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Red-eye flights are called so for a very specific reason. Passengers end up having red-eyes due to lack of sleep during the flight because of overnight flying. People usually find it difficult to fall asleep during a flight, but there are a few ways to help you get some decent shut-eye while on a plane. You can use a number of tips and hacks, as well as certain products, to make sure that you get the restful sleep you need during a flight.
Tips to Help You Fall Asleep on a Plane
Following a few tips before your flight can help make sure that you fall asleep on an airplane, including:
- Stick to Routines: It would be perfect if the flight you have scheduled matches your natural sleeping patterns. If not, stick to the usual routine, you follow before bedtime at home – brushing your teeth, reading a book or listening to soft music.
- Dress to Sleep: Of course, you cannot wear your pajamas in public, but wearing sportswear or sweatpants will make you feel comfortable. Make sure that you do not forget to keep your feet warm by wearing thick socks.
- Choose the Right Side: If you can, you should book a seat on your flight, according to the side you normally sleep on. According to a poll by Skyscanner, the left side – when you are facing the cockpit – is a better choice because the window seats are off center. This gives you more space to sleep on.
- Exhaust Yourself: You should try getting a little less sleep the night before your flight. For example, reduce the number of hours you sleep from 8 hours to about 4 or 5. Once you are seated down and relaxed on the plane, sleep should come naturally.
- Do Stretching Exercises: Aches and pains can keep you from falling asleep – they are the last thing you need. Try a bit of yoga or stretching exercises to keep your body supple and relaxed. This will most likely help you get some sleep when you are on the air.
- Carry Some Comfort Items: Do you remember being unable to sleep as a kid without your favorite teddy or blanket? Well, think of this as the grown-up version of a security blanket. Bring things to comfort you during the flight – it could be a shawl, an old t-shirt or even a soft toy. Making yourself feel at home is what will help you fall asleep when you are 38,000 feet up in the sky with 200 people around you.
During the Flight
Once you are inside the airplane and seated, a few tips can help you relax and fall asleep, such as:
- Flipping Your Neck Pillow: Instead of placing your neck pillow behind your head, do the opposite and wear it under your chin. When you doze off, the pillow will support your head when you roll. On of my favorite neck pillows so far is the Trtl neck pillow. It will support your neck no matter your sleep position.
- Using a Foot Rest: To improve your posture and maximize comfort, make a foot rest out of your carry-on luggage. You may also feel more relaxed if you rip off your shoes – just remember to wear clean socks so that you do not keep other passengers awake because of your stinky socks.
- Staying Away from the Light: Although backlit devices or in-flight movies can be a good form of distraction and entertainment, they can also disrupt your sleep. Use an eye mask to block out light from smartphones, tabs, etc.
- Listening to White Noise: Are different sounds on the plane distracting and keeping you awake? Drown them out with white noise. According to studies, white noise can actually promote better sleep. You will find a wide range of ambient soundtracks, such as TV static or rainfall, available on the Internet.
- Avoiding the Snack Trolley: Your sleeping pattern can be disrupted by the alcohol, sugar, and caffeine in snacks and beverages, so avoid the snack trolley at all costs. If you do need to eat, try to have a snack that is rich in carbs, such as cereal, an hour or so before you doze off.
Falling asleep on an airplane can be seriously difficult for some people, leaving them tired and stressed out when they land. They often become unable to enjoy their vacation for a few days or perform the task they came to do if it is a business trip. With the handy tips above, you can avoid this problem and make sure that you sleep peacefully during your flight and wake up refreshed, ready for any adventure.