It can be difficult to sleep on a plane, but there are ways to make it a little easier. By following some simple guidelines you should be able to get a good night’s rest. There are also some products and tricks that will help you sleep better, and even boost your snooze count in the process.
The first rule of thumb is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, especially during turbulence. You should also avoid foods and beverages with caffeine before and during the flight. Caffeine can actually interfere with your ability to fall asleep and may interfere with your circadian clock. Avoiding alcohol will also help. This is because alcohol will cause your brain to lighten up, which will result in you being unable to fall asleep.
Another strategy is to get a window seat. These provide an extra headrest and are safer than seats near the lavatory. They also offer a view of the scenery. If you’re traveling for business, you may want to consider upgrading to a business class cabin.
Another thing to try is a light exercise. Some airlines will provide these. A few stretches will help to relax your body, and will also aid in your sleep. Keeping your body warm can also contribute to sleep. Using an airplane blanket is another idea. Just be sure to fasten it over your seatbelt and not on your lap, otherwise it will be a nuisance.
Taking a nap is also an option, but you have to be careful about the timing. Naps can help your body adjust to the time difference, but if you aren’t on the same schedule, you may not sleep as well. When you are awoken from your sleep, you can fall into a vicious cycle that can lead to jet lag.
Having an eye mask or other device that blocks out light is a smart move. Even if you can’t sleep, a mask can block out all the ambient noise, which will aid in your snooze.
One of the best options is a lie-flat seat, although many Economy class passengers will not have that luxury. However, it is still a good idea to try to snag an aisle seat to get a little bit of legroom. Having a nice, big pillow can also help.
The most effective strategy is to plan ahead. You should pick a flight that falls within your usual sleeping hours, and you should try to get as much rest as possible prior to the trip. Ideally, you should aim for an eight-hour flight, which will allow for a few hours of sleep during the flight. In addition, if your flight isn’t too long, you should be able to fit in a quick nap after landing.
Other suggestions include an eye mask, a small pillow, an inflatable ear plug and a pair of sunglasses. All of these items are small and won’t take up a lot of room, but they will certainly make your journey a little more comfortable.