There is a lot of conversation around sleep out there, especially about the current trends, like sleeping for weight-loss or electronic devices to track how well you sleep. But NASA recently proposed an interesting concept about the future of sleep, specifically in the field of cryogenics. It’s super strange and still in development, but the designs have already been drawn up. Who knows: you could be sleeping in a pod a couple years from now.
Logically, our bodies aren’t meant to survive in space due to centrifugal pressure and intense temperature volatility, so NASA has been trying to figure out for years how to sustain the natural state of the human body for prolonged periods of time. Unlike traditional space travel, the idea of sleeping astronauts is appealing since they consume fewer resources in terms of fuel and supplies (they have to be fed intravenously). It’s been an intellectual problem to solve, but an engineering company called SpaceWorks that competed for NASA funding thinks it has found a potential solution. This plan even extends to the future of space exploration and populating the planet Mars, making it a concrete reality of something you could eventually experience as a normal person in need of snoozing.
It works like this: Astronauts would be placed in a condition of advanced hypothermia, with a body temperature of 12 degrees Celsius, to lower their metabolic rate. The spacecraft module designs created by SpaceWorks suggest a method that would transport us to Mars, using the pod as a temporary habitat that induces a therapeutic cold stasis and protects all vital organs. Interestingly enough, this cold-freezing technique has historical roots dating back to the days of Greek philosopher Hippocrates. By packing snow and ice, it served as a primitive method to treat soldiers’ wounds. Nowadays, this medical application can be implemented for multiple days at a time, where the astronaut would vacillate between wakefulness and REM cycle sleep.
To support this proposal, NASA has even created an inflatable sleeping bedroom for us as prospective astronauts traveling through space. Because what’s the point of catching up on our zzz’s with advanced cryogenic technology if we can’t sleep in comfort? The Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module (BEAM) is made of light, tent-like fabric that expands into a bubble. The BEAM is fabricated to provide breathable air and maintain a comfortable room temperature. With this kind of futuristic innovation, we could be sleeping in space in no time—and even colonizing another far-away planet. Whatever comes of these ambitious projects, it’s sure to revolutionize the way we sleep.
Cryogenic sleep may be in our futures but in the meantime, get better quality sleep with the help of reBloom, the all natural sleep drink.