I’m a pretty busy guy, so I don’t really have the time nor the energy to implement every single great idea for a new invention that I think of. So I’m going to just release any idea trademarks that I might have enjoyed and put my invention ideas out to the general public for implementation. If you do actually end up getting filthy rich off of any of my invention ideas, I won’t sue you but please feel free to send me a little of your filthy money just to make certain that you are able to sleep soundly at night. 🙂
Ever since I saw a video back in the early 90’s showing Shuttle astronauts sleeping in zero-G, I’ve been slightly obsessed with the idea of creating a way to sleep in your natural weightless body posture here on the ground. It’s nothing I’ve ever actually done anything about, but had in the back of my mind that I was going to invent some sort of magical zero-G sleeping device and become rich and famous someday.
Astronauts (and space tourists) who sleep in zero-G take on a natural body posture like the posture shown in the below sketch. Their muscles all relax and their arms float up in front of their face. They crouch over ever so slightly and their head tilts down just a bit. Their legs are bent at the waist and also at the knees. It’s almost like a recliner position, but with your hands out in front of you.
There appears to be no simple way to reproduce this natural zero-G posture down on the ground. There is a popular massage chair called the “ZeroG Immersion Massage Chair” that is basically a big poofy recliner on steroids. I could probably take a nap in this chair for a couple of hours but I doubt I could sleep soundly for a whole night in it.
[image from http://shop.humantouch.com/zerog-2.html]
There are lots of mattress companies that claim to put your body in the most natural position. Most of the mattress designs I’ve seen advertised try to give you the most properly aligned spine:
But can a single mattress really be comfortable for all the different sleeping positions like side, back, stomach? Many people who sleep on their backs will snore on their backs. Many people who sleep on their stomach will have back problems due to the unnatural arching of the back in that position. Many people who sleep on their side will have to flip sides every couple hours during the night which is pretty annoying.
There are some pillow solutions that help separate the legs and align the spine and these can also help you put your arms in a more natural position.
[image from http://www.necksolutions.com/body-pillow.html]
Tossing & Turning
I’m not a doctor, but I’m guessing that the reason we toss and turn during the night is that our bodies tell us that we need to move based on circulation issues and such. I wonder if astronauts toss and turn in zero-G at all. I’m betting they do not because their body is in the natural position and their skin and muscles are not being compressed. So how can we minimize our skin and muscles being compressed down here on the ground?
I used to SCUBA dive quite a bit when I was younger. When neutrally buoyant, you just float in mid-water so to speak. You don’t rise or fall and there is nothing but your wet suit and SCUBA gear pressing on your skin. I’ve wondered many times if it would be possible to sleep while neutrally buoyant under water. That’s not very practical. Not to mention quite dangerous. But it would be an interesting experiment, I think.
By taking the underwater sleeping idea and making a more practical version of it, is there a way to make a micro-bead (styrofoam balls) sort of device or a gel filled device that would support your whole body and keep it in the natural posture while you sleep? You would want to maximize the support in order to minimize the circulation issues and the tossing and turning problems.
Would it work to cut holes or slots in an existing mattress for the arms and legs to slide into? Would it be too restrictive to try to sleep that way? How could you get the feel and movement of water without actually being in water?
Is it more comfortable and natural to be leaning backwards in a recliner or leaning forwards face down? Those portable massage chairs that are basically like a reverse recliner where you are actually face down in the chair with your face poking through a hole in the headrest seems like it might be close to a solution to the problem … as long as there was a way to maximize and spread out the support so that it would minimize the pressure on your skin and muscles.
[image from http://www.relaxforsuccess.com/55.html]
I believe a laid back solution is a snoring issue, but a face down solution at just the right angle just may be the thing that makes your body feel balanced. If you leaned too far forward you would feel like you are falling and the blood would rush to your head, though. It would have to be just the right angle leaning forward. Would a combination of a modified face-down massage chair with lots of added memory foam or a gel material do the trick if it were tilted forward to just the right angle?
Are there any other ways to essentially hover a person in mid-air? Think outside the box! Come up with a solution! Make millions of bucks! I don’t want to necessarily become rich and famous, but I would like a good night’s sleep so I will definitely buy one if a solution is found!
Please invent this. Thanks,