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A7 Sleep Notes

Copyright © 2007 by the Editors of Working on the Moon.
Last revised 14 April 2008.

Notes taken from the Apollo 7 Technical Air-to-Ground Transcript, primarily based on a search for the word "sleep".
Also found some times of first comm after - or last comm before - a sleep period.  Some notes about the crews head colds - which had some effect on the length and quality of sleep - and on the Biomed harnesses which provided heart rates and other data to the flight surgeons.

Ground Elapsed Time
(dd hh mm ss)
( hh:mm:ss)
Flight Day
EST (hh mm)
00 09 16 39
FD 0
EST 2019
Capcom says that, because the CMP is asleep, he shouldn't be bothered.  "No EKG on CMP or LMP "tonight".
00 13 08 00
FD 0
EST 0008
CapCom asks if LMP can check the water control valve "without disturbing our sleeping CMP?"
00 14 46 10
FD 0
EST 0148
LMP reports CDR has "a pretty bad head cold", took 2 aspirin, and "has been blowing his nose pretty much all day long."  At 00 15 22 34 CapCom says he should take an Actifed (decongestant)
00 15 55 38
FD 0
EST 0258
CDR 'goodnight'
00 16 22 00
FD 0
EST 0324
First CMP comm since his rest period.  Houston wants a check of the CMPs Biomed harness, "we're not getting anything."
00 16 53 39
FD 0
EST 0356
CMP reports he had "6 hours of sack time, of which 4 hours was pretty decent sleep.  I would have slept a little better except that I am not used to going to bed at 6 o'clock local time for me.  I think in a day or two I will adjust to the cycle."
00 22 20 15
FD 0
EST 0922
First LMP comm since his rest period.  They are about to do a burn, which suggests they've been awake for a while.  First CDR comm 2 minutes after LMP's
01 00 59 54
FD 1
EST 1202
CDR reports he did take an Actifed before his rest period and asks if he should have another.  CapCom reports "Dr. Berry says, 'Yes'." 
01 07 25 46
FD 1
EST 1829
CapCom asks about the CDR's cold and meds.  CDR replies, "My mucus is much thicker, and I think I probably should continue on Actifed and use aspirin when I go to sleep at night."  When asked, he says he had taken his temperature and had no fever.  Also, no mucus in the lungs; no coughing.  CDR asks how often he should take the Actifed. Once per 8 hours; up to 2 aspirin every 4 hours if needed.
01 08 54 52
FD 1
EST 1957
CDR's Biomed now working.  Last CMP comm before his rest period.
01 13 05 52
FD 1
EST 0008
Slayton asks if the sleep cycle should be adjusted to get them more rest.  CDR says, "We are getting kind of pooped ....Donn is sleeping now, and he needed the sleep more than we did."  CDR wants to wait another day before considering changes to the sleep cycle.
01 13 35 53
FD 1
EST 0038
Stafford asks if CDR wants to consider having all three crewmen sleep at the same time.  CDR says, "I don't think I'd be afraid to do it on another flight, but we're kind of reluctant right now."  Houston asks, "How are the sleeping bags working out?"  CDR replies, "Not so hot," and indicates that the couches are preferable to the bags.  Houston urges CDR to think about longer rest periods.
01 15 23 15
FD 1
EST 0225
Last LMP/CDR comm before rest period.
01 15 46 56
FD 1
EST 0249
CMP reports CDR took one Actifed and two aspirin.  LMP took one Actifed because he "has just got a little stuffy head cold".  CMP reports "I had two good solid 7 hours of very good sleep and (am) feeling great.
01 17 39 44
FD 1
EST 0441
CMP (not LMP as in raw transcript) and CapCom discuss best time to do a water dump so as not to disturb  the CDR and LMP from sleep.  CMP says, "They're already asleep and, the way we've got it rigged, it won't disturb either one of them."
01 22 25 29
FD 1
EST 0927
First LMP comm after his rest period.  Reports the urine dump system is working " pretty doggoned good".
01 23 45 26
FD 1
EST 1047
Houston asks about sleep, meds, etc.  LMP took one Actifed, "my nose was slightly stuffy last night, but it didn't give me any problem while sleeping.  I feel fine this morning.  I feel in good shape."  Reports that the CDR "seems to be getting a lot better, too."  CMP reports "I got 7 solid hours of sleep last night; and Walt just had about six, and he's up.  And Wally's still asleep."  LMP says, "I feel very strongly on the sleeping bit. The sleeping bag is not as good to have (as?) the shoulder harness and lap belt to strap you down against something, and I think we all feel kinda that way...Other than that, I think it is rather amazing how well and how quickly we all (have) been able to adjust to IVA (IntraVehicular Activity)."  Comments, too, about food and exercise.
