Astronauts slept just under six hours a night before Shuttle missions, while astronauts on board the ISS slept on average six hours and five minutes a night. Picture: Nasa

Boston - A new study by neurologists indicates astronauts are getting too little sleep before, and during, space missions.

The findings have been published in the professional journal The Lancet Neurology and are based on sleep measurements conducted on astronauts before Space Shuttle flights and during missions on the International Space Station (ISS).

Astronauts slept just under six hours a night before Shuttle missions, while astronauts on board the ISS slept on average six hours and five minutes a night. Those figures are over two hours shorter than the recommended eight and a half hours by Nasa.

Scientists from Harvard Medical School and the University of Colorado analysed data from 64 astronauts who travelled on the Shuttle and 21 astronauts who stayed on the ISS. - Sapa-dpa