Recently I took an overnight flight to Sweden, essentially losing almost an entire day to travel and running for connecting flights. Taking a red-eye flight means a night of poor sleep with the expectation to hit the ground running with work functions and touring the next day. It's important that at some point you get some sleep in, somewhere, somehow.
How can you sleep well during a red-eye flight?
Having the right seat can make the difference in a good night’s sleep. If you can, book the window seat. This way you have something to lean against while you snooze and try and stay away from the seats near the washrooms. This is a busy area and well…eww.
Here’s a little traveller tip that worked out really well for my husband and I: If you are travelling with your partner, book your seats with an empty one between you. Chances are no one will book that seat and you can have a whole row to yourselves.
The bigger the plane, the colder the plane and not only is having your own blanket more comfortable for your next long haul flight it also helps take the chill out of the air. To avoid a stiff neck while you sleep make sure to bring along a neck role or travel pillow. Most airlines are good with providing you with one but you don’t want to take the chance that they run out.
Make sure to pack your earplugs and eye masks for your next red-eye. Using these sleep-enhancing products can keep the distractions at bay and help you sleep better and longer throughout the flight. I also make sure to pack gum, breath mints and face wipes. Long haul flights are well…long. Your travelling companions will appreciate your fresh breath at the end of the trip and you will feel more refreshed after a little clean up.
Wear comfortable clothes. Our overnight flight was due to a work function for my husband. He was concerned about wearing sweats in front of his colleagues who had only ever seen him in suits. I convinced him to dress comfortably and he was sure glad he took my advice. No one needs to look professional on a red-eye.
On your next overnight flight your mission is to sleep and to sleep only. Protect the time you have and try not to get lost in a 2-hour movie. The bright screen will make it harder to fall asleep and you'll feel the lost sleep time once you arrive at your destination. If it's a long flight eat before takeoff and ask your flight attendant to not disturb you for any meals. Also make sure to buckle your belt over your blanket so they can see it without waking you.
Try and wake up at least 30 minutes before landing. It’s a good idea to get everything in check before dealing with customs, luggage, or a connecting flight.
Don’t overthink it because the second you do you won’t sleep at all. It’s going to be uncomfortable, loud, and there will be a seat belt jammed into your backside. Your goal is to try and get enough sleep possible to help you function on your arriving day but know that it’s not going to be the best quality or quantity your body is used to. If you spend the entire flight squirming around trying to find the most comfortable position you won’t sleep at all. Suck it up buttercup, unless you are sitting in business class overnight flights are not ideal but what makes them worth it is the fabulous destination that awaits you once you land.
I provide free child and family sleep support on my Facebook page. I invite you to join our sleep community as I work towards Good Night Sleep Site's mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips please visit Good Night Sleep Site and visit me on Instagram and Twitter. Join our movement and #BringBackBedtime
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