First-class travellers can enjoy luxury all-natural bedding.

Johannesburg - Etihad Airways has been working closely with a panel of sleep experts from the American Centre for Psychiatry and Neurology in Abu Dhabi to research ways to enhance sleep during flights. The centre is staffed by American Board-certified aviation psychiatrists and neurologists and is renowned for its work in the field of aviation health.

Etihad Airways has received expert guidance from the centre on sleep hygiene and well-being on board.

This has led to the airline developing comprehensive guidelines for sleep for passengers based on the centre’s findings in its studies of patients experiencing the effects of long-haul flights.

Peter Baumgartner, chief commercial officer for Etihad Airways, said: “A good night’s sleep has been proved scientifically to benefit health – and nowhere is this more important than on a long-haul flight.

“We understand that sleep is an important requirement for our guests, many of whom fly multiple journeys with us each year. For this reason, we will continue ensuring greater levels of comfort and wellbeing on our flights.

“The research we have carried out in collaboration with the experts at the centre will allow us to improve the cabin environment significantly for passengers.”

Dr Yousef Abou Allaban, managing director of the American Centre for Psychiatry and Neurology, said: “What is encouraging is that there is an airline placing tremendous importance on and resources into the study of sleep on long-distance flights.

“Etihad Airways approached us with the clear understanding that sleep is not just a luxury, but a physical necessity that affects every traveller on every level.

“We have worked closely with the airline to offer expert advice aimed at providing an optimum environment for sleep while flying, taking into consideration the challenges of modern travel.”

A core part of Etihad Airways’ sleep initiative is the introduction of luxury all-natural bedding by Coco-Mat in Diamond First Class. Coco-Mat, the Athens company widely considered the world’s leading manufacturer of sustainably sourced sleep products, has designed an exclusive multi-layered sleep system mattress for Etihad Airways’ first class suites.

The mattress is made from extracts of the rubber tree, a healthier alternative to standard petroleum-based foams. This natural rubber is known for its elasticity and is perforated with tiny holes to create a perfect ventilation system, enabling the material to breathe and regulate body temperature. The new bedding set features a 100 percent cotton fitted sheet and a large down feather duvet and pillow. Etihad Airways is the only airline in the world to provide this product.

The airline aims to enhance the sleep experience by focusing on the senses of touch, sight, sound, aroma and taste. Fine cotton sleepsuits, pillow mist, pulse point oil and a selection of Bergamote 22 toiletries by New York brand Le Labo now feature as part of its first class sleep amenities.

High quality comforters are provided in Pearl Business Class and blankets in Coral Economy Class, along with Sougha amenity kits, inspired by traditional Emirati artisanal designs, in all classes.

To minimise the effects of ambient cabin sounds, Etihad Airways provides noise cancellation headphones in all three classes. To counteract harsh light, all cabins feature advanced mood-lighting systems.

Home comforts such as a sleep-time beverage service, including hot chocolate and herbal teas, are to be offered in all three classes.

In Diamond First Class, sleep-inducing chamomile tea and a range of malt drinks will be added to the airline’s extensive drinks selection as part of the sleep experience.

Passengers may also visit to contact Etihad Airways’ Sleep Experts for professional sleep advice. - Saturday Star