I know this is a little off topic with regards to skincare, but with the recent SpaceX launch of Americans back into space by one of my heroes Elon Musk, it got me thinking a lot about the health benefits of being in space.
Let me give you a little background into how I developed my logic. I recently have been following one of the lead researchers on sleep, Professor Matthew Walker, and one of his incredible findings is that there are huge links between lack of sleep, and almost every leading cause of mortality, with a massive association between being sleep deprived long-term and Alzheimer’s. His reports indicate it is one of the leading causes of a build-up of beta-amyloid and other harmful proteins in the brain, because during sleep is when the glial-lymphatic system synchronizes in a steady symphony to drain these harmful proteins.
Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of disrupted sleep and he points to studies, where patients who use CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) machines when sleeping to manage their sleep apnea, have a significantly lower incidence of Alzheimer’s over time.
CPAP machines are unwieldy and uncomfortable to use at the best of times, and can take months, if ever, to get used to them. The need for the CPAP machines being that when a person enters the deeper levels of sleep, as they get older, their upper airways relax and collapse under gravity and block off the flow of oxygen to the lungs and brain. The brain responds to this dangerous situation by automatically waking the individual up, and this can happen continuously throughout the night, even at a micro-level thus disrupting the possibility of any real contiguous sleep. Continuous positive airway pressure counteracts the effects of gravity on the upper airways.
That’s when I came up with the idea, what if we sent these patients up into space, there would be no gravity, hence no upper airway collapse, hence much better sleep.
In addition, being weightless in space, makes almost any sleeping position more comfortable. Plus usually the temperature is controlled in space, making falling a sleep a lot easier (the ideal falling asleep temperature is 67 degrees Fahrenheit).
So my conclusion is this: SPACE => BETTER SLEEP => BETTER HEALTH
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, right now, it’s hypothetical since there are all kinds of other health problems going into space reported, such as controlling CO2 levels (which SpaceX apparently handled well on the last 2 person launch), bone, heart, muscle and eye issues that occur in space with no gravity, plus it’s apparently hard to sleep up there because the ventilation systems are very noisy, but pending the solving of these issues, which I think is do-able (I have some ideas 😉 ), maybe there are some powerful potential positives, something to think about.
Dr. Gary Kramer