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August 28, 1996

Studies of Sleep in Strange Places May Benefit People With Common Ills

Author Affiliations

JAMA contributor

JAMA. 1996;276(8):587-589. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540080011004

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STUDIES OF SLEEP and circadian rhythms in outer space, in a time isolation laboratory, under the sea, and in perhaps the most challenging research setting of all—6000 American homes—may yield numerous benefits to the public's health, according to talks and interviews at the annual joint meeting of the American Sleep Disorders Association and Sleep Research Society in Washington, DC.

Shuteye Aboard the Shuttle  The US space shuttle mission that took place from June 20 to July 7, 1996—the longest so far—investigated the impact of microgravity on humans and other organisms. On board Columbia, four of the 7 astronauts recorded their sleep and other circadian rhythms in a study led by Timothy Monk, PhD, director of the Human Chronobiology Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh (Pa) School of Medicine.Although sleep studies were conducted on Skylab missions in the 1970s, "this is the first integrated study of sleep, circadian