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NASA reveals sleep light experiment

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Last updated: Monday 17th December 2012

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) may be able to sleep more soundly due to a light-based experiment from NASA which aims to meticulously replicate Earth-bound conditions, reports Already being tested at Kennedy Space Center, the complex LED-based solid-state lighting module that features blue, white and red range light effects at different times of the day will be used in situ at the space station from 2016. The variable lighting range is set to work in sync with the body’s in-build circadian rhythm, a near-24 hour cycle that dictates wakefulness, sleep and other bodily operations.

The sleep quality of astronauts working at the ISS is of particular importance, as the common side-effects of sleeplessness – fatigue, sluggishness and low productivity – could interfere with the costly

Currently the ISS crew are believed to use sleeping pills to force sleep at set times, and astronauts report an average of two hours less sleep per night to their regular patterns while at home.

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