The Repose Aircraft Cabin improves sleep for passengers with the lateral sleep interface design that offers additional comfort without compromising cabin capacity.

Aircraft cabin design research to improve the in-flight sleep of long haul economy passengers.


Partner organisation


Funded by

  • TEAGUE PhD Design Research Scholarship

Sleep on an aircraft is a privilege for a few instead of a basic need that is met for all. Current solutions for better inflight sleep require passengers to purchase tickets in flying classes that are outside the financial reach of most travellers.

Dr Nyein Chan Aung

Just one night of sleeplessness can have significant health impacts. Sleep deprivation from air travel can lead to reduced attention and alertness, mood alterations, diminished memory processing, reduced executive function, and temporary impairments in cognition and physiology. This can be detrimental to passengers when they take on activities such as driving, skilled tasks or critical decision making upon arrival.

Repose is an aircraft cabin concept that improves the inflight sleep of economy passengers through the design of the cabin instead of the seat. Its central feature is a lateral sleep interface that turns the mid-cabin seats - the most dreaded seats in the economy cabin into some of the most desirable seats without affecting the cabin passenger capacity.

The Repose cabin concept was scientifically informed and holistically considerate of passengers, aircraft manufacturers, airlines and regulatory authorities. Rapid iterations of prototypes in collaboration with industry and scientific partners led to grounded, straightforward and effective solutions.

With the Repose lateral sleep interfaces, all window seats become better sleeping seats and the mid-cabin seats are elevated to become as desirable as the window seats. These advantages, combined with the lighting, temperature and noise control designs effectively improve the economy passenger sleep comfort without changing the cabin capacity and efficiency.

The designs are conceptual outcomes from a PhD research project and are not currently actual product offerings from any airline or aircraft equipment manufacturer.