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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stimulants for Astronauts

Astronauts routinely take drugs, both hypnotics (sleep aids) and stimulants (usually dextroamphetamine). When a crucial mission task must be performed, astronauts are at liberty to take a stimulant to improve performance. This usually entails a subsequent letdown, which may make them less likely to want to use the drug if they will be in space for an extended time. The use of sleep aids is ironic since micro gravity has been demonstrated to improve sleep parameters. Typically astronauts get only six hours sleep, although NASA recommends eight hours. Sleep aids allow astronauts to get to sleep quickly and stay asleep for the six hours they will be asleep.

References
  1. Ann Page, Ann E. K. Page. Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses. National Academies Press, 2004. p. 415. http://books.google.com/books?id=NUtyvQePYDEC&pg=PA415&lpg=PA415&dq=astronauts+stimulant&source=web&ots=zgUWEsKOIk&sig=24erchhs33Nn5z73_IMcfHI9Q4g&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result (Accessed 9/24/2008).
  2. David F. Dinges. “Sleep in Space Flight.”’Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med., Vol. 164, No. 3, August 2001, pp. 337-338.

1 comment:

Martin Miller-Yianni said...

I never knew that. Well everything about space travel isn't natural so it's not surprising that provisions are ikn place.