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Noninvasive investigation of the body functional state during night sleep in microgravity

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The Sonocard experiment purpose was a noninvasive physiological signal recording from sleeping humans. In 2007-2012 the experiment was made by 22 Russian members of 17 missions to the International space station. Of the overall 302 experimental sessions 47 were performed pre, 215 in and 40 after flight.

The seismographic technique was used to pick up cosmonaut’s body microoscillations induced by cardiac beats, respiration and motor activity. The flight Sonocard model is a midget device fitting into the T-shirt pocket. Heart rate variability analysis (HRV) was the major method of securing conclusive evidence on stress level and blood circulation autonomic regulation. We were first to trace reorganization of the autonomic regulation at the night time on different phases of long-duration space mission and pioneered a systematic investigation of the human body functional state during sleep. It was shown that in the absence of work loads and emotional stresses the central mechanisms of circulation regulation tend to increase their activities. The characteristic subsidence of breathing waves (HF) and growth of the vascular center (LF) portion within the HRV total spectrum by the end of flight were observed.

Sleep quality in the course of long-duration missions was assessed. We succeeded in the first ever sleep assessment following operations in open space.

The noninvasive physiological signal recording was recommended for use in spacecrew medical monitoring and ground-based experiments.


Irina I. Funtova, Еlena S. Luchitskaya, Irina N. Slepchenkova, Аnna G. Chernikova, Roman М. Baevsky. Noninvasive investigation of the body functional state during night sleep in microgravity; Cardiometry; No.5; November 2014; p.50-65; DOI:10.12710/cardiometry.2014.5.5065 Available from:


Autonomic regulation,  Body microoscillations,  Heart rate variability,  Noninvasive physiological signal recording,  Recovery of the functional reserve,  Seismocardiography,  Sleep,  Sleep quality,  Strain degree
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