02 02 17 00
FD 2
EST 1319
First CDR comm after his rest period.
02 05 13 26
FD 2
EST 1615
Last CMP comm before his rest period.
02 06 49 33
FD 2
EST 1752
Discussion of amount of food they're eating.  Also discuss their use of the Exer-Genie.  CDR's "cold is improving considerably".  Wants to know if they need to add cholorine to the drinking water.  Told "yes" two hours later.
02 12 58 19
FD 2
EST 0000
Houston not getting a Biomed downlink from the LMP.  CDR tells Houston that "we're getting down to keeping only one man on watch at a time, and that's going to answer a lot.  He's not sleeping, just milling around, staring (out the windows at Earth?), and housekeeping."  He seems to be implying they disconnected his Biomed cable.  They get the LMP reconnected.
02 14 01 29
FD 2
EST 0103
First CMP comm after his rest period. May have been awake since momentary loss of AC buses and related master alarm light at 61 hours 5 minutes (EST 0003).
02 14 09 42
FD 2
EST 0111
Last CDR comm before his rest period. CMP reports 20 minutes later that the CDR and LMP "are sacking out, so I'll be minding the store in the meantime."
02 20 36 24
FD 2
EST 0738
Houston wants to look at the CDR Biomed.  CMP says the CDR is still asleep and doesn't have his Biomed hooked up.
02 21 25 43
FD 2
EST 0828
First LMP comm after his rest period.  First CDR comm about 40 minutes later.
03 00 36 50
FD 3
EST 1139
While working out a comm/data problem with Houston, the CDR asks, "Do I have time to blow my nose?"  Still has some cold symptoms.
03 01 08 09
FD 3
EST 1210
Houston reads only one biomed and are currently getting the LMP's data.  The problem with the CDR's biomed is that "the lead's too short" and it comes apart when exercising or sleeping.
03 03 05 33
FD 3
EST 1405
CDR wants permission to skip today's addition of chlorine to the drinking water. "I couldn't eat the last part of my meal yesterday 'cause I didn't want to put that water in it."  "A lift-off agreement was that if it tasted bad, we'd stop; we're just proposing to knock off 1 day."  An hour later, Houston agrees to the proposal and will ask for reports on water taste.
03 03 47 31
FD 3
EST 1451
Last CMP comm before his rest period.  Reports below he went to sleep about EST 1600.
03 10 30 30
FD 3
EST 2132
CDR: ... adjust our sleep cycle here.  This 5 and 1/2 hours is not too appealing with burn 3 already out of the way ... We would like to add an hour and a half to each of our sleep cycles."  Doesn't get a firm response from CapCom.
03 11 55 03
FD 3
EST 2257
Last LMP comm before rest period. "We'll be changing crews".
03 12 18 03
FD 3
EST 2320
CMP reports, "I had a good night's rest.  Wally and Walt are sacking out now."
03 13 23 02
FD 3
EST 0025
CMP: "When Wally went to sleep, which was about 84 hours (EST 2300), he took two aspirins and 20 (water gun?) clicks of water; and when I went to sleep about 77 hours (EST1600), I took two aspirin and an Actifed and 20 clicks of water."
03 18 39 28
FD 3
EST 0541
First LMP/CDR comm after their rest period.  CDR comments "I gather you were in kind of a hurry to get us to work down there today ... I suggest somebody for tomorrow get to work on the sleep plan.  You've cut us out of an hour's sleep already ... And three have colds.  I asked for an hour and a half (extra?) sleep for each of us last night, and that apparently was ignored."  Ten minutes later CapCom replies, "When I came on, the time line showed the Commander's and LMP's sleep cycle extended to 91 hours.  Is that the way you understood it?"  CMP agrees.  It is currently about 90:50.  Apparently, the ground was premature in calling for a radiator test.  Schirra gets testy and tells Houston to sort out the sleep plan: "How about giving us a chance to get some sleep?"  About a half hour later, CapCom says "we're setting up for a 10-hour sleep cycle for tonight."  The crew says that's too long.  CDR:"We'll go for eight tonight, and that will be plenty."  Capcom agrees without discussion.

