Astronauts can’t sleep

Maybe astronauts feel spaced out because they’re only getting five hours a night.

Most of the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) find it difficult to get a proper night’s sleep, and many get less that five hours a night.

The space men hop into their bunks, strap themselves in (so they don’t float away as they sleep) and try to get a good, solid eight-and-a-half hours, but to no avail. It would appear that, for some unknown reason, humans develop insomnia in zero gravity.

Researchers tracking the 85 crew members aboard the ISS found that sleep was so difficult that three-quarters were using sleep medication. The study was published in The Lancet this week.

This is, perhaps, intuitively unsurprising given that the ISS hurtles through space at incredible speeds such that the Sun rises and falls every 90 minutes.

However, astronauts need every brain cell they can muster to do their jobs and further research is urgently required to determine what is causing this restlessness. 

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