Sleep quality and (dis)comfort in minimal space envelope

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Abstract

Sleep facilities in aircrafts, trains, busses, ships, submarines, (autonomous) cars, and other vehicles often have a limited space due to economic and/or operational reasons. Providing an effective and comfortable sleep is important for passenger satisfaction (e.g. to justify surplus prices) and crew effectiveness and operational safety (e.g. in operational safety critical environments such as aircraft cabin crews, medical staff, offshore and maritime workers and military personnel.

Forty-one participants were asked to score the experienced sleep quality – by means of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS), the Samn-Perelli 7-point Fatigue Scale (SPFS) and a Rested Scale – and (dis)comfort after a night sleep in three conditions: Night 1) in their normal bed space (the bed they sleep in in their house, which was usually 190-200 cm long and 90-140 cm wide), Night 2) in a limited space (170 x 70 cm), and Night 3) in a minimal space designed by the participant (a bed space which is limited, but still rather comfortable, based on own insight and their experiences from nights 1 and 2).

The average comfort and discomfort scores differed significantly (see Figure 1). In their normal bed space (night 1) the comfort score was 3.96 (scale 1-5; 5=maximum comfort; sd= 0.73) and in a limited space (night 2) 2.59 (SD=0.91), and in their normal bed space (night 1) the discomfort was 1.53 (scale 1-5; 5=maximum discomfort; sd= 0.60) and in the limited space (night 2) 2.98 (SD=0.86). The designed space varied a lot (see Figure 2): the minimal width was 46 cm and the maximum was 140 cm, and the length varied from 100 to 200 cm. The mean designed sleep space was 166 x 78 cm. Perhaps the p75 is here a more relevant value which was 186 x 90 cm, which seems still rather large and not appropriate for vehicles like cars, submarines, trains and airplanes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Comfort Congress 2021
Place of PublicationNottingham
Pages169-174
Number of pages6
Edition3rd
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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