There’s nothing worse than arriving at an exciting new destination, only to lose the first 24 hours on sleep recovery! We’ve put together this list of tips to help you get a decent amount of sleep on your long haul flight, so you can hit the ground running:
Plan in advance
This is a tough one, because if you’re anything like me, the excitement of a holiday means you don’t sleep well leading up to it, But if you can, get an hour or two’s extra sleep in the nights before your flight, and you can even start to “time shift” your body. For example, if you are travelling to a time zone 5 hours different, try going to bed an hour earlier (or later, depending on the direction) and getting up an hour earlier. It just reduces the difference when you get there.
Booze and Water
Flying dehydrates you, so couple that with the free booze, and you’ve got a recipe for a headache and generally feeling rough. A couple of glasses of wine will help you sleep well, but be sure to drink at least as much water and have a bottle by your side so you can sip it during the flight when you wake up with that cotton mouth feeling.
Getting the right seat, on the correct side of the aircraft!
Window seats are usually the best for sleeping, as you can lean against the window. But think about how you normally lie in bed – is it on your right or left side? Choose a seat that replicates it. Here’s how we use choose our seats on long haul flights.
Set your watch to the new time zone
Work out the time in the country you are travelling to, and re set your watch as soon as you depart. It will seem odd, but subconsciously, every time you check your watch, you’ll be reminding yourself of the time your body should be adjusting to.
Don’t cross your legs
Crossing your legs restricts the blood flow to some parts of your body, so try to stretch your legs, with a slight knee bend. If you get the dreaded “Leg jitters” (I always seem to) take a walk around the cabin.
Turn everything off
It’s tempting to leave the seat back TV, or your tablet on while you doze. The bright screens will make it harder to sleep. Leaving headphones on for background noise is OK, but we’d advise taking them off – the “white noise” of the engines is actually pretty good for sending you to sleep, and there’s no chance of bumping headphones into your ears as you move in your sleep.
Once you’re there
Try as hard as you can to get onto “Local time.” If you do spend the first day in bed recovering, you’re going to be awake for the first night! If you really need some sleep, take a 20 minute nap as often as you need to, but don’t actually go to bed.
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