Overnight flights can be either start your trip off on the right foot (you usually get an extra day of travel out of it), or can be a total bummer if you don’t get a wink of sleep on the plane. Anytime we’re hopping on an overnight flight (Toronto to London is one of our most travelled overnight routes), we do some simple things to help ensure we get at least some shut-eye. Here are the best tips for a great sleep on the plane without turning to medical sleeping aides.
1. Bring an eye mask
Don’t worry about looking silly in one of these (you can pick up chic ones at Muji that won’t break your bank account). They are essential to a good sleep since they block out any extra light that may be coming from your seatmate’s TV or reading light. Note: If it causes tangles in your hair at the back, try placing the straps in the middle of the back of your head, and pulling the top portion of your hair out above them. That way tangles will at least be covered.
2. Ear plugs
Like it or not, some people can be loud on planes, and children can be extra chatty or disruptive. Drown out sounds with good quality ear plugs (look for ones that will block out at least 32 decibels and can help regulate air pressure changes).
3. Socks are a must!
Cold feet equal not a great sleep (at least in our books!). Pack an extra pair of either cozy wool or thick cashmere socks to keep your toes warm throughout the flight.
4. Bring an extra blanket and pillows/neck pillows
Unless you’re travelling in first class all the time (we wish!), plane blankets are either a touch too small, or quite thin. If you tend to get chilly on planes, bring an extra blanket and inflatable pillow to get extra comfy (Air Transat sells an overnight package that includes an extra blanket, inflatable neck pillow, earplugs and socks that you can save and reuse on future flights).
5. Download spa or yoga music
Or whatever music makes you feel completely Zen and relaxed to help soothe you into a slumber.
6. Do some quick stretches
Try stretching your arms above your head, doing slow, soft neck rolls and flexing your feet before putting on your eye mask as ways to relax. Massaging your hands can also relieve tension.
7. Skip the alcohol
While you may think that glass of red wine will help ease you to sleep, think again. Often it can do the opposite and keep you up with frequent trips to the restroom – and even worse leave you feeling less than rejuvenated once you do land.
8. Don’t eat a big meal on the plane
If sleep is super important to you, have a healthy meal at home before getting on the plane. Eating a big meal late at night and only an hour before they dim the lights will get your digestive system working in overtime – that means less quality sleep time for you. If you’re hungry opt for a snack option instead of a full meal.