Many people have trouble sleeping, especially on long plane flights. But many times those same people don’t get enough quality sleep in their every day lives, either. Unfortunately, lack of quality sleep goes well beyond feeling tired and lacking energy during the day. Lack of sleep can cause serious health problems and even death!
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Here are 5 tips that will help you get sleep better and get more rest on a long flight.
- Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Caffeine seems like a pretty obvious thing to avoid when trying to get more sleep, right? But many people still take in a lot more caffeine than they realize. Be sure and check what you eat and drink. It’s not just coffee. Many people drink tea to relax but a lot of teas are high in caffeine. The same is true of soda. You’ll want to avoid all of them for many hours before boarding the plane.
Now, while most people at least understand caffeine doesn’t mix with sleep, alcohol is another issue. A lot of nervous fliers will drink alcohol to calm their nerves. But too much alcohol messes with quality sleep. Sure, if you have way too much you might pass out. But it’s not a quality sleep and you’ll wake up tired and sluggish. If you struggle to get a good, deep sleep you’ll want to forget about drinking alcohol.
- Your Sleep Environment Matters
A lot of people will choose the aisle seat on a long flight because it’s a lot easier and more convenient to get to the bathroom. However, if your goal is a restful sleep, the window seat is a much better choice. You have a little more flexibility on where you put your pillow and rest your head. You really don’t want to get smacked in the head by the person next to you.
You may want to even consider bringing your own pillow and blanket on the flight. This will make it a lot easier for you to get comfortable which in turn may help you to sleep better.
- Certain Foods Can Help With Sleep
Hormones such as melatonin and serotonin are important factors in sleep. Eating foods high in both of them can help to promote more restful sleep while on the plane. Some foods you’ll want to consider are seafood, as well as dairy (including eggs). Turkey ad chicken are great options if you eat meat. You’ll also find them in nuts, seeds, bananas and even oatmeal. There are a lot of great choices. You can also purchase melatonin and serotonin in supplement form.
- Get Comfortable
Trying to sleep in an unnatural position almost guarantees you won’t sleep well. Of course, this is on a plane so that makes things tricky. Be sure to recline as much as you possibly can. Make sure your legs aren’t crossed and that your head and neck have as much support as you can give them.
- Go Dark
Close the window shade. That’s an obvious one. One that isn’t so obvious is the electronics. Using your smartphone, tablet or computer before your flight can keep you from a restful sleep. These electronics suppress melatonin secretion and that’s bad for sleep. Turn off your devices at least a half-hour before getting on the plane. Turn off the overhead light, close the window and start the process of relaxing.
Put these five tips into play and you should find yourself getting much better sleep and rest on the long plane rides.