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