Task Towards a Real-Time Estimate of Circadian Phase During Spaceflight
Last Published:  07/30/20 02:45:15 PM (Central)
Short Title: Estimate of Circadian Phase
Responsible HRP Element: Human Factors and Behavioral Performance
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Active - Currently funded and in progress
Procurement Mechanism(s):

The 24-hour circadian clock controls the timing and pattern of sleep, alertness, performance and mood, disruption of which has a major impact on safety. The circadian clock also controls many other aspects of human physiology, perturbation of which will affect longer-term health and well-being. It is imperative that the timing of the circadian clock is measured routinely, as a standard measure of health and behavior, during long-duration space missions to ensure that these multiple brain and body systems are not disrupted and misaligned from each other. Once measured circadian rhythms can be resynchronized to the desired time using a number of countermeasures, including bright light, melatonin, and potentially exercise and meal timing.

The specific aims are:

  1. Validate the use of real-time measures of saliva cortisol and blood cholesterol to derive circadian phase.

  2. To develop a method to derive circadian phase from as few as three salivary cortisol and/or blood cholesterol samples.