How to Snooze on a Plane

Sleeping on Planes

As passengers on a plane, we are all aware of the length of
time it takes to get from the start of the journey to fastening that seat-belt on the plane.  It’s a challenge you have to endure from time spent in traffic to get to the airport, then to join the endless lines to check in, then to get through customs and then to shuffle through the line that boards the plane. By the time you finally drop into your seat, it feels like you have already been traveling for 24 hours!Once seated, another challenge begins – the one to unwind, relax and fall asleep. Beat the anxiety, stop the moaning and have a calming and much-needed sleep. To most travelers closing their eyes to catch forty-winks is not easy, after all, who falls asleep when you are knocking elbows with a complete stranger? So, why not try these few suggestions and sit back, fasten your seat-belt and get ready to snooze.

Seat Location – Take a tip from real estate when they say, location, location, location. When you are on a plane, the middle seat is, at least in my humble opinion, the worst seat. Turn your head left and a stranger is there, turn right and there’s another stranger in close proximity. You can lean your head upward and hope your mouth doesn’t open while you fall sleep. But seriously, the location of your seat should be away from the back of the plane where the toilets and engine are found. The window seats are generally the first to go because you don’t have to move for fellow passengers and you have control of the window shutters.

No Jacket Required – When you know you are going to be on a plane for at least two hours, dress comfortably. Wearing clothing that pulls when you sit or wearing a jacket can be restrictive and prevent you from relaxing.

Photo Courtesy: American Airlines

The Caffeine Rush – Chugging down coffee before you go on a plane may not be as soothing as you first thought; in fact, it may well keep your eyes open regardless of how tired you are. Instead, have another beverage or a soda other than cola.

Soothing Music – Most airlines offer a range of music from pop-rock to classical music concertos, so plug in your headphones/plugs, close your eyes and let the music be the lullaby that carries you to sleep.

In the Zone – Before you doze off, if you are crossing a time zone, set your time to that of your destination, that way, when you do wake up, your body will adjust better and help alleviate jetlag.

The truth is, if you do catch some Zs on a flight, the depth of sleep is usually a shallow one that is sometimes referred to as drowsiness rather than sleep as it gets disrupted by noise and light. Ideally, to get a good sleep, you need to be in the seats where you can stretch your legs and recline more than 40 percent, thus, first class.

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