In-flight sleep disturbances seem to be endless: engines roaring, babies crying, and the drink cart whacking your knee. Yes, flights can be rough, especially when you’re trying to sleep. These nuisances might be manageable during a short flight. But on a long flight, where jet lag awaits, getting some shuteye during the flight is crucial. Follow these tips each time you fly in order to get a good night’s sleep on an airplane.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine Intake
Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine to keep yourself well hydrated on a flight.1 While alcohol might help you get to sleep in the first place, it diminishes the quality of your sleep, making it less rejuvenating.2 Avoiding alcohol is especially important if you have allergies because it can worsen symptoms, including nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, and itchy, red eyes.3
Use Ear Plugs or Listen to White Noise
Noise is one of the most common environmental factors affecting sleep.4 Use ear plugs to avoid being disturbed by loud, unwanted sounds.1 White noise can also drown out distracting noises and induce sleep.4 Download a white noise app or soundtrack before your flight.
Wear an Eye Mask
It’s hard to control your environment on a flight. The cabin lights are always on or your neighbor wants the window shade open. Your body takes cues from the amount of light in your environment to know when to go to sleep or when to wake up.5 Wear an eye mask on the plane to keep the light out while you sleep.6
Prepare Your Nose and Sinuses
From changes in cabin pressure to the relative low humidity, airplane air can wreak havoc on your sinuses and cause a great deal of discomfort.7 If you have allergies, remember to take your allergy medication an hour or so before take-off and pack a decongestant nasal spray. To sleep even better when flying, consider carrying on Breathe Right® nasal strips. They'll open your nasal passages so you can breathe and sleep better.