It’s no secret that sleeping on an airplane is uncomfortable unless you can afford a first class seat. This is not the case for everyone and a few hours of flight in the airplane seat is not really ideal. In addition to the proximity of strangers and the stress that prevails before the holidays, it can be difficult to fall asleep, even if you are very tired.
We must not give up the idea of sleeping
So, when it comes to resting on a plane, the idea is to create an environment conducive to sleep. This often means that you need to eliminate all noise and light, positioning yourself so that you can relax as much as possible. It is always recommended that you carry an eye mask and noise canceling headphones in your carry-on baggage, but there are a few tips you can apply to be comfortable.
Be careful when choosing your seat.
Although the budget limits the choice of seats to some extent, there are a few things that you can control. Of course, the earlier you can reserve a seat, the more choices you will have.
If possible, reserve the seat near the window so you can lean against the wall to relax your neck and spine. If you can’t sit by the window, you can still lean over the backrest by turning your body to the side.
Avoid seats in the back, as many do not recline and may be near the toilet. You can search for seat maps by airline and flight number, before booking your ticket.
Wear comfortable clothes.
No, you don’t have to wear your checkered flannel at the airport to get some sleep. You can certainly store them in your hand luggage or consider other options that are as comfortable as they are stylish.
Anything that may strain, itch, or annoy in any way should be left at home. This doesn’t mean you have to wear sweatpants or sportswear. There are many options of comfortable clothing that also look great.
Some ideas to consider: tracksuit, stretch jeggings, drawstring palazzo pants, long skirts, flowy tops and soft sweaters, avoid anything that needs an extra belt.
Bring extra layers
It is not uncommon to be cold in an airplane and it is very difficult to fall asleep in these conditions. Bring socks and an extra sweater or sweatshirt. Note that night flights are almost always cold.
Being able to keep my toes warm or putting on a hoodie makes all the difference in my ability to sleep. You can also take an oversized scarf that can be used as a blanket.
Practice your nighttime routine before you fall asleep
If you’re taking an overnight flight, grab your toothbrush and cleansing wipes to get ready for bed. Sometimes these routines condition the body and make it easier to fall asleep.
You can also bring face cream and hand lotion. Not only will you stick to your pre-sleep ritual, it will also help you feel fresher when you arrive at your destination.
Charge your electronic devices.
Very useful for entertaining you during your flight, if you usually listen to movies, music, podcasts or meditation before bed, it can help you fall asleep in mid-flight.
On the other hand, if you normally avoid blue light before falling asleep, you’d better step away from it and prefer calming sounds, flipping through a book or magazine before closing your eyes.
Choose your drinks wisely.
Avoid caffeine, including that in soft drinks and chocolate, on the day of your flight and the day before. When it comes to alcohol, there are mixed reviews. This might help you fall asleep as soon as you get on board, but will likely require you to wake up an hour or two later without being able to sleep.
However, travelers say that a drink or two before the flight helps them relax enough to be able to rest. Again, it depends on your preferences, and moderation is key.
As always in flight, it is important to drink plenty of water before and during your flight. This keeps you comfortable, which will help you sleep. Hydrate yourself in the days and hours before your flight, but take a break an hour before boarding, it will avoid urges in mid-flight.
Use natural remedies to help you sleep
Supplementing with melatonin may be helpful in the short term when traveling to improve the quality of sleep as well as to reduce and overcome jet lag. Inhaling essential oils can also be relaxing. You can spray essential oils on a scarf that you can smell in flight.
Lavender and Bergamot are high in linalool and linalyl acetate and are well known for their relaxing properties. You can also bring a small bottle of essential oils and apply it on the pressure points. Just be careful not to overdo it, as passengers nearby may be sensitive to odors.
If even with all these tips you don’t sleep
If you have a long or night flight and are really worried about closing your eyes, you can take allergy medications that can make your eyes drowsy or over the counter medications to relieve your eyes. As always, check with your doctor before taking any new medications or supplements. They can also prescribe a mild sedative if needed.
What should absolutely not be forgotten when traveling:
- Comfortable neck pillow (an inflatable will take up as little space as possible)
- Light blocking eye mask
- Noise-canceling headphones or earplugs
- Electronic device loaded with movies, TV shows, music, podcasts and / or guided meditations
- Books and magazines
- Warm layers like a sweatshirt, soft socks and a scarf
- Supplements and / or essential oils to make you drowsy
- Travel-sized ‘nighttime routine’ products such as toothbrush, toothpaste, facial cleansing wipes, creams and lotions
On your next flights, you can sleep soundly and you won’t see the flight go by.