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Yes! They do sleep in space. And they snore more in space, too!
Astronaut Richard Linnehan in the sleep compartment on the mid-deck of the former shuttle Columbia in 1998.
click to enlarge nasa photo
Astronaut-physician Dave Williams generated a lot of Outer Space noise while he was aboard U.S. shuttle Columbia in April 1998.
Officially, before this sleep study, the astronauts didn't know they could snore in space. In fact, researchers weren't sure whether gravity was required for snoring. They didn't know whether sleeping astronauts inhaled and exhaled less air in space, or whether they had to expend more effort to breathe.
To find answers, Williams and three other medical men wore microphones and other paraphernalia to bed aboard Columbia. One of the pieces of gear was a head net with electrodes to measure brain waves. Ausio recordings of their orbital snoring was compared with recordings of their Earth-bound snoring before the flight.
It's been known for years that astronauts sleep poorly in orbit. The new question is: does snoring mean their sleep in space is less restful than on Earth?LEARN MORE FROM NASA ABOUT HOW ASTRONAUTS SLEEP IN SPACE »»