Getting quality sleep on an overnight red-eye flight is challenging, but you can make it far easier by following these recommendations.
No one really wants to take a red-eye flight. After all, nothing beats a good night’s sleep in your own bed. But, when traveling for business, a red-eye flight might be unavoidable.
The key to making a red-eye flight as tolerable as possible is getting good sleep. Without good sleep, you’re probably going to be miserable both on the flight and during the day after you reach your destination.
How can you ensure a good night’s sleep on a red-eye flight? Follow these 7 tips for getting quality ZZZs on the plane.
1. Find the Right Seat
No matter where you typically like sitting, choose a window seat to get the best sleep. First, you won’t be awakened by rowmates who need to get up and use the restroom. And, second, leaning against the wall of the fuselage can be one of the most comfortable and convenient sleeping positions.
On the day of your flight, check out the seat map. If you can find a window seat with a vacant middle seat next to it, switch there. A vacant middle seat means you’ll have much more space to stretch out and get comfortable. Also, when you can, avoid seats near the galley and bathrooms. These areas tend to be more crowded and a little noisier, which won’t help you get the sleep you need.
2. Wear the Right Clothing
When you’re taking the red-eye, you can pass on wearing a suit. Opt instead for attire that is presentable but also comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with wearing comfortable shoes, jeans and a casual shirt or top if they are going to help you get better sleep and be more productive upon your arrival. You can always change into business attire once you reach your destination airport.
3. Invest in a Neck Pillow
The hardest part of sleeping on an airplane is getting your head comfortable. Without assistance from a neck pillow, your head is likely to slide to the side or nod forward. Yes, some airlines have adjustable neck rests, but those neck rests are undependable and limited in their capability. You can even invest in an inflatable neck pillow that’s easy to deflate and pack.
4. Block Out Airplane Cabin Noise
A baby crying, a snoring seatmate, a passenger listening to music so loud that everyone can hear it — each of these things can prevent you from getting the sleep you need on a red-eye flight.
So make sure you have something to block out the noise. You can buy disposable earplugs at a low price, and you can invest a little bit more for noise-cancelling headphones that will allow you to drift off while listening to the soothing music of your choice. Listening to music also helps mask that annoying engine noise.
Invest a little bit more for noise-cancelling headphones that will allow you to drift off while listening to the soothing music of your choice.
5. Keep Warm
Airlines can get pretty cold, even in the middle of summer. There aren’t always blankets available either, which is why you should plan for warmth. This could be as simple as packing a light jacket or bringing along an oversized scarf.
Also, remember to wear close-toed shoes. If you opt for sandals, flip-flops or something more casual and comfortable, your toes are going to get cold during the night. If sandals are a must, pack a pair of socks in your carry on bag.
6. Choose a Sleep Aid
Certain brands of tea, melatonin supplements and even over-the-counter drugs like Benadryl can help you get the sleep you need. Dramamine is a medication that can help you overcome motion sickness and get rest on a red-eye flight.
Given the time of day you’ll be flying, you should be tired already. But, given just how uncomfortable sleeping on a plane can be, there’s nothing wrong with taking a little something extra to help you get the rest you need.
7. Go as Late as Possible
The later your flight, the easier it will be to sleep. When it fits with your schedule, choose a flight that leaves between 11 and 12 rather than one that leaves at 10 or earlier.
Serving Companies and Their Traveling Team Members
At JTB Business Travel, we know just how expensive business travel can be for companies and just how uncomfortable it can be for traveling employees. That’s why we use a common sense approach to save companies money while helping travelers identify the best, most comfortable itineraries possible.