How to fall asleep on a plane : 6 tips from an expert
Mastering how to fall asleep on a plane can be the make or break of your health, specially if traveling is something you do frequently.
Being away from home can also mess up your body clock big time, especially if you can’t find a way to sleep comfortably even if you’ve already settled down in your hotel room. Fortunately, all it takes is a few simple adjustments to ensure that you’ll have better sleep in your next travels.
Listed below are 6 tips that can help you sleep soundly, no matter where you’re going. Just in case these tips are still not enough, you can find the full list of 22 simple sleep tips here (infographic included).
1 - Adjust Your Sleeping Time Before Traveling
If you plan to travel during daytime, and it’s difficult for you to properly sleep on a flight, make sure that you start adjusting your sleeping times in the days prior to your travel. This will especially come in handy when you’re traveling across different time zones.
Because your body is good at remembering habits, it will become easier for you to sleep at around the same time that you always do once you get to your destination.
2 - Avoid Red-Eye Flights as Much as Possible
Red-eye flights are flights that leave late at night and arrive at the destination the following morning. It’s basically a flight that’s scheduled to leave when people would otherwise be asleep.
The reason why it’s called “red-eye” is because the lack of sleep causes travelers to have red eyes from exhaustion by the time they land. If you have a choice, it’s best to avoid red-eye flights as this can throw off your sleeping patterns.
However, if that’s your only option, the key is to keep yourself as comfortable as possible. Make sure that you wear comfortable clothes and bring a travel blanket as not all flights will provide them.
3 - Consider Using Sleeping Aids
If you’ve never used any sleeping aids before, now is the time to give them a chance. These days, there are all sorts of products that promise to give travelers better sleep during their journey. These include eye masks, neck pillows, and even noise-canceling headsets.
Sleeping aids are useful if various stimuli are always preventing you from relaxing. Oftentimes, the reason why it’s difficult to sleep is because the environment’s too bright or too noisy. Eye masks, neck pillows, and ambient music can get you in the right condition for a good sleep.
4 - Book a Comfortable Room
Sometimes, even if you’ve already gotten to your destination, you might still find it hard to rest and relax. That’s because the place itself might be contributing to your stress. For example, your hotel’s interiors may not be welcoming enough, or their beddings are not comfortable at all.
This is why hotel reviews are important. Affordability and location shouldn’t be the only things that you should consider when booking rooms. You’ll need to consider what other travelers think of the place to ensure that you’re booking a comfortable room, especially if you’ll be traveling for a long time.
5 - Eat and Drink Mindfully
Eating too much often makes people sleepy, but it’s not exactly the best way to get that much-needed rest. Some others might resort to alcohol to get the job done, but it might affect the overall quality of your sleep.
In such cases, you’re better off drinking water regularly, as dehydration is usually the leading cause of exhaustion during travels. The problem is, this exhaustion doesn’t necessarily make people fall asleep; it just makes them feel physically and mentally drained.
Having enough water can keep your body’s systems balanced. As a result, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep, and you’ll also feel more energized by the time you wake up.
6 - Make Your Morning and Bedtime Schedules Consistent
As mentioned in the first point, your body is good at remembering habits. You can capitalize on this, especially if you want to prevent jet lag. It’s all about teaching your body to know when it’s time to sleep.
Although your morning alarms and your bedtimes may change depending on your destination, the key to sleeping soundly is to keep those times consistent. This means that you should always strive to wake up and sleep at the same time every day.
For travels that last one month or more, there may be nights when you’ll have to sleep later than usual. That’s okay, as long as it doesn’t become the norm.
Sleep Preparation Should Be Part of Your Travel Plans
Just as you carefully plan out your hotel bookings and travel itineraries, you should also include sleep in your preparations. This is especially necessary if you’re the kind of traveler who can’t easily fall asleep despite feeling tired.
Fatigue and sleeplessness aren’t things that you should constantly deal with when you’re traveling. By applying the aforementioned tips, you’re bound to have better sleep experiences even if you’ll be staying at a completely different time zone.
About the author
Chris Nguyen is the Founder & Chief Editor at Sleep Standards – A health blog all about sleep health. He aims to inspire better sleep and make the world of sleep easy to understand for everyday people. Check out SleepStandards.com to find out more about Chris and his work. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.