Journal of Ergonomics Research

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Commentary, J Ergon Res Vol: 5 Issue: 3

Aircraft Interior Requirements for a Good Sleep

Liu Mingjia*

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Florence, San Marco, Firenze, Italy

*Corresponding Author: Liu Mingjia, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Florence, San Marco, Firenze, Italy. E-mail:

Received date: April 13, 2022, Manuscript No. JEOR-22-58342;

Editor assigned date: April 15, 2022, PreQC No. JEOR-22-58342 (PQ);

Reviewed date: April 22, 2022, QC No JEOR-22-58342;

Revised date: May 12, 2022, Manuscript No. JEOR-22-58342 (R);

Published date: May 19, 2022, DOI: 10.4172/ Jeor.1000113.

Citation: Mingjia L (2022) Aircraft Interior Requirements for a Good Sleep. J Ergon Res 5:03.

Keywords: Good Sleep


Sleeping in long haul flights is difficult. There is noise, an upright sitting position and neighbors and crew disturb the sleep. However, there is not much information available for designers on the most important factors next to the seat that could improve the sleep quality. In this paper a co-creation session and a survey among 109 participants has been performed to study factors influencing sleep in a long-haul flight. This study shows that not only the seat is important for a good sleep, but factors like privacy, hygiene and neighbors play a role as well. The more frequent travelers experience more comfort during sleep. So, probably a good preparation is important as well. Sleeping in long-haul economy class flights is certainly not comfortable. Bowens. Studied comfort in airplanes and found that in long-haul (6-12 hours) flights nearly 80% of the passengers do sleeping. They also showed that sleeping had the lowest comfort score among the activities: sleeping, being bored (doing nothing), gaming, walking, reading, taking away garbage, watching IFE (in-flight entertainment), listening to music and eating/drinking. This discomfort during sleep is probably caused by noise and the upright sitting position. However, also neighbors and crew might disturb the sleep. There is not much information available for designers on the most important factors next to the seat that could reduce discomfort during sleeping. The ideal posture for sleeping in a seat has been described Stanglmeier. But it is completely different from the current position in economy class seats. The paper of Tan et al. affirms that both physiological and psychological discomfort, even stress and health risks appear while sleeping in the aircraft.


Apart from discomfort during sleep, there are many factors influencing sleep quality for passengers, consisting of both physical elements and experience elements. These elements were studied by Dumur. The factors seat (anthropometrics), smell, noise, vibration, light and climate influence sleep quality as well Bouwens et al. with the seat as the most important factor. In 2000, British Airways was the first to introduce the flat bed in the business class which was copied by other airlines. For economy class this is not introduced (yet). However, next to the seat other factors influencing sleep quality, like the neighbor and service provided by crew could be important as well. Co-creation sessions and a survey were used to answer the research question. Three rounds of co-creation sessions were used with 14 students (age 21-28 years) who all flew more than four times longhaul (6-12 hours). Each round lasted for approximate 60 minutes, involving 4-5 participants and one moderator. After welcoming and introducing the participants and asking them to read and sign the consent form, the participants were sensitized with an immersive video of background white noise and clipped videos of long-haul flight from the internet. Participants were asked first to draw or write down their experience in a timeline and their opinion on tangible parts in the interior. Then, they were encouraged to add their emotions and document reasons on color-coded stickers. After this, more in-depth data were gathered in an interview. The completed paper forms were gathered and compared, and collective patterns among the 14 experience reports were identified. A transcript from audio recording was clustered by high-frequency words.

The survey was a questionnaire in two languages (Mandarin and English) and published online by Microsoft Forms. It consisted of single-choice questions, multiple-choices question, open-ended questions and rankings. 219 participants (80 males, 139 females), aged from 20 to 66 (average 38.2, SD 12.6) completed the online survey. 49% participants (106) never took a long-haul flight, 22% participants (48) flew more than four times long-haul, the rest of them (61) less. 91% of the participants were from mainland China, others from all over the world. In the data analysis invalid answers were removed. The 215 complete answered questionnaires were captured in Microsoft Forms. To verify whether there is a significant difference between expectations of experienced and inexperienced passengers, a t-test was done and the p-value was calculated using Excel. In the next phase, after boarding, some neutral emotions were mentioned by most participants, like feeling relaxed to use IFE or listen to music, and feeling peaceful while putting on their slippers. During the cruise flight, three states could be identified: awaken, asleep, and transition. If participants are repeatedly awakened and have to tolerate the halfasleep state several times, negative emotions including feeling frustrated, bored and desperate could become dominant. Co-creation participants also mentioned that activities, like having food or a drink, walking in the cabin, listening to music could be helpful to distract from the situation preventing passengers from sleep. It seems that there are many factors influencing sleep quality.

Passengers Experience

Mention seat, noise, temperature, light, smell and vibrations. This study shows even more factors that differ per phase. In preparation most experienced passengers might have a common routine, increasing their comfort. Before the flight, proper preparation might create mental security, and help passengers getting into a good sleep. Experienced passengers might also have lower expectations. After boarding, adjustments are made to getting better to sleep by some passengers. This routine before sleep largely depends on the individual habits. During the cruise phase, the interaction with crew and neighbours is important as well. For instance, catering service is sometimes an unwelcome interruption during the sleep. After the cruise phase, the psychological comfort level is increased because the flight is getting closer to the destination, even though some passengers complained about physical discomfort, for instance backache and neck pain. Drawing conclusions from what passengers report should be done with care as Mellert. Showed for instance that during the flight humans did not notice that aircrafts were noisier, but in the noisy airplanes they were more aware of their neck problems and swollen feet. Like in the findings of Bouwens, the comfort of seats is the factor most frequently mentioned by passengers. As is mentioned in the introduction the current economy class seats are far away from the ideal sleeping position described by Stanglmeier. For instance the backrest should have an angle to the vertical of 65 backwards, while it is usually 20-30° and the lower leg horizontal, while it is now almost vertical. However, it is possible that the seat is not the dominant reason for being awaken, but it might be mentioned as it is the leading factor to the physical discomfort or complaints after the sleep. In application of the results it should be kept in mind that the majority of the participants were from mainland China (91%). Another limitation of the study is that is the situation of the end of year 2019, which could differ from summer. study suggest that the seat plays a role in having discomfort while and after sleep, but other factors like preparation, neighbours and crew are important as well for the sleep quality. To have a good sleep not only the comfort of seats needs improvement, other intangible factors, like interaction with flight attendance and preparation, also need to be taken into account.

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