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In an earlier blog, “From the Moon to Your Room,” we discussed the origins of memory foam. Memory foam was originally created by NASA to provide cushioning for high impact take-off and landings. Since then, it has been adopted by the mattress world, providing a top surface of comfort and heat dissipation.

Simmons Mattress Gallery is proud to offer memory foam as a topping layer on a number of its luxury mattress lines, passing on the innovations of NASA to the average citizen.

But you may wonder how memory foam works in a gravity free environment. Well, the foam only provides cushioning when the shuttles are entering or leaving the earth’s atmosphere.

Astronauts are not supplied with cozy Beautyrest mattresses for sleeping. Instead they use sleeping bags. Once inside the bag, the astronauts need to secure themselves to the shuttle or space station wall. If they didn’t, they could spend the night slowly bouncing around the cabin, which would result in no rest at all.

Dreaming of a Beautyrest

Increased sunlight is another factor that astronauts need to contend with while sleeping in space. The sun rises and sets approximately 16 times each day, as the shuttle or station orbits the earth. Blocking out this sunlight is important for the astronauts to receive a full eight hours of rest. This helps them maintain a 24-hour schedule.

With all the racket from the air filters and fans on board, astronauts tend to use earplugs to drown out the excessive noise. They also are encouraged to use chemical sleeping aids.

Administrators back on earth monitor the astronauts’ sleep. These individuals also wake the astronauts when their sleeping cycle is completed. They use either music, usually employed on the shuttles, or an alarm, used on the International Space Station.

And if you’re wondering if astronauts dream in space, the answer is yes.

(They probably dream of their beds back home)

So next time you are having trouble falling asleep, open the window, look up at the sky, and think of the astronauts strapping themselves in for a little shut-eye. We have it pretty good. Enjoy your sleep and be thankful for gravity.

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