Airbus calls for 18-inch seat width – 53% better sleep on long-haul flights

Airbus calls on aviation industry to set a new standard for long-haul comfort  | Airbus News & Events.

Airbus calls on aviation industry to set a new standard for long-haul comfort

Airbus proposes 18 inch (45.72cm) seat width as the standard for future long haul economy air travel


Today Airbus reveals new research into the impact seat width makes to levels of passenger comfort on board long haul economy flights; calling on the aviation industry to set a minimum standard of 18 inches (45.72cm) in order to improve the comfort of long haul air travel.

The ground breaking research conducted by Harley Street medical practice The London Sleep Centre using polysomnography* to record every standard physiological sleep measurement – including monitoring brainwaves, eye, abdominal, chest and hip leg movement – on a selection of passengers revealed that a minimum seat width of 18 inches improved passenger sleep quality by 53% when compared to the 1950’s 17 inch standard. (See notes for methodology and further results**)

Dr Irshaad Ebrahim MBChB MRCPsych of The London Sleep Centre commented: “The difference was significant. All passengers experienced a deeper, less disturbed and longer nights’ sleep in the 18 inch seat. They went from one sleep stage to the next as you would expect them to do under normal circumstances. Whilst, in the narrower 17 inch seat the passengers were affected by numerous disturbances during sleep – which meant they rarely experienced deep restorative sleep. When it comes to flying long haul in economy, an inch makes a huge difference on passenger comfort.” 


Nocturnal Lagophthalmos: Sleeping with one’s eyes open

Singer Katherine Jenkins sleeps with her eyes open because of a condition called nocturnal lagophthalmos, according to news reports.

“My eyes don’t close properly — they are always at least half open — and when I go to sleep I look like I’m still awake,” the 33-year-old told The Telegraph.

Lagophthalmos is a condition where a person is unable to fully close his or her eyelids, while nocturnal lagophthalmos is when the eyelids cannot be fully closed during sleep. The inability to fully close the eyelids can lead to eye irritation, as proper eye closing and blinking function are needed for the eye’s tear film and cornea to stay healthy, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeNet Magazine.

Most often, people with lagophthalmos will experience an increase in tearing, as well as pain in the mornings because of eye dryness, according to EyeNet. The U.S. Vision Center of Excellence also reported that a “foreign body sensation” may be experienced by people with the condition because of a breakdown of the cornea.

Nearsightedness, stroke or Bell’s palsy, muscle weakness, and conditions that lead to ocular surface scarring are all potential risk factors for nocturnal lagophthalmos, according to the Vision Center of Excellence.

Treatments for the condition depend on the cause, according to a 2009 article on the topic published in the International Journal of Gerontology. Potential treatments include applying topical agents, surgery and taping the lids down at night. Doctors may also recommend applying artificial tears several times throughout the day, as well as ointments to the cornea at night, according to EyeNet. Other treatment methods include implanting gold weights into the upper eyelid to weigh down the eyelid, and wearing eye masks that apply pressure, the Vision Center of Excellence reported.

VIP treatment for jet lag | Washington University in St. Louis

VIP treatment for jet lag | Newsroom | Washington University in St. Louis.

VIP treatment for jet lag

A brain chemical that desynchronizes the cells in the biological clock helps the clock adjust more quickly to abrupt shifts in daily light/dark schedules such as those that plague modern life.

By Diana Lutz
In this image of the master clock in the mouse brain, the nuclei of the clock cells are blue, and VIP — a molecule that allows the neurons in the clock to synchronize — is fluorescent green. New work shows that, at high doses, VIP desynchronizes the cells, allowing them to adjust rapidly to changes in the daily schedule. This may help relieve the malaise felt by many shift workers and by travelers who cross time zones.

A small molecule called VIP, known to synchronize time-keeping neurons in the brain’s biological clock, has the startling effect of desynchronizing them at higher dosages, said a research team at Washington University in St. Louis.

The “Zizz” Is An Intelligent Sleep Mask That Helps You Get Better Zzz’s

The “Zizz” Is An Intelligent Sleep Mask That Helps You Get Better Zzz’s | TechCrunch.


At TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013 this past week, a Warsaw-based startup called IQ Intelclinic was showing off an intelligent sleeping mask that uses sensors to monitor the wearers’ sleep cycles, including REM and non-REM sleep, in order to determine if you’re getting quality Zzz’s at night. The mask uses small electrodes pressed to your head surrounded by cushy material called viscoelastic foam for comfort, and then pairs with an accompanying mobile application so you can view data regarding your sleeping and waking behaviors, and identify possible problems like sleep apnea.

“There are three electrodes which measure your brainwaves, eye movement and muscle tension,” explains co-founder Kamil Adamczyk, who’s now completing medical school in Poland. He says the mask’s electronics send a signal to an amplifier, analyze the signal using various artificial intelligence methods, then send the signal over Bluetooth to the users’ smartphone.” IQ Intelclinic’s other co-founder, Krzysztof Chojnowski, has a PhD in electronics, which is how the company is able to make their own electrodes for use in the mask.

The company has been working on the technology since March 2013, after the founders met while attending university. Adamczyk says he was inspired to build something like this because, as a medical student, he wasn’t getting enough sleep. “We decided to create a device for people to help them sleep less, but much more efficiently” he says. These days, he says he sleeps only three hours a night then takes short naps during the day.

Since the device works with an app that can identify when you’re in REM and non-REM sleep, it lets you configure settings so your alarm only wakes you after you complete a full sleep cycle. To do so, users turn a dial in the app’s settings to get them a “buffer” of sorts around the exact alarm time. Then, instead of waking you at a pre-determined time like alarms do today, it wakes you after you’ve completed your sleep cycle.


You can also configure the device to account for other sleep disturbances like jet lag, or use it for power naps or poliphasic sleep, like Adamczyk does.

The prototypes on display in TechCrunch Disrupt’s Startup Alley were charged using a battery, but the company will launch a Kickstarter campaign for a device that charges via microUSB instead. IQ Intelclinic has $65,000 (USD) from local angels, and hopes to raise $100,000 through crowdfunding in order to start shipping. The device, which they’re calling the “Zizz,” will sell for $225, though early backers will be able to buy in for $180. Says Adamczyk, the company eventually wants to be able to detect serious sleep disturbances as well as other things, like seizures, for example. But this would require FDA approval, which they don’t have at this time, given how early they are into development.

You can learn more on the company’s website here, or sign up to back the device.

Texting and sleep

PDF: Murdock_PPMC_2_207-221_2013_sleep-texting-well-being

Texting While Stressed: Implications for Students’ Burnout, Sleep, and Well-Being

Karla Klein Murdock (Washington and Lee University)

Text messaging has become an integral part of social life, especially among adolescents and young adults. As a potentially continuously accessible form of communication, texting may affect individuals’ psychosocial functioning in interesting—and unexplored— ways. The current study examines links among interpersonal stress, text messaging behavior, and 3 indicators of college students’ health and well-being: burnout, sleep problems, and emotional well-being. It was proposed that high rates of text messaging may exacerbate the effects of interpersonal stress on these aspects of students’ health and well-being. Participants included 83 first-year undergraduate students. Results of hierarchical regression analyses indicated that higher levels of interpersonal stress were significantly associated with compromises in all 3 areas of functioning. A higher number of daily texts was directly associated with more sleep problems. The number of daily texts moderated the association between interpersonal stress and both burnout and emotional well-being; interpersonal stress was associated with poorer functioning only at higher levels of texting. Promising future directions for research on texting behavior are discussed.

Desautels (2013): daytime somnolence in somnambulism


Postuma (2013): autonomic signs in PD and LBD