03 22 48 56
FD 3
EST 0951
CDR: "We're going to need an update on the sleep cycle here.  We can't let Donn go to sleep for the next hour (because of a planned TV pass.)"  A few minutes later, CapCom says "on the sleep cycle there, we have 96 (hours) to 116 blocked out for a crew sleep cycle.  This can be used in any way that the crew sees fit for sleeping arrangements."  CDR:"Very good"  96 hours is 04 00 00 00.
04 11 30 19
FD 4
EST 2232
CD: "We're going to break up and get Donn on watch shortly. 
04 12 24 25
FD 4
EST 2326
CMP: " I just had a good, solid, 8 hours sleep and feel pretty good.  I've got a miserable head cold but, other than that, everything's going fine ... My only concern right now is what's going to happen to my ears when we re-enter but I hope by then I'll get over it some."
04 12 25 34
FD 4
EST 2327
A mention of voice quality on the DSE, which they are dumping to the ground.
04 13 02 22
FD 4
EST 0004
CapCom asks for assessment of best place to sleep. CMP: "We're still sleeping under the couchs in space, and that seems to work out best.  We've tried free floating and tried keeping strapped down in the sleeping bags, and the latter seems to be better off.  I think you can also sleep in the couches if you're strapped down, I guess, but it there's more than one person -- You're kind of in the way. The only problem with sleeping under the couch - at least on the right side; I haven't checked the left, but I know on the right - (is that) it tends to get hotter under there for some reason; not hot, but a little warmer than the rest of the spacecraft.  I don't think there's much air circulation."  They haven't bothered to cover the windows.
04 17 05 01
FD 4
EST 0407
CapCom: "Wally and Walt's sleep period lasts until 116 plus 00 hours.
05 11 10 57
FD 5
EST 2213
CapCom asks for a rundown of crew health, meds, and sleep. LMP "had another Actifed the night before last.  That makes two I've had.  My ears are getting more difficult to clear than they have been.  Sometimes I can clear one; and sometimes I can't.  I feel very good otherwise.  I'm a little bit concerned about the lack of any nose drops such as Neosynephrin on board, and it seems to me if we had something like that, we'd be able to at least make a stab and let my ears get cleared for re-entry."  (Probably the LMP rather than CMP as indicated in the raw transcript) "I got, oh, about 7 hours of sleep which was very sound sleep:  the best I've got coming up here, I guess." CDR: "I think we've all been averaging good sleep lately.  Donn's been sleeping much better.  He was the one who was way behind on sleep.  And because we switched his day - to go to bed at night at 4 o'clock  (4 p.m. or 1600 EST), which is pretty clever for anybody to try.  And he is finally acclimated to that schedule. All three of us have various forms of cold.  Mine is still a head cold, and that's my problem.  I'm off pills these days.  What do the doctors have in mind for head clearing on re-entry?"  CapCom says one Actifed each.  The crew doesn't expect that to work and thinks they'll re-enter with their helmets off.
05 11 16 35
FD 5
EST 2219
CapCom says the surgeons are recommending one more Actifed "prior to sleep tonight, if you feel necessary."LMP doesn't think it will help and points out that they have a limited supply.
05 12 09 03
FD 5
EST 2311
Assuming the early transmission attributed to the CMP was actually the LMP; first CMP transmission after his rest period.  He reports that their thermometer won't register more than 94F, "So we don't know if we've got a fever or not."  A couple of minutes later he reports that "I just woke up. I got a good solid 8 hours sleep; and Walt and Wally are both in the sack."  At 132, CDR and LMP each had two aspirin.  "I haven't taken any medicine lately."  CapCom requests the center position (LMP) on the BioMed Switch.  Switch positions, for this flight at least, are right (CDR), center (LMP), left (CMP).
05 20 03 28
FD 5
EST 0705
CMP wants to understand the rationale for a sextant star count at 127 (147?) hours, since they already done a star count with the telescope and this one would eat into his sleep period.  He suggests that, if Houston really wants it "Walt can do it."
05 20 39 51
FD 5
EST 0742
First LMP comm after his rest period.  CDR shortly after.
05 21 14 19
FD 5
EST 0816
TV broadcast that includes some discussion of the sleep stations and shows the CMP in a sleeping bag. On Spacecraft Films 2005, 2-DVD Apollo 7 compilation, video is unavailable until 141:18:07, which is before the discussion of sleeping arrangements.  The image quality available to Spacecraft Films in 2005 is poor, but some aspects of using a sleeping bag under a couch can be discerned.  They sleep under one of the couches with the sleeping bag restrained by straps but, otherwise, free-floating.
