Boeing received an issued U.S. patent recently on a device that makes it easier for passengers to sleep on an airplane.   The patent (U.S. 8,985,693) entitled, “Transport Vehicle Upright Sleep Support System”, consists of a backpack device that is removed and placed around the structure of a standard economy (cattle) class seat.  The device is designed to enable a passenger to face plant themselves into a support cushion that will enable them to sleep essentially sitting up and leaning forward.  The face support cushion has an opening around the face so that you don’t feel entirely smothered.  The device also has sleeves to support the passenger’s arms.   

The device is designed to be used on an existing standard coach class seat.  You may be able to sleep better leaning forward than the traditional pose of reclining backward.  According to the patent, when trying to sleep in a reclined position, there is a natural tendency to relax the body’s muscles and move into a more horizontal position which awakens the body. 

Now, if they could only do something about the space in coach class…!

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