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Publication numberUS20080052822 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/897,786
Publication dateMar 6, 2008
Filing dateAug 30, 2007
Priority dateAug 30, 2006
Publication number11897786, 897786, US 2008/0052822 A1, US 2008/052822 A1, US 20080052822 A1, US 20080052822A1, US 2008052822 A1, US 2008052822A1, US-A1-20080052822, US-A1-2008052822, US2008/0052822A1, US2008/052822A1, US20080052822 A1, US20080052822A1, US2008052822 A1, US2008052822A1
InventorsSusan Lynn Hibma
Original AssigneeSusan Lynn Hibma
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable sleeping systems, sleeping mats, and sleeping methods
US 20080052822 A1
Abstract
A sleep mat assembly for supporting bedding and a pillow from a sleep structure and facilitating transportation of the bedding and the pillow comprising a main panel and a pocket panel. The pocket panel is attached to the main panel to define a pocket chamber. The sleep mat assembly operates in a sleep mode and in a transportation mode. In the sleep mode, the sleep mat assembly is arranged substantially between the support structure and bedding and between the support structure and the pillow. In the transportation mode, the sleep mat assembly is folded up to at least partly contain the bedding and the pillow to facilitate transportation of the bedding, pillow, and sleep mat assembly.
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Claims(20)
1. A sleep system comprising:
a support structure;
bedding;
a pillow; and
a sleep mat assembly comprising
a main panel, and
a pocket panel attached to the main panel to define a pocket chamber; wherein
the sleep mat assembly operates in
a sleep mode in which the sleep mat assembly is arranged substantially between the support structure and the bedding and between the support structure and the pillow; and
a transportation mode in which the sleep mat assembly is folded up to at least partly contain the bedding and the pillow to facilitate transportation of the bedding, pillow, and sleep mat assembly.
2. A sleep system as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one transportation attachment system for detachably securing the sleep mat assembly in the transportation mode.
3. A sleep system as recited in claim 2, in which the at least one transportation attachment system comprises first and second attachment portions that engage each other to detachably attach portions of a side edge of the main panel.
4. A sleep system as recited in claim 3, in which the first and second attachment portions are straps that are tied together.
5. A sleep system as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one fold attachment system for detachably securing the sleep mat assembly in the transportation mode.
6. A sleep system as recited in claim 8, in which the at least one fold attachment system comprises first and second attachment portions secured to a lower surface of the main panel.
7. A sleep system as recited in claim 9, in which:
the first attachment portion is formed by a hook fastener; and
the second attachment portion is formed by a loop fastener; whereby
the hook fastener is detachably attached to the loop fastener when the hook fastener comes into contact with the loop fastener.
8. A sleep system as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one sleep attachment system for detachably securing the sleep mat assembly to the support structure when the sleep mat assembly is in the sleep mode.
9. A sleep mat assembly for supporting bedding and a pillow from a sleep structure and facilitating transportation of the bedding and the pillow comprising:
a main panel, and
a pocket panel attached to the main panel to define a pocket chamber; wherein
the sleep mat assembly operates in
a sleep mode in which the sleep mat assembly is arranged substantially between the support structure and bedding and the support structure and the pillow; and
a transportation mode in which the sleep mat assembly is folded up to at least partly contain the bedding and the 5 pillow to facilitate transportation of the bedding, pillow, and sleep mat assembly.
10. A sleep mat assembly as recited in claim 9, further comprising at least one transportation attachment system for detachably securing the sleep mat assembly in the transportation mode.
11. A sleep mat assembly as recited in claim 10, in which the at least one transportation attachment system comprises first and second attachment portions that engage each other to detachably attach portions of a side edge of the main panel.
12. A sleep mat assembly as recited in claim 11, in which the first and second attachment portions are straps that are tied together.
13. A sleep mat assembly as recited in claim 9, further comprising at least one fold attachment system for detachably securing the sleep mat assembly in the transportation mode.
14. A sleep mat assembly as recited in claim 9, in which the at least one fold attachment system comprises:
a hook fastener; and
a loop fastener; whereby
the hook fastener is detachably attached to the loop fastener when the hook fastener comes into contact with the loop fastener.
15. A sleep mat assembly as recited in claim 9, further comprising at least one sleep attachment system for detachably securing the sleep mat assembly to the support structure when the sleep mat assembly is in the sleep mode.
16. A method of supporting bedding and a pillow from a sleep structure and facilitating transportation of the bedding and the pillow comprising:
forming a sleep mat assembly by attaching a pocket panel to a main panel to define a pocket chamber;
arranging the sleep mat assembly substantially between the support structure and bedding and between the support structure and the pillow; and
folding the sleep mat assembly such that the bedding and the pillow are at least partly contained to facilitate transportation of the bedding, pillow, and sleep mat assembly.
17. A method as recited in claim 16, further comprising the step of detachably securing the sleep mat assembly in the transportation mode.
18. A method as recited in claim 16, further comprising the step of detachably securing the sleep mat assembly to the support structure when the sleep mat assembly is in the sleep mode.
19. A method as recited in claim 16, further comprising the steps of:
defining first, second, and third fold lines relative to the main panel; and
folding the main panel at the first, second, and third fold lines to place the sleep mat assembly into the transportation mode.
20. A method as recited in claim 16, further comprising the steps of:
defining first, second, third, and fourth lower surface portions of a lower surface of the main panel; and
folding the main panel such that, when the sleep mat assembly is in the transportation mode
an upper surface of the main panel is substantially protected; and
the first and fourth portions of the lower surface of the main panel are exposed.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/841,343 filed Aug. 30, 2006, the contents of which are incorporated herein be reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to sleeping systems and methods and, more specifically, to sleep systems and methods that make temporary sleeping arrangements more comfortable and sanitary.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Disaster services providers are individuals who provide support to victims of disasters such as hurricanes, floods, fires, tsunamis, and/or acts of terrorism. In many situations, disaster services providers are asked to travel from their homes to the location of the disaster for periods of time from several days to several months. The Applicant is a disaster services provider who volunteers her time and skills under the auspices of the American Red Cross.

