How to Sleep Like a Baby on a Flight

Here are some tips on how to sleep on your next flight and get up as fresh as a movie star getting off a plane (with makeup on fleek and not a hint of dark circles!)

The Business Class Bed

Your seat is your bed in air travel. Air travel might be shrinking the world and saving you so many hours of travel but seasoned Indian travellers will always favour their train journey when it comes to comfortable beds and the rocking motion of a moving train that lulls them to sound sleep.

Ignoring the turbulence, crying babies and snoring co-passengers can be a challenge plus getting your neck to rest and the pins and needles sensation in your feet spell out utter discomfort.

If your flight is crossing many time zones and is God-forsakenly long, invest in a business class seat. If that seems out of reach opt for a seat with more leg room.

If that seems unaffordable too, then try to charm your way into an ungraded seat by chatting up the airline staff. Apply for a miles reward program on your credit card and avail those points for a seat upgrade.

The Next Best Thing

Another trick is to board towards the end. You can quickly assess empty rows and shamelessly occupy them only to later stretch out on the adjacent seats after take off! And for some more sure shot free adjacent seats, opt for the last rows.

People hate those seats and usually don’t opt for them. This can ensure you have a high chance of having an empty row all to yourself.

Another hurdle for some peaceful sleep is the emergency exit seat. Those seats are up front and favoured by most passengers. We have witnessed time and again how the passengers are in a tearing hurry to get off the plane.

Avoid those seats as these are mostly allotted to passengers travelling with kids and are usually within earshot of the flight attendant’s station (noisy throughout the flight).

Rest that sleepy head on the window

A window seat affords some relief in providing a place for your sleepy head to rest, so this is the last best option to look into.

The Pillow

Invest in an inflatable pillow that can be tethered to your seat or also in a neck pillow. Carry a blanket to keep yourself warm. If you do not wish to carry one then have a kit with socks and an eye mask. You could do with less light and more warmth for a more comfortable snooze.

The Goodnight Rituals

Do you need to read before sleep? Carry a book. Your mind knows you’re on a flight so try tricking your body into the sleepy state by brushing your teeth, applying lotion on your hands and reading a book before getting some shut eye.

Avoid Unnatural Light

Light from screens tricks your mind into thinking it is still daytime. Carry a paperback to engage yourself before you sleep. Avoid those YouTube saved offline videos before sleeping and reserve that kindle page-turner for your destination.

Skip Drinks

Skip the free alcohol as well as the in-flight coffee for some peaceful snooze time. Ask for some warm milk to get you groggy. The milk proteins (tryptophan) are precursors to the famous melatonin that sets your body clock.

Chemical jargon aside, milk makes you sleep like a baby, so drink up. Drinking milk at night can help you sleep better when you are not airborne even. So try to inculcate this habit in your daily routine too. You’ll soon be a fan of tryptophan once you start the habit.

Avoid Jetlag

Avoid jet lag by preparing your sleep schedule in advance. Download the Jet lag rooster app. This app allows you to adjust your sleep timing gradually few days before your trip to ease into the new time zone and spare some agonizing sleep deprivation as your body tries to adapt.