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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.

The PVR changed the way we watch television. The I-pod changed the way we collected music. The slapchop changed the way we… cut up vegetables. And memory foam changed the possibilities for a comfortable sleep.

But like a number of inventions of its time, memory foam was not originally designed for the purpose we now use it for.

Memory foam was first produced by NASA, in 1966, under the label ‘Temper Foam.’ This foam was designed specifically for the seat cushions in space shuttles. The purpose of the foam was to add a shock layer for the astronaut’s posteriors during take-off and landing.

Since then, a number of companies have adopted the foam to add comfort and safety to their products. Originally too expensive for consumer use, the foam has now shown up in helmets, in veterinary clinics, in wheel chair padding and most importantly, on the top of our beds.

Two reasons for memory foam’s widespread use are its ability to eliminate pressure points and its ability to increase blood circulation. These two features make it an ideal surface for sleeping on.

The medical world was one of the first fields to use the foam on top of a mattress. Patients with mobility issues are supplied the foam to prevent issues that arise from sleeping on a firm mattress; like stiffness and pressure sores.

By reacting to body warmth and weight, the foam also offers a cushioning that dissipates heat. This is excellent for individuals who are easily disturbed by temperature increase.

With new improvements to the foam’s composition, recovery time has increased, resulting in quicker adjustments to your natural movements in the night. Your body’s contours are consistently supported with a comfort level that only the best astronauts are accustomed to.

With NASA’s technology, Simmons Mattress Gallery offers memory foam as a luxury feature for some of our finest mattresses. Using Visco and Latex foam, our Beautyrest line is enhanced beyond the comfort supplied by our innovative pocket coil design.

Come try our Beautyrest Black series or our Beautyrest NxG mattresses and experience all the benefits of memory foam with added support right to the edge of your bed.

We may not be able to take you to the moon, but we can top your bed with the finest foam in the business.

Visit a Simmons Mattress Gallery near you to feel the difference memory foam provides.

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