in space, and has driven the development of countermeasure approaches that are already being tested aboard the space station," Bill Paloski, manager of NASA's human research program, said in a statement.


Scientists have long known that astronauts suffer from sleep deprivation on space missions, but the new study provides more specifics than before.

The results should not only aid astronauts, but should also help people combat fatigue here on Earth, officials said. For example, the lessons learned could help long-haul truck drivers, airline pilots and surgeons stay sharp for extended stretches on the job.

The new study is detailed in the latest edition of The Lancet Neurology journal.

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