Tips on Sleeping while in the Air

After doing your homework and thoroughly researching cheap traveloptions, including cheapairplane tickets, discount hotel rooms and cheap vacation packages,wouldn’t it be wonderful if the hours you spent in flying to your destinationjust melted away in a haze of happy dreams and you awoke refreshed and readyfor your vacation upon deplaning?

Roy Raymann, PhD, is the resident sleep expert at SleepScoreLabs and former “sleep czar” for Apple, where he contributed to the developmentof NightShift and Bedtime.  The followingare Raymann’s suggestions on how to sleep contentedly while in the air:

·     Book awindow seat.  In addition to allowingtravelers to watch takeoff and landing and spot landmarks such as mountainranges and lakes down below, window seats are ideal for passengers who want tosleep.  There you can lean against thewindow, and not be disturbed by seatmates who want to visit the restroom orjust walk around the plane.


·     Getcomfortable by wearing cozy clothing (including sleep socks), pack a neckpillow, use the airplane blanket (or to ensure one will be available pack yourown).  Remember the more your airplaneseat feels like a restful home away from home, the greater the likelihood thatyou will be able to sleep, and wake refreshed.


·     Shut outnoise.  Most people need quiet to sleepwell.  Earplugs help dampen the noises ofyour plane’s engines, flight crew, and fellow passengers.  Alternatively, consider usingnoise-cancelling headphones and listen to something relaxing such as naturesounds or gentle music.


·     Peoplegenerally sleep better in the dark.  Bybringing a sleep mask on the plane you will be able to create your own personaldarkness and discourage yourself from opening your eyes.


·     Eat anddrink in moderation, both prior to departure and while in the air.  Although it is not smart to try to sleep onan empty stomach, it is also a mistake to eat large portions of fatty or spicymeals.  Instead, go for light healthysnacks, such as nuts.  Remember thatwhile drinking alcohol may help you fall asleep, it will make it more difficultfor you to stay asleep.


·     Reclineand stretch as much as possible while in your seat.  Use what legroom is available to stretch yourlegs and recline your seat. Straightening your legs, bent slightly at the knees helps passengersfall asleep more easily.  Leaning backtells their brains that they want to rest or sleep.
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