Even the best seats on airlines are seats first… and beds second. But for future airline passengers this could become a thing of the past thanks to a catalyst comment from Wales and Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale.
SIMBA Sleep has engineered the SIMBA Air-Brid; the world’s most advanced airline seat promising the ultimate sleep environment for those with a demanding travel schedule. Conversations with Bale about ‘red eye’ flights was the catalyst to conceive the visionary smart-bed. The aim is to create a technologically advanced in-flight sleep experience to combat fettered sleep at 36,000 feet.
The design combines the brand’s pioneering mattress technology, featuring a unique fusion of 2,500 conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam layers, providing the ultimate comfort, support and heat regulation. Gentle automatic adjustments recline the seat to a ‘zero g’ position; closely simulating weightlessness – easing pressure on the back and spine whilst dissolving strain from the extremities. This allows blood to move freely through the body, improving circulation which proves a common issue whilst flying.
The physical surrounds of the SIMBA Air-Hybrid house an innovative sleep eco-system, including orange light-therapy system, soothing scent infusions and ground-breaking physiological sensors. The seat is able to monitor noise, temperature, light, humidity and particles in the air and thanks to a six-axis accelerometer and gyroscope the bed that adjust the sleeping position accordingly.
Excessive airline travel often makes maintaining consistent sleep patterns challenging; exacerbated for athletes like Gareth who are constantly on the go. Research by Stanford University has shown that increased sleep can directly effect on-field performance. Gareth Bale, Roger Federer and LeBron James have all become advocates for sleeping 10 hours per night, as it leads to nearly a 10% increase in shot accuracy and improved sprint and reaction times.
James Cox, SIMBA Co-Founder said: “When we first met Gareth, he raised a challenge we hadn’t thought of – what happens when you need a good night’s sleep but you can’t get to your bed at home? The SIMBA Air-Hybrid is our solution – a design that is every bit as comfortable as the mattresses that our customers enjoy at home. The feedback to the prototype has been so positive that we’ve begun conversations with commercial and private airlines. We’ve also started to look at how our technology can be adapted for other modes of transport including trains.”
The benefits of sleep extend beyond performance, as it also aids recovery and injury prevention. Studies have shown that one restless night can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of illness, while more than five restless nights can result in strength and power being affected.
For a player like Gareth, who competes in numerous domestic, European and International fixtures, the loss of sleep could result in fatigue, which in turn can increase levels of the hormone cortisol. This hormone heightens the risk of strains and tears and can impair an athletes’ sense of limb positioning and perception of strength, which can cause injuries such as ankle sprains.
Gareth Bale said: “The more you can sleep the better you will feel and the better you will perform. I’ve spoken to a sleep expert and they have told me to always try to go to bed and wake up at a similar time every night and morning. Getting this consistency becomes difficult when you’re flying back from away night matches. By putting their hybrid mattress technology into the SIMBA Air-Hybrid they’ve created a bed that is just as comfortable as my bed at home.”
SIMBA Sleep is in talks with commercial and private airline to roll out the final SIMBA Air-Hybrid internationally.
Chris Moody, Chief Executive of Fractional Jet Europe, who offer customers access to the leading fractional operators such as NetJets, commented: “Our clients demand the best service and facilities. I know that they would love to be able to sleep on the SIMBA Airline Seat so that they arrive at their destination relaxed and refreshed. We are excited to be talking to SIMBA about developing this technology for the private jet market, ensuring that it keeps pace with the in-flight sleep advancements that are being explored by the commercial sector.”