How to sleep better (and comfortably) on the plane
Plane simple tips
Have trouble falling asleep on a flight? It’s easier than you think thanks to these six simple tricks
Your most anticipated vacation is coming up and apart from it being a great destination, you've also booked an amazing accommodation. You're excited thinking about what to pack and planning places to go and see. What you're not excited for is the overnight flight where you'll need to sleep but you know you have difficulty doing so. If you're one of those lucky folks who can easily sleep on a plane, good for you; but otherwise, read on for some of the best ways to get quality in-flight sleep.
1. Wear comfortable, non-constricting clothing
Make sure the material is a little more soft and loose-fitting, with the exception of socks, of course, which you'll need as no one sleeps well when they have cold feet. It'll help you drift off more easily and prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which happens when your blood flow is restricted.
2. Sleeping position is key
Some people are prone to sleep in a foetus position but that's almost impossible on a plane. However, it's actually better to have lumbar (lower spine) support—both butt and back planted against the seat—lest you wake up in pain and add stress to your body. In addition, be sure to uncross your leg as clamping it down on one side can restrict blood flow. Keep your legs straight with a slight bend to your knees, and recline your seat at a 135 degree angle.
3. Don't try to fall asleep right after take off
Notice that somehow you'll easily nod off as the plane prepares to take off? It's due to the pressurisation of the cabin but chances are you'll end up waking up once the plane levels off. Then, when the flight attendants start serving drinks and meals, you'll be even more awake or distracted to fall back to sleep. Wait till everyone has settled down and the lights have been switched off.
4. Watch what you eat and drink
Avoid eating a full meal within two hours of trying to sleep and make sure you don't overeat or have a high-fat meal. Drinks and snacks rich in caffeine, sugar and alcohol are a big no-no as well; opt for a herbal tea like chamomile instead.
5. Try not to watch a movie or look at your screen
In-flight movies and games on your smartphone may seem like a great way to pass time before dozing off, but the light from the screens is what keeps your brains awake. Read a book or a magazine instead—it usually makes you feel tired more easily. Don't forget an eye mask to block any surrounding light sources.
6. Listen to white noise
Studies have shown it—including ambient soundtracks such as rainfall or waves—promote better sleep; and on the plane, it can also help drown out any distracting sounds. Download a track or two onto your phone before the trip.