06 10 12 28
FD 6
EST 2114
First CMP comm after his rest period.  He says the CDR and LMP each took two aspirin before starting their sleep.  CMP "got about 5 hours sleep last night, which seems like enough.  We still have head colds.  My ears are starting to clear up somewhat, but I still got pretty stuffy sinuses.  Wally and Walt are still are still complaining of stopped-up ears and head."  CMP took no meds other than reported aspirin.  "We decided to save the Actifed till the last day or so."
06 15 03 10
FD 6
EST 0205
CMP: "I've got two sleeping beauties and a sound sleep." CapCom asks about his sleep: "Oh, it was pretty good.  Not quite as good as the night before."
06 19 27 22
FD 6
EST 0629
LMP had 6 1/2 to 7 hours sleep.  CDR  4 1/2 hours of good sleep.
07 07 38 37
FD 7
EST 1841
CMP : "First of all, starting last night, when I went to sleep about 168 hours, log me ...  two aspirin and one Lomatil.  The LMP ... wishes to announce that he is now pure in sleep with clean skivvies on. The CDR wished to announce that he has his backup upbacks on, also."
07 11 47 41
FD 7
EST 2250
CMP is concerned at a TV broadcast scheduled in his next sleep period. "I don't care to have those guys walking around while I"m trying to sleep."  A half hour later, CapCom tells him they are going to move the TV to one orbit earlier.  TV on at 189:02 with preps starting at 188:00.  CMP has removed his Biomed harness because one of the leads is hot.
07 15 06 32
FD 7
EST 0209
First LMP comm after sleep.
07 19 27 27
FD 7
EST 0629
CDR: "We haven't had much luck with this revised sleep schedule ... We're not having much luck with our sleep ...  I think we'll still have a good show for you tonight though, Bill ... We have just finished rehearsing."
Also a discussion about a prior crew recommendation for a shirtsleeve re-entry. CDR "I just got a real kleenex full."
07 21 12 27
FD 7
EST 0814
TV show ends.  CDR says the writing and acting would have been better if they'd had more sleep.
08 06 25 42
FD 8
EST 1728
First CMP comm after sleep.  "Log me 7 hours of very fine sound sleep."
08 11 28 51
FD 8
EST 2231
CapCom is giving some time line changes and recommends all three of them  move their sleep periods "back two hours".
08 11 58 57
FD 8
EST 2301
CapCom: Donn, when Wally and Walt wake-up, have them remove their Biomed harnesses and stow carefully for postflight malfunction analysis."
08 13 01 47
FD 8
EST 0004
First CDR comm after sleep.
08 22 40 27
FD 8
EST 0942
CDR: Jack, I would like you to call Frank Borman and inform him he better go over his total flight plan from liftoff in real time and check his time line out for sleep, work cycles, and for food periods ... And not too soon." Meaning, I think, now would be a good time start going through it.
09 00 13 20
FD 9
EST 1115
Discussion between Slayton and Schirra about re-entry.  Wear suit for leg protection, helmet for head protection, but no gloves so they can remove helmets below 50,000 feet if necessary for clearing ears.  Schirra not ready to decide.
09 00 47 52
FD 9
EST 1150
CapCom reads upcoming sleep cycle.  "CMP sleep cycle from 216 through 225.  CDR and LMP from 225 to 234.
09 12 10 10
FD 9
EST 2312
CapCom requests CMP status.  CMP: "I'm still holding up.  Had a real good night's sleep - a good 8 hours, I guess - and my cold seems better; at least, I'm not blowing my nose as much, and my ears stay clear more than - a greater proportion of the time than they were earlier." Reports that the CDR and LMP colds haven't improved noticeably.  CMP took one Lomatil before going to sleep.
10 14 24 56
FD 10
EST 0127
CMP: Wally and Walt are still asleep.  I've got some of the spacecraft stowed - that that I could get without disturbing them - and I'm going to be putting my suit on here pretty shortly."
10 18 22 05
FD 10
EST 0524
CDR "I might add that we all feel very good and chipper up here.  We all got a lot of good sleep; We're well hydrated and had a lot of food."  We've decided to land without helmets."  Slayton: "The only thing we're concerned about is the landing (meaning splashdown).  We wouldn't care less about the re-entry.  But it's your neck, and I hope you don't break it."  CDR: "Thank you, babe."

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