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NASA develops lights to put you to sleep

NASA develops lighting system to help astronauts sleep when they lack the normal 24-hr day/night cyc
By: Trace Hagan | Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Dec 17, 2012 9:47 pm

Need to sleep? NASA's new lights could be just the thing. Invented to combat insomnia in space, the new lights will be used on the International Space Station. NASA calls the new lighting apparatus a "solid-state lighting module" and plans to use them in 2016 to combat the fatigue generated from sleepless nights.




The problem in space is that there isn't a normal progression of light changes like on Earth. As the day progresses, the light changes color and intensity, which leads to humans' 24-hour day/night cycle. This transition prompts the brain to produce chemicals designed to put us to sleep.


The light uses red, blue, and white LEDs to mimic the light changes on Earth. Not only will this new lighting system work great in space, where nearly half of all medication used is to help people sleep, it can also be applied to users on the ground to help make them alert or sleepy. The project cost $11.2 million, for those that were wondering.


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