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A Day in the Life Aboard the International Space Station

    Cartoon of astronaut sleeping in space

    A crew member sleeps in a sleeping bag located in a crew cabin. Image Credit: Fred Sayers

    Sleeping in Space

    After a long day at work, there is nothing like a good night's sleep! Just like on Earth, in space a worker goes to bed at a certain time then wakes up and prepares for work again. There are a few differences, though. In space there is no up or down, and there is microgravity. As a result, astronauts are weightless and can sleep in any orientation. However, they have to attach themselves so they don't float around and bump into something. Space station crews usually sleep in sleeping bags located in small crew cabins. Each crew cabin is just big enough for one person.

    Generally, astronauts are scheduled for eight hours of sleep at the end of each mission day. Like on Earth, though, they may wake up in the middle of their sleep period to use the toilet, or stay up late and look out the window. The excitement of being in space and motion sickness can disrupt an astronaut's sleep pattern. During their sleep period, astronauts have reported having dreams and nightmares. Some have even reported snoring in space.

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Additional Resources

  • An astronaut using motion restraints and a dark mask to sleep

    Wide Awake in Outer Space  →

    Space travel can be exciting -- and restless. NASA researchers are exploring ways to help astronauts enjoy a better night's sleep on the space station.

  • An astronaut in a sleeping bag

    Sleep Team  →

    In space, astronauts commonly experience difficulty in sleeping.

  • Astronaut upside down

    NASA Naps

    NASA-supported sleep researchers are learning new and surprising things about naps.

  • Astronaut Paul Richards is next to a sleep station inside the Zvezda Service Module.

    Sleeping in Space

    Have you ever wondered how Astronauts sleep in space? Find out here!