Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload
Short Title: Sleep
05/22/16 09:15:55 PM (Central)
Element: Behavioral Health and Performance (BHP)
Risk Ratings and Dispositions per Design Reference Mission (DRM) Category
|LxC||Risk Disposition *||LxC||Risk Disposition *
|Low Earth Orbit||6 months||3x2||Accepted/Optimize||3x1||Accepted
|Deep Space Sortie||1 month||3x2||Accepted/Optimize||3x1||Accepted
|1 year||3x3||Requires Mitigation||3x2||Requires Mitigation
|Planetary||3 years||3x3||Requires Mitigation||3x2||Requires Mitigation
LxC is the likelihood and consequence rating.
Given that astronauts experience sleep loss, circadian desynchronization, and work overload, there is a possibility that performance decrements and adverse health outcomes will occur.
Sleep loss, circadian desynchronization, and work overload occur to some extent for ground and flight crews, prior to and during spaceflight missions. Ground evidence indicates that such risk factors may lead to performance decrements and adverse health outcomes, which could potentially compromise mission objectives. Efforts are needed to identify the environmental and mission conditions that interfere with sleep and circadian alignment, as well as the individual vulnerabilities and resiliencies to sleep loss and circadian desynchronization. Research areas to mitigate this risk also include: development of standardized measures of sleep, circadian phase, workload and performance; light therapy for circadian alignment, phase shifting, alertness and behavioral health; individualized protocols for sleep-wake medication use; validated models of performance based on sleep-wake data, to inform scheduling decisions and countermeasure implementation; and other evidence-based means to improve individual circadian phase, sleep quantity and quality, and workload.
The risk mitigation strategy of the BHP Element follows the larger strategy of the HRP "from Evidence to Deliverables” principle, with the involvement of Medical and Mission Operations to help determine the tools and technologies that are relevant for current and future spaceflight. BHP holds an annual working group of subject matter experts who work with BHP and Medical Operations to identify gaps in knowledge and gaps in mitigation. Specific tasks are defined to address the gaps and provide clear, specific deliverables for long duration spaceflight, ensuring an evidence and operationally-based end item. Working with research and operational experts, BHP systematically identifies the appropriate platform to address the gaps prior to validating in spaceflight. To ensure relevancy, stakeholders are engaged in the process from the beginning. Evidence gathered from BHP research characterize Risk, inform Operations and Standards, and yield countermeasures for performance and behavioral health.