Accommodations for disaster services providers at the disaster location are often rudimentary. Further, the disaster services provider often may not know in advance what type of accommodations will be available at the disaster location. While it is possible that hotel accommodations may be available, in many situations disaster services providers are asked to stay in temporary housing.

In situations where temporary housing is provided to disaster services providers, temporary or makeshift sleeping arrangements may also be provided. As one example of a situation in which temporary housing and sleeping accommodations are provided to disaster services providers, temporary housing may be provided in a gymnasium, and cots may be set up in the gymnasium for the disaster services providers. Further, depending upon the nature of the temporary housing and the disaster response, the disaster services providers may be asked to share sleeping arrangements on a shift basis. In many situations, therefore, disaster services providers may be asked to use unfamiliar sleeping arrangements over which the volunteer has little control.

In the context of the present application, the term “sleep” is being used to refer to a state of relaxation and does not require an individual to be technically asleep. Accordingly, the principles of the present invention may be used in situations in which an individual is sleeping or, alternatively, is merely relaxing while sitting or lying prone.

The present invention is of particular significance in the context of accommodating an individual providing disaster services, and the present invention will be described herein primarily in that context. However, the present application has broader application to other situations in which an individual is asked to use unfamiliar sleeping arrangements. For example, a child may sleep overnight at a friend's house, and the sleeping arrangements in such situations may also be makeshift. As another example, an individual may use a public lounging chair to lie down on a beach.

