We’re entering into the peak travel season of the year. Almost everyone has a flight booked somewhere, whether it’s to visit relatives for christmas, or for that tropical family vacation that you’ve been looking forward to all year. So what do you do during those long flights here, there, and everywhere? Sure you can check up on emails, or watch a few episodes of your favorite show on a streaming device, but maybe the best use of your time is to sleep.
Sleep is a proven solution for beating jet lag, stress, and other problems associated with air travel. Plus, it helps pass the time in a hurry. That’s easier said than done though, as airlines haven’t exactly been very helpful in making planes a sleep friendly environment. With that being said, the task can be done, and we’re here to guide you through some ways that will get you snoozing in the air before you know it. With just a couple of easy tips, you’ll soon be relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to start your vacation in style.
What You Can Do Before Your Flight
Your path to great sleep starts before your plane leaves the ground. As with sleeping in your bed, a good diet is essential for great rest. While it may be easy to run to the local fast food place in the airport, make sure that you’re eating a balanced and nutritious meal — especially in the twenty-four hours leading up the flight. Food plays a super important part of your body’s clock, so give it the fuel it needs to help you out once you get in the air. Plus, indigestion is sleep’s mortal enemy.
Airports can also be a super stressful place. Try listening to a podcast – or better yet a mediation app – to get you relaxed and ready to sleep after you’ve reached your terminal. Taking care of your mind and body is step one in prepping yourself for a restful flight.
What You Can Do in the Air
It’s important to get a general feel for how long the flight is going to last, so try to understand your arrival time and how that’s going to affect your jet lag. Not only will you be able to prep your body, you’ll also lessen your stress levels so that sleep can come more easily.
It’s also important to get your body in the best place it can for you, and that means knowing how you like to sleep. Wear comfy clothes, bring something that smells familiar if that can help. Sleep masks and neck pillows can be a good way to aid this, but if you need an aisle seat because of your long legs, then get one, if you prefer a window seat (so you can control the amount of light coming into the cabin) then try to snag one of those. These things may seem small, but taken together can make a huge difference in having a good sleep or bad sleep while traveling. You can’t control everything on a flight, but take agency over the things you can control.
After the Flight
Make sure that you’re waking up at least a half hour before the plane lands. Less than that, and you could feel disoriented and out of it when you’ve arrived. It’s important to have a wind down routine, but if you’re still lagging head to the bathroom and splash a little cold water on your face. It’s important to stay alert and fresh when traveling.
Make sure you’re staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water can help with sleep woes, and also will minimize the effects of jet lag on your body. And remember, enjoy this time, but try to keep in your sleep routine. Control what you can, and be flexible with the rest. Good lessons for life, and for sleep. Good luck and safe travels.