Tips for getting some Zzzzz’s on your next flight.

Heading on a flight shortly? Here are some useful tips that may help you get some sleep while flying. Most airlines at some stage or other have commissioned a survey to help their passengers arrive rested and ready for their time ahead in their chosen destination. We at Travel Escapes have scoured the various surveys and taken out the top 12 most common tips and listed them below, they don’t appear in any particular order so adapt them to your situation. Happy snoozing.

Sleeping on board flights

1. Keep up to date.

Change your watch to your next destination’s time zone as soon as you get on board and within reason try to eat and sleep accordingly to that time zone’s meal and bedtimes to get you set up with your new location.

2. Choose loose clothes.

Travel in something that you feel comfortable in, loose-fitting T-shirt comfortable sweatpants or leggings. these will help you relax and get you in the mood for a snooze.

3. Keep your routine.

Despite all the distractions your brain will respond to your usual routine, so brush your teeth, wash your face, stretch or whatever your normal wind-down procedures are before you snuggle in for sleep.

4. Take a breath.

Meditation will help relax your mind and body. Some people have all the right breathing techniques while others struggle to relax while they concentrate on breathing. Try the “4-7-8” breathing technique where you breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and then breathe out with a slow whoosh sound for eight seconds.

5. Eat & Drink right.

Stay hydrated drink plenty of water, preferably still. Choose dairy products, green vegetables and nuts these have a calming effect on the brain and promote sleep. 

6. Keep your eyes & ears shut.

Grab one of those funny looking eyemasks and once you are ready to settle down use it. Light suppresses melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, so block it with an eye mask, make sure the mask is a good fit and blocks out the light. Use earplugs to drown out fellow passengers chit-chat and drift off into noddy land.

7. I see the light.

Overstimulation is the enemy of sleep so rather than looking at the latest blockbuster try reading a book or listening to soothing tunes to get you in the right humour for sleep. Blue light from screens keeps your brain awake and that includes inflight TV screens, phones and tablets.

8. Scent to sleep.

Believe it or not, the power of smell is stronger than you think. Using smells such as vetiver, chamomile, sandalwood, lavender, bergamot can help you relax some hand creams or moisturisers may already have these scents in the cream but a small bottle of your favourite essential oils which have sleep-inducing properties will go along way and help you relax and unwind. Rub some on the back of your neck and some on your pulse for some peaceful calm.

9. Have a beer.

If you like a drink and are used to a little tipple before bedtime, whether that be a glass of wine or a whiskey, by all means, have one as we said before it’s best to keep in routine. It goes without saying ‘don’t overdo it’ otherwise you’ll have disturbed sleep and arrive more tired than you should.

10. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

Choose your seat wisely, not all of us have the opportunity to turn left while boarding the plane so choose your seat with some thought. Consider a window seat while you might feel a little hemmed in you won’t have people scrambling over you or disturbing you while you’re asleep. Think twice about exit rows, although they generally provide extra legroom other passengers stretching their legs may use this extra space as a stop on their tour and if there’s two of them that extra space provides a natural place to have a chat.

11. Carry on long legs.

With today’s low-cost model of flying, it might be tempting to bring as much carry on bags onboard as possible. Bringing too much on might mean you have to put it under the seat in front of you which, is not at all ideal if you want to get some shuteye, especially if you have long legs.

12. Do not disturb.

So you’ve managed to get asleep, the last thing you need is to be disturbed. So before settling down with your blanket and neck pillow check the type of service that you want and don’t want, airlines, depending on the duration, may have stickers to show when you want to be disturbed these simply stick to somewhere like your headrest so the attendant can see them and knows to wake you or let you sleep. Fasten your belt outside the blanket so that if any turbulence occurs you won’t need to be woken up.