The Applicant has recognized that, in many situations the need exists for portable sleep systems and methods that allow an individual, such as a disaster services provider, to have more control over the nature of temporary or makeshift sleeping arrangements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention may be embodied as a sleep system comprising a support structure, bedding, a pillow, and a sleep mat assembly comprising a main panel and a pocket panel. The pocket panel is attached to the main panel to define a pocket chamber. The sleep mat assembly operates in a sleep mode in which the sleep mat assembly is arranged substantially between the support structure and the bedding and between the support structure and the pillow. The sleep mat assembly also operates in a transportation mode in which the sleep mat assembly is folded up to at least partly contain the bedding and the pillow to facilitate transportation of the bedding, pillow, and sleep mat assembly.

The present invention may also be embodied as sleep mat assembly for supporting bedding and a pillow from a sleep structure and facilitating transportation of the bedding and the pillow comprising a main panel and a pocket panel. The pocket panel is attached to the main panel to define a pocket chamber. The sleep mat assembly operates in a sleep mode in which the sleep mat assembly is arranged substantially between the support structure and bedding and the support structure and the pillow. The sleep mat assembly also operates in a transportation mode in which the sleep mat assembly is folded up to at least partly contain the bedding and the pillow to facilitate transportation of the bedding, pillow, and sleep mat assembly.

The present invention may also be embodied as a method of supporting bedding and a pillow from a sleep structure and facilitating transportation of the bedding and the pillow comprising the following steps. A sleep mat assembly is formed by attaching a pocket panel to a main panel to define a pocket chamber. The sleep mat assembly is arranged substantially between the support structure and bedding and between the support structure and the pillow. The sleep mat assembly is folded such that the bedding and the pillow are at least partly contained to facilitate transportation of the bedding, pillow, and sleep mat assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of an example portable sleep system employing a portable sleep mat assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the example portable sleep system depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the example sleep mat assembly used as part of the sleep system depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 in a sleep mode;

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the example sleep mat assembly used as part of the sleep system depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 in the sleep mode;

FIGS. 5-9 are side elevation views depicting one example portable sleeping method employing the example sleep mat assembly of FIGS. 3 and 4; and

FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of the example sleep mat assembly of FIGS. 3 and 4 in a transportation mode.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 of the drawing illustrates an example sleep system 20 constructed in accordance with, and embodying, the principles of a form of the present invention. The sleep system 20 comprises an example sleep mat assembly 22, an example support structure 24, example bedding 26, and an example pillow 28. FIG. 2 illustrates the example sleep system 20 with the bedding 26 removed for clarity.

The example sleep mat assembly 22 of the sleep system 20 is also constructed in accordance with, and embodies, the principles of a form of the present invention. The example sleep mat assembly 22 is designed to operate in a sleep mode (FIGS. 1-5) and in a transportation mode (FIGS. 9 and 10). In the sleep mode, the example sleep mat assembly 22 is designed to provide a barrier between the support structure 24 and the bedding 26 and pillow 28. The example sleep mat assembly 22 also provides at least a small amount of cushioning for the comfort of the individual using the sleep system 20 when used in the sleep mode.

In the transportation mode, the sleep mat assembly 22 is folded to contain the bedding 26 and the pillow 28 in a manner that allows the bedding 26 and pillow 28 to be easily transported. When used to transport the bedding 26 and pillow 28 in the transportation mode, the sleep mat assembly 22 also prevents the bedding 26 and the pillow 28 from coming into contact with possibly non-hygienic surfaces such as the ground or the floor.

The example support structure 24 may be any temporary or permanent structure defining a support surface 30 capable of supporting an individual. Typically, the support surface 30 is defined by a support panel 32 made of soft and flexible material. The support panel 32 may be supported along its edges by a support frame 34 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, or may be supported by internal cushions, springs, foam, and the like. Accordingly, while the example support surface 30 generally defines a sleeping plane, the support surface 30 is typically not perfectly planar as depicted in the drawings when supporting a sleeping individual.

Additionally, the support structure 24 may be constructed in forms other than depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2. For example, the support structure 24 may be a more chair-like apparatus configured with a support panel that defines a seating portion and a backrest portion.

