Getting sleep on long flights
The excitement of organising your upcoming holidays and the stress of making sure you didn’t forget anything as you rush to the airport can be taxing on the human body. When you get to the airport and are finally seated on the plane, sometimes all you want to do is watch some in-flight entertainment and get some sleep. The following tips are designed to help you find peaceful slumber while on the way to your destination.
Cut your sleeping time short the night before
The idea here is that once you get on the plane you will be that little bit more tired and will make drifting off to sleep easier.
Avoid alcohol and coffee
Both are a diuretic and there is nothing worse than having to go to the bathroom when you are half asleep. Caffeine is also known to keep you awake.
Try a neck pillow
A relatively inexpensive U shaped travel pillow allows you to sleep sitting up while maintaining support for your neck.
Wear an eye mask
Wait until take off and after you’ve seen the crew do their safety and security presentation. A good eye mask can help trick your body into thinking it’s bedtime by blocking out the light.
Whether they are to block out noise or to use your Mp3 player to drown out surrounding noise with music – it’s a good way to block out any noises that may disrupt your sleep. Noise cancelling headphones are also a good option.
Dress for comfort
Some people turn up for flights already dressed in their pyjamas, while you may not be that extreme, ensure you wear comfortable clothing. Avoid tight clothing that could restrict your circulation. It’s hard to predict whether it will be hot or cold on the place, so wearing layers is a good idea.
Choose the right seat
Getting a window seat is obviously the best way to avoid people climbing over you or bumping into you if they need to get up from their seat. Try and sit far away from the bathrooms to avoid the noise of the doors opening and closing – as well as possibly bad odours. A window seat means you can also rest your head against the wall of the plane.
Pack a travel blanket
BYO travel blanket, especially if you are a clean freak. Sometimes blankets are reused in between flights when the airline doesn’t have a chance to wash them. If you don’t need to use it, you can always roll it up as a pillow or arm/leg rest.
Advise staff that you don’t want to be woken up
Communicate with the staff that you don’t wish to be woken up during the flight. They may attempt to wake you for meals.
Keep your buckle visible
Always fasten your seat belt over your blanket or clothing. If it’s clear to staff that you are buckled in they won’t try and wake you in the instance there’s turbulence.
Stretch and limber up
It is always a good idea to stretch, take a walk up the aisles and limber up before you sleep. Do not sleep with your legs crossed as you wish to avoid cutting off any circulation.
Lavender oil is commonly used as a scent to enhance sleep. Try adding a few drops to your travel pillow. It can also be used once you arrive at your destination to put on hotel pillows or can be used in a spray bottle (mixed with water) to freshen up clothes.
Take a pill
Over-the-counter tablets like Dramamine (for travel sickness) that have a drowsy effect may aid sleep. Speak to your GP about other options. It is always important to remember not to take these tablets with alcohol. See our guide to travelling with prescription medecine for more info.