Sleeping on short flights is often not ideal. However, if you’re on a long haul flight, sleep is essential as it helps you arrive at your destination fully relaxed. If you’re a frequent traveler, you already know about the annoying turbulence, lots of light from devices, noise from people chatting, and children crying.
All these can make sleep almost impossible, especially if you love your peace. If you’re wondering how you can enjoy some slumber on your next flight, then you’re in the right place.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you sleep during a long haul flight.
But first, let’s look at some of the things to bring on a long haul flight to make it more comfortable.
What to Pack for a Long Haul Flight
You cannot peacefully drift into sleep if you don’t have everything you need for the long flight. Use this packing list to make your flight more comfortable despite the fatigue.
- Slip-On shoes
- Comfortable clothing (pajamas)
- Wool socks/ compression socks
- Earplugs/ headphones
- Eye mask
- Face wipes
How to Improve Sleep During a Long Haul Flight
Choose your seat wise
There are so many things we could talk about a plane seat, its location, and your comfort while flying. Seats close to the window are the best because they give you some extra wall to lean on while you sleep. If you prefer some leg comfort while you sleep, then an aisle seat is the best. Aisle seats give you some legroom so that you can stretch.
We all know how unstable a plane can be at times. If you get frightened by the engine noise, you can pick a seat right behind or near the wings. These areas tend to be more stable, and you won’t feel the scary noises.
One more thing, avoid seats near high traffic areas. Yes, you guessed it right – the lavatory! Seats near the lavatory aren’t the best if you want to catch some sleep. The area will receive lots of traffic, lots of flushing noises, and worse still can become smelly.
Get your sleeping position right
If you’re in economy class, the most obvious thing is that your seat can only tilt a few degrees. However, if you’re on a premium ticket, you’re lucky because the plane seats in business class can lie flat to give you maximum comfort as you travel.
But, if you’re on a budget, you can still adjust yourself and gain some comfort in your sleep. If you’re traveling at night, the chances are that everyone else will tilt their seats backward. But, it’s always good to check on the person behind you before bending your plane seat.
Laura Bates, a Certified Sleep Science Coach and Founder of Comfybeddy.com.au, recommends carrying a comfortable neck pillow to avoid waking up with neck pain. With a neck pillow and your seat bending backward, you can be almost sure of a peaceful sleep through the journey.
Avoid Unnecessary Disturbances
You’ve managed to avoid all the distractions on the plane and finally caught your sleep. Then boom! The flight attendant wakes you up to ask whether you need some coffee. Well, that can be very frustrating.
To avoid such distractions, make sure to inform the flight attendant that you won’t need any snacks or drinks throughout the journey. That way, they won’t distract your sleep.
The other reason why an attendant would have to wake you up is to check whether you’ve buckled your seat belt. If you want to sleep and cover yourself with a blanket, make sure to buckle the belt on top of the blanket. This means that you’d have to cover yourself first and then buckle the belt.
Don’t Take Alcohol
As tempting as it is, avoid a glass of wine or alcohol while on air travel. Understandably, some people are nervous travelers, and they prefer some booze to knock them off before air travel. The truth is that you need to be sober while on transit. That way, you avoid getting too drunk that you misbehave and distract other travelers.
Besides, alcohol makes you have impaired judgment such that, in the event of an emergency, you don’t react swiftly.
Bring Some Noise Cancelling Headphones
If you’re like most people, slight noises like crying babies or shouting passengers can wake you up from your much-desired sleep. Luckily for you, some noise-canceling headphones or earplugs can do the trick.
Pack Some Comfortable Clothing
Cut your joints some slack and carry some comfy clothing. Long gone are the days when people used to travel in official wear. If you feel more comfortable to sleep in your pj’s, then feel free to carry them as you travel on long haul flights.
Loose clothing can make your joints more comfortable, thus preventing swelling, which is likely to happen when you remain in one position for long. You can also pack some compression socks to facilitate the proper blood flow through your legs and consequently prevent them from swelling.
Stay Away from the Electronics
It’s tempting to do as everybody does- play video games, watch movies, or catch up on your social media. Blue light from electronics is notorious for suppressing melatonin, a hormone that triggers sleep. The next time you hop on a long haul flight, do yourself some favor and place your devices away.
Go Slow on Your Carry-ons
Make sure that as you pack for a long flight, you pack everything into a single bag. Otherwise, you may end up having a bag under your seat, which will limit your legroom. Place the items you need to use while traveling behind the seat in front of you for easier reach.
If you’re planning a long haul flight, the above tips can help you drift into sleep easily. However, if you still cannot fall asleep, you can still enjoy your flight. But, as soon as you land at your destination, don’t sleep until night time in that time zone. By doing so, you’ll avoid the much-dreaded jet lag.