The support frame 34 of the support structure 24 may also be reconfigurable to take a number of forms. The example support frame 34 is a conventional cot structure comprising first and second side rails 40 and 42 supported by three pairs of legs 44 and 46. The pairs of legs 44 and 46 are hinged at pivot points 48 and at the side rails 40 and 42 to allow the support frame 34 to be placed in a sleep mode as shown or in a storage configuration in which the legs 44 are substantially parallel to the legs 46.

Another example of a common support frame is a folding lounge chair that may be arranged in a sleep mode in which the support surface is substantially planar, a relaxing configuration in which the support surface defines separate seating and backrest portions, and a storage configuration in which the support panel does not define a surface configured to support a human.

The bedding 26 may also take many forms depending upon the circumstances and the desires of the user of the sleep system 20. In some situations, the bedding 26 may not be necessary. In other situations, a simple blanket may suffice. In still other situations, ambient temperatures may cause the user to use more complex bedding systems including sheets, a bedroll, a sleeping bag, and/or the like.

The example bedding 26 is a sleeping bag comprising a lower panel 50, an upper panel 52, and a zipper assembly 54. The panels 50 and 52 may be formed by a single sheet of material folded along a first side edge 26 a or two separate pieces of material joined at the edge 26 a. In either case, the zipper assembly 54 is arranged to allow the panels 50 and 52 to be joined along a first end edge 26 b and a second side edge 26 c. The panels 50 and 52 are typically not joined along a second end edge 26 d.

The example panels 50 and 52 are made of a material that is appropriate for the ambient temperatures, that is comfortable when in contact with human skin, and which satisfies appropriate safety regulations for bedding and/or sleepwear. Often, the panels 50 and 52 may comprise liners, insulation, and the like.

The example pillow 28 is or may be conventional and typically comprises a soft, compressible core and a cover. Like the panels 50 and 52, the example pillow 28 is preferably made of materials that are comfortable when in contact with human skin and which satisfy appropriate safety regulations for bedding and/or sleepwear.

With the foregoing general description of the sleep system 20 in mind, the details of fabrication of the example sleep mat assembly 22 will now be described in further detail with reference to FIGS. 2-4 and 8-10 of the drawing.

Referring initially to FIGS. 3-5 of the drawing, it can be seen that the example sleep mat assembly 22 comprises a main panel 60 and a pocket panel 62. The main panel 60 defines an upper surface 60 a, a lower surface 60 b, a first main end edge 60 c, a second main end edge 60 d, a first main side edge 60 e, and a second main side edge 60 f. The pocket panel 62 defines an outer surface 62 a, an inner surface 62 b, a first pocket end edge 62 c, a second pocket end edge 62 d, a first pocket side edge 62 e, and a second pocket side edge 62 f.

The main panel 60 and the pocket panel 62 may be formed by a single sheet of material folded such that the first main end edge 60 c and the first pocket end edge 62 c are substantially coexistent. The first and second pocket side edges 62 e and 62 f are substantially coexistent with portions of the first and second main side edges 60 e and 60 f, respectively. These substantially coexistent side edges 62 e, 62 f and 60 e, 60 f are joined by stitching 64 such that a pocket chamber 66 is formed between the main panel 60 and the pocket panel 62 and an opening 68 is formed along the second pocket end edge 62 d that allows access to the pocket chamber 66.

The intersections of the edges of the main panel 60 define first, second, third, and fourth corners 22 a, 22 b, 22 c, and 22 d of the sleep mat assembly 22.

The example sleep mat assembly 20 optionally comprises one or more of a handle member 70, a fold fastening system 72, first and second transportation mode fastening systems 80 and 82, and first, second, third, and fourth sleep mode fastening systems 90, 92, 94, and 96. The handle member 70 and fastening systems 72, 80, and 82 facilitate operation of the sleep mat assembly 22 in the transportation mode. The first, second, third, and fourth sleep mode fastening systems 90, 92, 94, and 96 facilitate operation of the sleep mat assembly 22 in the sleep mode.

