Failing to fall asleep while flying can prove a rough beginning to the initial days of your trip. If you’re in for a longer flight, ensuring that you get the proper rest can help prevent jet lag. Although you may worry that the disruptions of noisy neighbors and sunlight streaming in through the windows are going to make sleep an impossible feat, there are tried and true tricks to getting enough shut eye.
Secure a Window Seat
Dozing off, only to be awakened by jerk and nod movements can make sleep impossible. You may also worry about falling asleep on your airline neighbors shoulder. To prevent these embarrassments, secure a window seat for yourself. When you’re ready to doze off, simply place your pillow against the wall. You also won’t be bothered by your seatmate having to get up to stretch their legs or use the restroom.
Be Prepared with Snacks and Beverages
Waiting around for the beverage and meal cart to come around can prove disruptive if you’re looking to rest on the plane, so you want to come prepared. Purchasing your own drinks and goodies beforehand also allows you to select items that are more nutritious. Before heading onto the plane, peruse the food court in search of healthy snacks such as a turkey sandwich, grapes, cheese, crackers, carrots and protein bars. Bottled water will also help you stay hydrated and combat jet lag. But to prevent constant trips to the bathroom, don’t over hydrate.
Practice Bedtime Rituals
If you’re traveling abroad overnight, practice similar bedtime rituals that you find yourself doing at home. You can prepare for a good night’s rest on an airplane by taking out your contact lenses, brushing your teeth and changing into comfy clothing. You should also forego using electronics such as E-readers, laptops and smartphones in advance of your bedtime.
Try Natural Therapies
If you’re worried about feeling groggy after taking prescription sleep aids while flying, take a trip to your local health store in advance of your trip. Here you’ll find natural methods of falling asleep. If you’re looking to relax, chamomile or sleepy time teas are both calming and soothing. Natural supplements such as melatonin and Valerian root can be a safe and natural sleep aid when flying.
Recline Your Seat Slowly
Sitting in an upright position is mandatory for take off and landing when flying. But if you’re looking to relax and get some rest, you may find it easier by reclining your seat. Before you do, you want to be a courteous traveler by ensuring your surrounding neighbors have the heads up. Look around first to the individual behind. If they have tea or coffee teetering on their tray, move slowly and don’t tilt back to the full extension.
Ditch the Caffeine and Alcohol
Daytime flights can be especially challenging if you’re looking to sleep. Before you’re set to fly, avoid caffeinated beverages such as sodas, coffee, and tea. Water and juice are better options to ease your thirst. You also want to forego alcohol. Although it may ease the stress of flying and prove relaxing, you could feel fuzzy and out of sorts the remainder of the day.
Use Devices to Block out Light and Noise
Whether you’re traveling overnight or long distances during the day, you want to come prepared with the right equipment. Sleep masks are excellent at keeping out sunlight streaming in from the plane and overhead lighting. Noise-canceling headphones are another essential device that helps keep out loud noises and chatter.
Bring Boring Reading Material
Movies and other compelling entertainment can help make your flight more enjoyable. But it can also keep you awake when flying. If you’re looking to get some sleep on an airplane, bring boring reading material that is sure to put you to sleep. Look for magazines or books of a challenging nature. Save your page-turner for when you actually reach your destination.
Ease into Wakefulness
Travelers often hate to wake up to the commotion and bright lights that greets them when flying. You can ease into wakefulness by setting your smartphone alarm to go off approximately 45 minutes before you’re set to touch down. This allows sufficient time to visit the restroom and prepare for your arrival. You’ll also be more alert when walking off the plane and finding your way to the luggage carousel.
Flying can be challenging enough with its long lines, delays and noisy disruptions. The above tips are sure to help you rest comfortably on your flight, so you reach your destination rested and refreshed
Ella, Content Manager for trekbible, is a writer and content specialist with a predilection for learning and exploring new places and cultures around the world. With family scattered throughout the U.S. and South Korea, she loves to see cross-cultural influences around the world. Her favorite thing to do on her travels is to taste the local cuisine of each destination.