Astronaut Michael Fincke showing off one of the LEDs

NASA hopes LED lights will cure astronaut insomnia

By Will Shanklin
December 21, 2012

Sleep deprivation is no joke. It can cause lower performance, decreased memory, and even sickness. So, if you spend your life orbiting Earth on a $150B spacecraft, you’re going to take sleep seriously. NASA, responding to an epidemic of insomnia, is ready to give the International Space Station (ISS) an LED makeover.

Living in the noisy, high-pressure ISS makes sleep difficult. The result: roughly half of all astronauts, at some point, take sleep medication. It’s a quick fix, but it can cause dependency and inhibit astronauts’ ability to wake up suddenly for an emergency. You don’t want zombie-like astronauts, but you also don’t want drug-addicted ones.

Read more: NASA hopes LED lights will cure astronaut insomnia.

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