How to Catch Some Precious Shut-Eye on a Long-Haul Flight


Long distance flights sound a lot better in theory than they are when you actually have to endure them. And while sleeping through the flight seems like the best possible way to pass the time, this too is much easier said than done. To keep you from being that one person who is wide awake during the flight while everyone else on your flight is fast asleep, we’ve put together a few pointers that you should definitely check out before taking your next long haul flight.

Book a nonstop flight that is as close to your regular bedtime as possible

You are far more likely to fall asleep at night as per your body clock, as opposed to when your body thinks it’s daytime. Nonstop flights give you much more uninterrupted time to try and get some sleep.

Dress comfortably

Tight clothes restrict circulation and can make it tough for your body to relax. Clothes that are slightly loose and soft can help you to drift away more easily. Also, dress in layers so that you can pad up or strip down depending on the temperature onboard the airplane.

Don’t try to sleep immediately after takeoff

While it may seem easier to drift away as the cabin is pressurized after the plane takes off, you’ll invariably have to wake up for drinks and meals. Instead, wait until all the other passengers have settled down and the lights have been dimmed.

Choose the window seat

Checking in online and arriving at the airport well in advance will afford you the luxury of picking out your seats. The fewer people that traipse past you on their way to and from the bathroom, the better your chances of catching a few, uninterrupted hours of quality slumber. Aisle seats and those that are close to the bathroom are definite no-nos.

Support your back

Try to get all the lumbar (or lower back) support you can by sleeping with your butt resting in your seat and your back supported by the back of the seat. While most of us tend to hunch over or curl up when tired, this is likely to give you a bad back by the end of your flight.

Take off your shoes

Given that the idea is to get ready to sleep just as you would at home, we recommend that you take off your shoes. Keep your feet warm by wearing socks – bring an extra pair if you’re wearing sandals on your flight.

Invest in quality sleeping gear

A neck pillow, noise-cancelling headphones and a sleep mask are essential sleeping aids that will ensure you stay comfortable and rested throughout the duration of your flight.

Cover yourself in a blanket

Snuggling into a warm blanket will help you to feel cosier and hence, fall asleep much faster. However, make sure to pull your seatbelt over your blanket so that the flight attendants can see it – else, they may wake you up to make sure you’re belted up.

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