Do you always dread the thought of flying abroad because you can just never get any rest on the plane? Even if it’s a short-haul flight, travelling can be very tiring (both mentally and physically) and it’s important to use the time on your flight to rest and hopefully get some sleep. From before stepping on the plane and choosing your seat when booking, to dressing comfortably, avoiding distractions and giving yourself enough time to wake up, there are plenty of ways to help you sleep on a plane – it just takes a little preparation and thought beforehand. In this guest post, Paul Swann at SleepPro outlines some of the best ways to help you try and get some shut eye on a flight.
Choose your seat wisely
Prepping for a comfortable and restful plane journey starts before even stepping onto the airplane! When it comes to booking your flights and choosing your seat reservation, you might want to save money at the time and opt for convenience rather than comfort however you may just regret that decision later on.
Your seat location could be one of the most important factors in how well or how poorly you sleep on a flight. A window seat can help to give you a nice flat surface on which to rest your head, and window seats can be particularly beneficial during night flights! Another factor to think about is which side of the bed you sleep on at home. For example, if you sleep on your right side of the bed at home, opt for the right side of the plane.
Whether you take to the skies regularly or you’re prepping for a flight and haven’t experienced the joy of cabin pressurization for a while now, learning to dress comfortably will hopefully aid in a more restful journey and help you to get some shut eye.
Whether it’s a short or long flight, most people will take the opportunity to try and get some rest for the travels ahead. Due to cabin pressurization, our bodies swell and it can become uncomfortable if you’re not used to it. Therefore, dressing in comfortable and loose-fitting clothing will be beneficial. I wouldn’t recommend freeing your feet completely (as that wouldn’t be very courteous for other passengers) however packing a pair of comfy socks will work wonders for your feet.
Listen to soothing music
Your normal music selection might do the job but to fully prepare for your flight, you should add some soothing music or a dedicated sleep playlist to your listening device. As well as creating a soothing and calm atmosphere, this can really help to tune out any distractions and aid in a peaceful sleep.
Stay away from the light
Just like you should avoid any digital devices or screens before bed at home, the same goes for your flight. The light from any digital screens can trigger your brain and inhibit your melatonin levels – a chemical that effectively tells you that it’s time to go to sleep. If you need to distract yourself by doing something, try reading a book or magazine, filling out some crossword puzzles, colouring book (you can get adult versions too), or playing a travel-sized game.
Eating and drinking the right things
From skipping caffeine both pre-flight and during-flight, to avoiding salty foods which can cause bloating, your drink and food choices can go a long way when trying to get some sleep. Try to avoid the temptation to have a cup of coffee or a soda, and try to stick to just water or juice to ensure you stay well hydrated.
If you’re used to having a soothing cup of tea in the evening at home, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same on your flight. Opt for chamomile, honey, lavender and peppermint blends of tea for the best results.
Give yourself enough time to wake up
If you manage to actually get some sleep (which hopefully you will after reading this preparation guide), there can be nothing worse than waking up on a plane with those bright lights, bustling noise around you, and with the horrible beeping sound of the seatbelt sign. So do yourself a favour and give yourself enough time to wake up and feel alert in time for landing.
If you are one of the lucky ones and can rest easy on a plane, make sure you leave yourself enough time to wake up and avoid the shock. Try setting an alarm 1 hour before you’re due to land, as this should give you enough time to wake up, have some water and have a quick freshen up in the toilet.
Paul Swann is MD at SleepPro. With over 35 years experience of thermoplastics, Queens award winner for innovation, multi-patent holder, and product design guru, Paul Swann is considered a leading industry expert in sports mouthguards design, Snoring and Apnoea treatment using MAD’s and has a passion for developing products that provide affordable solutions.