The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

How to get some shut-eye in the air

View from airplane window

Vacation season is just around the corner in these parts, and while many people find it nearly unimaginable to sleep on a crowded, noisy, claustrophobic plane, for others it’s a necessity (especially for those who want to save some dollars & opt for a red-eye flight). And by following a few tips, you’ll find that catching some z’s “on the wing” isn’t as impossible as you might think.  It just takes a little preparation to feather your temporary nest:

  • Perhaps one of the most important steps is this first one: put some thought into picking your seat. Do you want to an aisle to allow for easy accessibility to the bathroom or general movement? Or do you prefer the window so you can gaze at the view?  Are you tall & prefer the extra legroom of an exit aisle?  Do you want to ensure that you’ve got a full window & not just part of one?  Seatguru.com can help you find just the right seat on your flight.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.  It goes without saying that the wrong clothes can really ruin a long flight.  Dress in layers so that as your temperature fluctuates, you can add or remove pieces as needed.
  • Some travelers highly recommend bringing your very own pillow from home, to help give you a sense of familiarity.  However, airplane seats are narrow (especially if you’re flying coach) & even a standard pillow can be a bit big for the space.  Instead, you may opt to purchase a travel pillow to bring with you.  It will undoubtedly be more comfortable than an airplane pillow!
  • Limit or abstain from caffeine prior to flying.  As tempting as those airport Starbucks coffees are, REFRAIN.  Not only will the caffeine keep you up, it will also cause additional trips to the airplane bathroom (ew).
    A good fitting sleep mask can be an important tool in blocking out the glow from the overhead TV & the general ambient lighting on the plane.
  • If you’re sensitive to noise, be sure to bring earplugs or indulge in some noise canceling headphones.  These, combined with your sleep mask, will help transport you do a calm, quiet, dark sleepland.  (Though, personally, I’d probably be more apt to bring along an iPod & drift off to some favorite tunes.)

For more indepth travel tips & sleep tricks, you can check out Indepenent Traveler, this article on Mahalo, & the ever-popular Pilot Paul.  Armed with these suggestions, doing some in-the-air snoozing should be right within your grasp!

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