Title:
POUCHED SLEEPWARE TO DECREASE OCCLUSION OF AIRWAY AND SUPINE POSITIONING DURING SLEEP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Sleepware for preventing a wearer from assuming a supine or semisupine position prior to or during sleep, thus increasing the volume of available airway via oropharynx. The sleepware comprises a rear portion and a pouch disposed on the rear portion so as to be located between the scapular of the wearer. The pouch has an interior cavity, an orifice to the cavity, and means for selectively closing the orifice. The pouch further includes at least one pleat to enable the pouch to expand in the dorso-ventral, medio-lateral and superior-inferior directions of the wearer. A first of the at least one pleat extends in a lengthwise direction of the sleepware, while an optional second pleat extends in a widthwise direction of the sleepware. A hollow perforated ball is removably retained within the cavity by the closing means.



Inventors:
Haskell, Douglas (Fort Myers, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/249619
Publication Date:
10/30/2003
Filing Date:
04/24/2003
Assignee:
HASKELL DOUGLAS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D10/00; A61F5/56; (IPC1-7): A41B1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080172773Fumble flapsJuly, 2008Chatman et al.
20080092269YOGA ACCESSORY SYSTEMApril, 2008Schox
20030056271Front opening body armorMarch, 2003Graves et al.
20050262617Absorbent cranial capDecember, 2005Szypka
20060162040Garment having a fixed cuffJuly, 2006Lee
20090199318PATIENT GOWNAugust, 2009Hamilton et al.
20080034478Tube wonder lockFebruary, 2008Patterson
20070157356Ski pantsJuly, 2007Jin
20040019953Foldable solar protection deviceFebruary, 2004Galimant
20020088045Portable elbow cushionJuly, 2002Shabandarian et al.
20040231032Spandex capNovember, 2004Park



Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARTMAN GLOBAL IP LAW (VALPARAISO, IN, US)
Claims:
1. Sleepware comprising: a rear portion; a pouch disposed on the rear portion so as to be located between the scapular of the wearer, the pouch having an interior cavity and an orifice to the cavity; means for selectively closing and opening the orifice; a hollow ball removably retained within the cavity by the closing and opening means, the ball having a diameter of about seven to about eight centimeters; at least one pleat formed in the pouch to enable the pouch to expand in dorso-ventral, medio-lateral and superior-inferior directions of the wearer, a first pleat of the at least one pleat being centrally located on the pouch and extending in a lengthwise direction of the sleepware.

2. The sleepware according to claim 1, wherein the orifice of the pouch is located at an upper extremity of the pouch.

3. The sleepware according to claim 2, wherein the first pleat extends substantially the entire lengthwise extent of the pouch.

4. The sleepware according to claim 1, wherein the at least one pleat consists of the first pleat.

5. The sleepware according to claim 1, further comprising a second pleat of the at least one pleat, the second pleat extending in a widthwise direction of the sleepware.

6. The sleepware according to claim 5, wherein the orifice of the pouch is located at an upper extremity of the pouch, and the second pleat is located immediately beneath the orifice.

7. Sleepware comprising: a rear portion: a pouch disposed on the rear portion so as to be located between the scapular of the wearer, the pouch having an interior cavity and an orifice to the cavity, the cavity having a width of about eighteen centimeters in a widthwise direction of the sleepware and a length of about eighteen centimeters in a lengthwise direction of the sleepware, the orifice being located at an upper extremity of the cavity; means for selectively closing and opening the orifice; a single hollow perforated ball removably retained within the cavity by the closing and opening means, the ball having a diameter of about seven to about eight centimeters; and at least one pleat formed in the pouch to enable the pouch to expand in dorso-ventral, medio-lateral and superior-inferior directions of the wearer, the at least one pleat comprising a single vertical pleat centrally located on the pouch and extending in the lengthwise direction of the sleepware, the single vertical pleat aiding in passively positioning the ball within the cavity and minimizing tension in the pouch and the sleepware.

8. The sleepware according to claim 7, wherein the vertical pleat extends substantially the entire lengthwise extent of the pouch.

9. The sleepware according to claim 7, wherein the at least one pleat consists of the vertical pleat.

10. The sleepware according to claim 7, further comprising second and third pleats of the at least one pleat, the second and third pleats extending in a widthwise direction of the sleepware.

11. The sleepware according to claim 10, wherein the second and third pleats are each located immediately beneath the orifice.

