Here’s how to… sleep on a flight

Here’s how to… sleep on a flight


In my very special role as an online magazine editor and general PR person, I’m always jetting off on BA flights to far-flung destinations with a Starbucks in one hand and the latest Vogue in the oth… OK so I’m lying. I don’t even like Vogue, and the last “jet setting” I did was a three and a half hour flight with the joy that is Ryanair. I spent £15 on water, Pringles and Nutella dippy sticks. Lux. You. Ree.

But summer is looming, and with Britain being pretty much as unpredictable as a cat standing in an open doorway it’s not difficult to understand why most will pack up and fly to hotter climes.

So in order to feel refreshed when you land in Fiji/Dubai/Benidorm, here are a few tips to get a decent sleep and avoid the ‘lag when you land.

Sleep on a flight

1. Pack your jammies

So we all see Victoria Beckham and Angie Jolie step off the plane in leather leggings and the tallest of heels, without a hair out of place. But if you’re slumming it in economy rather than riding First Class, leave the heels in the hold and wear comfy clothes. Take yoga pants or even PJs and a onesie with you if you’re flying long haul, and steer clear of synthetic fabrics which can leave you hot and flustered. It’s all about comfort.

2. Hand luggage is your friend

While hand luggage can leave you limited, especially if you’re not checking bags in, make sure you pack a pair of decent earplugs, an eyemask and a neck pillow, as well as headphones. If you’re sat next to an annoyingly chatty passenger, it’s a lot easier to wind down conversation if you have some supplies. And although you can’t do much about a screaming baby on a flight, ear plug will help drown out the noise.

3. Sack off the booze and ditch the telly

Alcohol may make you feel sleepy, but it’s far easier to be woken from a champagne inspired nap than a natural one. And you’ll end up feeling thirsty and dehydrated thanks to the flight. Stick to decaf tea if it’s on offer, or fruit juice. And don’t be tempted to drift off to a film. It’ll only stimulate your brain to stay awake, so forget watching The SOund of Music for the fiftieth time, and chill out with a good book.

4. DND

If you’ve fallen asleep and the plane hits turbulence, the cabin crew will wake you up to ensure you’re buckled up. If you don’t want any disturbances, wear your belt over your blanket to they can clearly see. Also, have a word with the crew and let them know you won’t want to be disturbed. It may mean skipping an airplane meal or pretzels, but at least you’re almost guaranteed a peaceful snooze.

5. Go bananas

Depending on where you’re flying to, you might be served rich foods like curry or stodgy foods which can make sleep difficult. So once you’ve gone through passport control and you’re by the gate, skip the booze and perfume in Duty Free and pick up a banana, bagel or rice cakes. They have a high GI count which will spike your blood sugar and help you drift off.

These are a few tried and tested tips to help get some shut eye. What have you done to sleep in peace while travelling?