The handle member 70 is affixed to the lower surface 60 b of the main panel 60 as will be described in further detail below. The fold fastening system 72 (see, e.g., FIGS. 8 and 9) comprises a first portion 72 a and a second portion 72 b, both of which are also secured to the main panel lower surface 60 b.

The first and second transportation mode fastening systems 80 and 82 are secured to the first and second main side edges 60 e and 60 f, respectively (see, e.g., FIGS. 3, 4, and 10). The first transportation mode fastening system 80 comprises first and second portions 80 a and 80 b, while the second transportation mode fastening system 82 comprises first and second portions 82 a and 82 b.

As shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the handle member facilitates carrying of the sleep mat assembly 22 in the transportation mode. The fold fastening system 72 and the first and second transportation mode fastening systems 80 and 82 are configured to maintain the sleep mat assembly 22 in the transportation mode. The locations of the fold fastening system 72 and the first and second transportation mode fastening systems 80 and 82 will be described in further detail below.

The first and second sleep mode fastening systems 90 and 92 are secured to the first main side edge 60 e, while the third and fourth sleep mode fastening systems 94 and 96 are secured to the second main side edge 60 f (see, e.g., FIGS. 3, 4, and 10). The first sleep mode fastening system 90 comprises first and second portions 90 a and 90 b, the second sleep mode fastening system 92 comprises first and second portions 92 a and 92 b, the third sleep mode fastening system 94 comprises first and second portions 94 a and 94 b, and the fourth sleep mode fastening system 96 comprises first and second portions 96 a and 96 b.

As shown in FIG. 2, the first, second, third, and fourth sleep mode fastening systems 90, 92, 94, and 96 are configured to maintain the sleep mat assembly 22 in a desired location relative to the support structure 24 when the mat assembly 22 operates in the sleep mode. The locations of the first, second, third, and fourth sleep mode fastening systems 90, 92, 94, and 96 will be described in further detail below.

First, second, and third fold lines 120, 122, and 124 are laterally spaced along a length axis of the main panel 60. The first fold line 120 is spaced from the second end edge 60 d a distance equal to approximately one-quarter of length axis of the main panel 60. The second fold line 122 is spaced approximately one-half way between the first and second end edges 60 c and 60 d. The third fold line 124 is spaced from the first end edge 60 c a distance equal to approximately one-quarter of the length axis of the main panel 60.

Additionally, the edges 60 c and 60 d and fold lines 120, 122, and 124 define first, second, third, and fourth portions 130, 132, 134, and 136 of the upper surface 60 a of the main panel 60. The edges 60 c and 60 d and fold lines 120, 122, and 124 define first, second, third, and fourth portions 140, 142, 144, and 146 of the lower surface 60 b of the main panel 60.

The modes of use of the example sleep mat assembly 22 will now be described in further detail with reference to FIGS. 2 and 5-10. Referring initially to FIG. 2, the example sleep mat assembly 22 is depicted therein in the sleep mode. In the sleep mode, the sleep mat assembly 22 is unfolded such that the main panel 60 thereof overlays at least a substantial portion of, and preferably all of, the support surface 30 defined by the support panel 32. The bedding 26 may be placed on at least a portion of the upper surface 60 a of the main panel 60 and/or the outer surface 62 a of the pocket panel 62 and used in a conventional manner.

In the sleep mode, the pillow 28 may be inserted through the pocket opening 68 and into the pocket chamber 66 such that the pillow 28 rests on the upper surface 60 a of the main panel 60 and under the inner surface 62 b of the pocket panel 62. Alternatively, the pillow 28 may be removed from the pocket chamber 66 through the pocket opening 68 and laid on one or both of the bedding 26 and the outer surface 62 a of the pocket panel 62.

