Flyer Fact Friday: How To Sleep On A Plane

Normally when people are traveling, they will find any opportunity they can to get some much-needed shuteye. More often than not, the perfect time to do this is when you’re 30,000 feet in the air heading to or from your destination.

07.17.15 FFF sleep on a plane

Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy. That’s why we’ve shared a few tips on how to make sure you’re getting the sleep you need on your next flight.

Below are our top 5 picks from Huffington Post’s complete list.

  1. Avoid staring at a screen

Studies have shown that looking at a screen before you snooze messes with your body’s natural sleep hormones. According to Shelby Harris, the director of behavioral sleep medicine at New York’s Montefiore Health System, “Essentially the blue light from our screens reduces melatonin, which is the chemical in our brain that makes us sleepy.” Instead of staring at a screen, opt for reading a good old fashion book or listen to calming music—both should help you feel relaxed and make sleep easier to find.


  1. Avoid alcohol

Although alcohol may help you nod off quicker, it doesn’t mean you’ll have a better sleep. In fact, studies have shown that you get fewer REM cycles during alcohol-induced sleep—not to mention the groggy and exaggerated jetlag you’ll experience when you wake up.


  1. Pick the right seat

One of the best ways to ensure you get optimal sleep on your next flight is to choose your seat wisely. If you choose a middle seat between two strangers, it’s nearly impossible to get comfortable. If you choose an aisle seat, you run the risk of having to move every time they need to use the restroom. Instead, your best bet is to choose the window seat. It’s out of the way, you can lean against the wall and you’ll be mostly left alone.


  1. Come prepared

If you’re planning on sleeping on the plane, be sure to bring the proper equipment. Alanna McGinn, a certified sleep expert, suggests packing a small sleep kit in your carry-on. “Earplugs and an eye mask can help minimize distractions and let you drift off a little easier,” she says. You may even want to take a natural sleep aid like melatonin or magnesium citrate powder, which will help you relax and fall asleep more easily.


  1. Time your flight right

If you’re scheduling your flight during the time of day you’re normally most alert, chances are you won’t be able to sleep. Instead, schedule an early-morning flight or one that departs right before bedtime. The key is to board the plane tired. If that means waking up extra-early or getting in a hardcore workout during the day, do it.

Check back next week for more tips and tricks, and stay tuned for more construction updates heading your way soon!

Happy travels,

– The Terminal

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