12. Sleepware comprising: a rear portion: a pouch disposed on the rear portion so as to be located between the scapular of the wearer, the pouch having an interior cavity and an orifice to the cavity, the cavity having a width of about eighteen centimeters in a widthwise direction of the sleepware and a length of about eighteen centimeters in a lengthwise direction of the sleepware, the orifice being located at an upper extremity of the cavity; means for selectively closing and opening the orifice; a single hollow perforated ball removably retained within the cavity by the closing and opening means, the ball having a diameter of about seven to about eight centimeters; and a single pleat formed in the pouch to enable the pouch to expand in dorso-ventral, medio-lateral and superior-inferior directions of the wearer, the single pleat being centrally located on the pouch and extending in the lengthwise direction of the sleepware, the single pleat aiding in passively positioning the ball within the cavity and minimizing tension in the pouch and the sleepware.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/319,204, filed Apr. 25, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention generally relates to sleepware.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] Various methods and appliances have been proposed to inhibit snoring that occurs when an individual assumes a supine or semisupine position during sleep, thus decreasing the volume of available airway via oropharynx. One approach has been to place tennis balls within a closed pouch sewn to the back of a shirt, so that the wearer experiences discomfort if he or she assumes a supine or semisupine position. Appliances that seek to achieve a similar effect are also known, such as a jacket disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,289,893 to Levitt, and a belt disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,383,475 to Austin. Such approaches can lack sufficient convenience and comfort to achieve consistent use by an individual.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0006] The present invention provides sleepware for discouraging a wearer from assuming a supine or semisupine position prior to or during sleep, thus increasing the volume of available airway via oropharynx. The sleepware comprises front and rear portions, and a pouch disposed on the rear portion so as to be located between the scapular of the wearer. The pouch has an interior cavity, an orifice to the cavity, and means for selectively closing the orifice. The pouch further includes at least one pleat to enable the pouch to expand in dorso-ventral, medio-lateral and superior-inferior directions of the wearer. The pleat is a centrally-located vertical pleat that extends in a lengthwise direction of the sleepware. Optionally, the pouch may comprise a horizontal pleat located near the pouch orifice and extending in a widthwise direction of the sleepware. As a result of the presence of the one or more pleats, the cavity is an expandable yet passive positional interior cavity within the pouch. A hollow perforated ball is removably retained within the cavity by the closing means and is passively positioned within the pouch in accordance with the size, location and shape of the centrally-located vertical pleat.

[0007] Other objects and advantages of this invention will be better appreciated from the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 is a rear view of a sleepware in accordance with an embodiment of this invention.

[0009] FIG. 2 is a lengthwise cross-sectional view of the sleepware of FIG. 1.

[0010] FIG. 3 shows a suitable ball for use with the sleepware of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0011] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, sleepware 10 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of this invention has a self-contained pouch 14 located on the rear (dorsal) portion 12 of the sleepware 10 so as to be strategically place a ball 26 (FIG. 3) within the pouch 14 between the wearer's scapular. The pouch 14 is preferably about seven inches wide by about seven inches long (about 18 by 18 centimeters), and defines a cavity 32 having an orifice 30 at an upper extremity of the pouch 14. The orifice 30 is closed by a flap 20 located immediately above the pouch 14. The flap 20 is releasably closable, such as with complementary VELCRO strips 16 and 18 shown on the pouch 14 and flap 20, though the use of other types of closing means is foreseeable.

[0012] The pouch 14 is adapted to easily expand in the dorso-ventral, medio-lateral and superior-inferior directions by integrating at least one expansive vertical pleat 22 and optionally an expansive horizontal pleat 24 on the outer surface of the pouch 14. The pleats 22 and 24 allow relief of tension on the pouch material and minimize the size required for the pouch cavity 32. As shown, a single vertical pleat 22 is centrally located on the pouch 14, and is sized and shaped in accordance with the dimensions of the ball 26. The optional horizontal pleat 24 is depicted as comprising two portions that are located near the orifice 30 to the pouch 14. If present, the horizontal pleat 24 assists in preventing the collar 34 of the sleepware 10 from pulling inferiorly while the ball 26 is in place, thus increasing stabilization and comfort. In this manner, the horizontal pleat 24 also enhances the life of the sleepware 10 by decreasing fabric tension at the interfaces between the sleepware 10 and the left and right sides of the pouch 14.

[0013] The ball 26 depicted in FIG. 3 is preferably very lightweight, with a suitable size being about three inches (about 7 to 8 centimeters) in diameter. Because of the design of the pouch 14, the sleepware 10 can be worn without the ball 26 in place, such that the ball 26 can be placed in the pouch 14 only when needed, e.g., immediately prior to the wearer going to bed. As such, the flap 20 prevents dislodgement of the ball 26 from the pouch cavity 32, but otherwise allows the wearer to use the sleepware 10 without the ball 26, as well as allows the ball 26 to be removed for cleaning of the sleepware 10. The ball 26 is preferably hollow with surface perforations 28 to minimize its weight. The size and weight of the ball 26 are appropriate to be barely detectable by the wearer under most conditions, and allow unencumbered movement of the shoulders and arms. The single vertical pleat 22 aids in passively positioning the ball 26 within the pouch cavity 32, minimizing tension at the stitched exterior surface of the pouch 14 and within the body of the sleepware 10. The wearer is comfortable in ventral and both lateral body positions. However, the ball 26 is sufficiently sized to prevent the wearer from comfortably assuming a position on his/her back, thus improving airway patency.

[0014] The incorporation of the pouch 14 into the sleepware 10 allows routine washing without any pre-sleep assembly, assistance in dressing, belts, or cumbersome attachments. Therefore, compliance is expected to be very good with the sleepware 10. By virtue of the design (including pleats 22 and 24) and the position of the pouch 14 on the sleepware 10, a minimal size ball 26 can be used to allow a comfortable desired sleep position, yet achieve maximal arousal when the wearer assumes a supine position. The combination of the vertical pleat 22 with the horizontal pleat 24 allows for greater movement of the wearer's scapula without impingement of the ball 26.

[0015] While the invention has been described in terms of a specific embodiment, it is apparent that other forms could be adopted by one skilled in the art. For example, the garment and pouch could differ in appearance and construction from the embodiment shown in the Figures, and a variety of appropriate materials could be used in the construction of the sleepware 10 and ball 26. Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be limited only by the following claims.





 
Previous Patent: Decorative skirt

Next Patent: Neck tie protector and restraint