Sleeping through the night or even for a short period can be difficult on a plane, and many people find they simply can’t sleep on a flight. Here are some ideas which can help sleeping on long haul flights.
Choose the Right Seat on Plane Flights
It is worth reserving a seat in advance, or if traveling with a low cost airline where reserving a seat might involve extra cost, travelers should try to board the plane as early as possible, while there is still a wide choice of seats available. A window seat will give the passenger a wall to lean on, and he or she will not be disturbed by anyone going to the lavatory or walking about. Seats by emergency exits usually have extra legroom, which can be helpful.
Once the flight is underway, it is worth looking round the cabin for better seats. Planes are not always full, and it may be possible to find a row of seats with movable armrests, enabling the traveler to stretch out.
Items to Carry in Hand Luggage
Travelers should make sure they have a travel pillow; those which support the neck are best, and can be bought in travel shops or at airports. Comfortable clothing is essential, and slippers should be carried or shoes removed. Other useful items are an eye mask to block out the light, earplugs, and bottled water. It is also a good idea grab a pillow and blanket immediately on entering the plane…just in case there aren’t enough for everyone. Even if a blanket is not required for warmth, it can be used behind one’s lower back in a semi-reclined position for extra comfort.
Eat and Exercise Before the Flight
It is easier to sleep on a full stomach and after some exercise. It is possible to eat healthily on a plane if necessary, if the flight is going to be very long, and there are also exercises which can be done during the flight. These will both help with sleeping.
Other Hints for Those Who Can’t Sleep on Flights
Avoid caffeine and other stimulants, both before and during the flight.
Natural sleep aids may help; try herbal or homeopathic remedies.
The traveler should mention to his neighbour or the flight attendant that he plans to sleep and does not want to be disturbed.
Bear in mind that the best way of avoiding jet lag is to sleep when it is night at the destination, and try to sleep at the correct time.
For those who really need to sleep and arrive at their destination refreshed, if may be worth paying extra for First Class or Business Class seats. However, the above advice is cheaper and may well work.