Friction between the main panel 60 and the support panel 32 may be sufficient to secure the sleep mat assembly 22 in a desired relationship with the support surface 30 when the sleep mat assembly 22 is used in the sleep mode. The sleep mode fastening systems 90, 92, 94, and 96 may also be used to help secure the sleep mat assembly 22 in the desired relationship with the support surface 30. In particular, the example sleep mode fastening systems 90, 92, 94, and 96 are arranged adjacent to the four corners 22 a, 22 b, 22 c, and 22 d of the sleep mat assembly 22. The individual portions 90 a, b, 92 a, b, 94 a, b, and 96 a, b take the form of short straps that may be tied together about the side rails 40 and 42 of the support frame 34 of the support structure 24. In addition or instead, one or more relatively high friction pads or panels may be sewn to the lower surface 60 b of the main panel to increase friction between the main panel 60 and the support panel 32.

To convert the sleep mat assembly 22 from the sleep mode as shown in FIG. 2 to the transportation mode as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the following steps are performed. First, if used, the sleep mode fastening systems 90, 92, 94, and 96 are untied or otherwise detached from the support frame 34. The individual portions 90 a, b, 92 a, b, 94 a, b, and 96 a, b of the sleep mode fastening systems 90, 92, 94, and 96 are then folded up onto the upper surface 60 a of the main panel 60 and/or the outer surface 62 a of the pocket panel 62.

As shown in FIG. 5, the pillow 28 may be inserted into the pocket chamber 66 through the chamber opening 68, while the bedding 26 may be folded up and arranged on the outer surface 62 a of the pocket panel 62.

FIG. 6 shows that the main panel 60 may next be folded upwardly along the first fold line 120 such that the first portion 130 of the upper surface 60 a overlaps the second portion 132 of the upper surface 60 a.

As shown in FIG. 7, the main panel 60 may next be folded along the third fold line 124 such that the outer surface 62 a of the pocket panel 62 faces the third surface portion 134 of the main panel upper surface 60 a.

FIG. 8 illustrates that the main panel 60 may next be folded along the second fold line 122 such that the first portion 140 of the main panel lower surface 60 b faces the fourth portion 146 of the main panel lower surface 60 b. At this point, the sleep mat assembly 22 is in its transportation mode.

However, to secure the example sleep mat assembly 22 in the transportation mode, the first and second portions 72 a and 72 b of the fold fastening system 72 come into contact with each other to detachably attach the first and fourth surface portions 140 and 146. While any attachment system that effectively functions to detachably attach these surface portions 140 and 146 together may be used, the example fastening system 72 takes the form of a conventional hook and loop fastener.

In addition, the sleep mat assembly 22 may further be secured in the transportation mode using the first and second transportation fastener systems 80 and 82. In particular, FIGS. 8-10 illustrate that the first and second portions 80 a and 80 b of the first transportation fastener system 80 and the first and second portions 82 a and 82 b of the second transportation fastener system 82 take the form of straps that may be tied together to further secure the sleep mat assembly 22 in the transportation mode. Again, fasteners other than tied straps may be used to form one or both of the first and second transportation fastener systems 80 and 82.

As shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, in the transportation mode, the sleep mat assembly 22 generally takes the size and form of a briefcase and simplifies the process of transporting the bedding 26 and pillow 28. Further, in this transportation mode, the sleep mat assembly 22 substantially protects the upper surface 60 a of the main panel 60 and the outer and inner surfaces 62 a and 62 b of the pocket panel 62 from inadvertent contact with potentially unhygienic surfaces or objects.

From the foregoing, it should be apparent that the present invention may be embodied in forms other than those described above. The scope of the present invention should thus be determined by the following claims and not the foregoing detailed descriptions of examples of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7509695 *Feb 6, 2008Mar 31, 2009Patent Category Corp.Portable support assemblies
US7636962Mar 20, 2009Dec 29, 2009Patent Category Corp.Portable support assemblies
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/114, 5/116, 5/112
International ClassificationA47C17/70, A47C17/64
Cooperative ClassificationA47C17/70
European ClassificationA47C17/70