4 sleep experts tell us their tricks to getting to sleep on long-haul flights

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4 sleep experts tell us their tricks to getting to sleep on long-haul flights

Holidays are supposed to be relaxing, and spending the first couple of days recovering from a hellish long-haul flight eats into our valuable vacay-time. 

Enjoying an in-flight siesta will make the journey feel shorter, help with jet-lag, and let you hit the ground running rather than making up for all the sleep you didn’t get in the air. 

Being able to get to sleep on a plane is a skill, and like any other skill, it can be learned and perfected.

So we consulted four top sleep experts to get their specialist tips for in-flight beauty sleep. Get ready to snooze…

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Guided meditiation 

Psychotherapist Eugenie Pepper says guided meditation is a great way to help you drift off on a plane. “[It helps to prepare you] for deep sleep as it unwinds and calms the mind and body.  A guided meditation journey is not only a great way to take your mind beyond the worries and stresses of the day but can take your mind off the discomfort of being stuck in a small seat in a crowed plane leading you into a peaceful state of deep relaxation.”

Set the scene

According to Clinical Psychologist Dr Clinton Moore founder of Cadence Psychology in North Sydney, the key to a decent sleep on a place is making sure you make the most of your environment. He says “Just as with the bedroom, the first step to being able to sleep well on an airplane involves making sure your environment is conducive to sleep. If the person next to you is snoring like an elephant or shining their reading light in your eye, sleep is unlikely to happen. Do your best to cut out external stimulation by using things as simple as earplugs and eye masks. Bring a neck pillow so that your body can rest comfortably and make sure you’re not wearing restrictive clothing. This won’t miraculously cause you to sleep, but it will give you the best chance.”

Switch up your pillow

We all know a decent travel pillow is crucial for getting to sleep, but there might be a better way to use it. Carl Walsh from Bed Guru UK says “If you use a u-shaped pillow, you’ll often find your head will naturally bob up and down and this can wake you with a startle. If you switch your pillow around so it’s in front of your neck, your chin can rest on the pillow stopping this happening.” It’s a little uncoventional, but definitely worth a try!

Avoid alcohol and other stimulants 

Many of us are under the (wrong) impression that having a glass or four of wine and watching a movie will help us drift off into a nice, long slumber. Certified Sleep Coach, Jane Wrigglesworth, says these are actually two things we should be avoiding. “It’s much easier to sleep on a plane if you take a night flight. Avoid coffee, and other stimulants, in the afternoon before your flight, and avoid alcohol on the plane, as it can disrupt sleep. Wear blue-light blocking glasses on the plane, especially if you plan to watch a movie before you sleep. If you have trouble getting to sleep, the supplementation of melatonin may help.”

Do you have any tips for getting to sleep on a plane?

Main image credit: @karissa_kouchis

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