So, if you have trouble nodding off for any length of time on a plane, we have some tips for you.
When resting, ensure your seat belt is buckled over the top of your blanket. If the seat belt sign comes on during the flight, the cabin attendants can see you are already safely buckled in and won’t need to wake you.
Noise-cancelling headphones are a must-have accessory for frequent travellers. And they’re very affordable these days. You can cut that aircraft white noise out almost completely – and the general chit-chat around you – with this great technology. And of course, you can plug them into the aircraft entertainment system to enjoy movies with much better sound quality.
Loose, comfortable clothing is a must when travelling long distances. Don’t wear anything too tight or that will potentially wrap around or ‘pinch’ you when you shift or move. Pack some sweat pants and a jumper into your carry-on bag and change after take-off. This way you will also have fresh clothes to change back into before arrival.
As soon as you book your flight, reserve your seat as far ahead of departure as you can. If you have to pay for seat selection, it will be a worthy investment to ensure you are not located near the bathrooms where people gather, or the noisy galleys where food is prepared. Also select a seat forward of the wing to help reduce the engine noise. And consider a seat with extra leg room, such as the exit row or bulk head but again, check where it is. (Seatguru.com identifies the best seats on most flights).
Window seats are also preferable to aisles as you can lean against the side of the plane. Obviously you should always recline your set for a better sleeping posture and it’s good to establish the ‘ground rules’ on this early with the person behind you by reclining early in the flight. No-one wants a fuss in the dead of night!
Don’t overeat or drink too much alcohol as both things mess with your body’s ability to relax when you need it most. Fatty foods in particular can lead to discomfort when you’re in a seated position for hours on end.
There are many travel pillows on the market, but not all pillows are created equally. Just like selecting a pillow for your bed, test a few and invest in one that is right for you. Avoid pillows with beads inside as they can be noisy when you move. Many people prefer pillows that manually inflate so they can adjust the firmness to suit. And experiment by putting the pillow in front of your neck, so your chin rests on top. This will stop your head from bobbing up and down when dozing.
Time of departure
Depending on your destination, you may have a choice of departure times. If you’re not a morning person, choose a departure time later in the morning or afternoon so you can rest naturally prior. Or select a flight time in the evening. The trick here is not to upset your natural sleep pattern if possible. And you should always set your watch to your arrival time as soon as you board to start engaging your body clock.
The one surefire way of getting a restful sleep on a plane of course is a fully-reclining seat that converts to a lay-flat bed. So save those pennies and accumulate enough frequent flyer points to get yourself up the front!
Published under license from Well Travelled.