Some of the things i mention below are obvious some are not.
Last year i travelled to Europe the middle east and America. i went to over 46 different cities in three months. As you can imagine there was a lot of flights. Most of them were over 5 hours long each. The more flights i took the more i began to realise what works best for me. By the last flight i had it sorted. My flight from Los Angeles to Sydney was supposedly 14 and a bit hours. I boarded the plane had dinner talked to a lovely guy from L.A on my right giving him tips in Australia, and to my friend on the left.
Suddenly it was breakfast time and we were landing in about 1 hour.
I had slept for 10 hours straight.
AND i was in the middle seat.
14 steps to a great sleep [according to Ad Travel Pop]
1. The importance of the big sleep the night before. Although i highly value that notion, most of us are either anxious or excited about a big trip so that really does affect your ability to sleep. A big sleep the night before would be counter-productive for the plane.
2. Under no circumstances and this is kind of obvious skip the coffee, skip the tea or soft drink they provide you on the plane. Opt for a glass of wine, preferably the red or even a milky liquor like baileys. One should be enough. High altitudes and cabin pressure can make you drunk faster as well as dehydration. just have one.
3. If you can try to have a cup of camomile tea before you board.
4. Comfort is important. Wear appropriate clothes for flying. If its a business trip bring a change of clothes and change at the airport or before you land. Don’t wear belts/jeans/tight leggings or socks/ Lots of Jewelrey/make up/DONT WEAR RINGS / TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES, and wear loose fitting socks. I like to wear a beanie as well.
5. Have something sweet before you try to sleep. There is a sleep researcher that comes into the bar i work at and he mentioned to me having something sweet does something to the brain that can make you sleepy. I don’t need a logical reason to want to have more chocolate haha.
6. Neck pillows are great.The flimsy ones are even better. Memory foam pillows can be very stiff. After several uses they become better, however you may only need it for one flight so whats the point. BEAN ones are the way to go. i bring my own eye mask, the ones they provide are great, but there is just something so more comfortable about wearing your own mask attached that close to your face.
7. Prepare yourself a few days before. For example, start taking some B-complex vitamins and vitamin c tablets up to three days before travel. Also when you get on the plane pack some baby wipes in your quarts or (100ml lunch size bag [aus] ) and use them to wipe down the tray table, the phone/game control, your arm rests and your seat belt.
8. Plane food bloats you a hell of a lot. Why, tastes buds are a little different at the high altitude and food tastes more bland. Chefs are putting a lot of salt in the food to make it taste better. Emirates do a great offer where they can offer you an array of meal choices for your diet. E.g low in sodium, low in fat etc pick one that suits.
9. I usually have a heap of vegetables before i get on the plan so i feel quite full, it is easy to sleep on a full stomach. Still eat the plane food but at least you will be full on good stuff and can just add in what tastes good on the plate they offer, eat the salad and the fruit for example.
10. Use the pillow they give you as but support its much more comfy than the hard seat and you already have a pillow for your head.
11. Think about how you sleep at home do you always sleep on your side ? [get a window seat then] if you sleep right side left side than grab your seat on the appropriate side of the plane you wish to rest on. If you sleep on your flat back good for you you will probably find any seat comfortable however the aisle is better for this sleeper. Back sleepers are used to wide spaces surround them, you could feel suffocated in the centre seat or window seat as a back sleeper. Stomach sleepers like me do better on the aisle, you can get bumped a bit so prepare for that though.
12.Wear layers or try to find another blanket or ask for one. The brain needs to be a certain temperature to reach sleep. That is why in summer we often don’t sleep well. The plane is extra cold, if you need the extra clothes and blanket great if you don’t put it on the floor. win win.
13. Noise cancellation headphones [the expensive $150 – $300 ones are great, AWESOME] These are also good for studying in big rooms at university. If you can afford it good if not download white noise [sleeping additions] on your iPod.
14. Try seats towards the back of the plane. some airlines are not as packed [delta international for example] On one flight i had three seats to myself as did a few others, AWESOME.
15. if all else fails use a sleeping tablet or natural valerian root vitamins. However you can often wake up more tired than if you did not sleep a wink.
Good Luck, if you have any other personal tips please write below so everyone can benefit from them.