With all the distractions of air travel, it’s no surprise that it can be tough to get a decent sleep on planes.
Choosing the right seat, bringing the right gear and making a few small changes to your flying habits could help you sleep better on your next flight.
Etihad Airways has revealed some of its top tips on how to combat the effects of long haul travel and give you the best change of a decent sleep while on the airplane.
* Wear comfortable clothes, avoid tight clothing and keep a sweater handy to use in case you feel cold.
* Use slip-on shoes which are easy to take off and put on. Thick sport socks will keep the feet warm.
* Block out noise by using a noise cancelling head set or ear plugs.
* Cover your eyes with padded sleep masks to avoid the light.
* Keep what you need during the flight easily accessible.
* Avoid alcohol and enjoy a light meal, while milk or chamomile tea may also be helpful.
* Make sure you will not be disturbed, by pressing the Don’t’ Disturb button.
* Stick to your bedtime routines and apply destination local time.
* Don’t use the in-flight entertainment system when it’s your sleep time, because the light from the screen may be stimulating, but you may use relaxing music to help you fall asleep.
* Use an alarm to wake up early enough before landing to organise your stuff and use the bathroom if needed.
You’ll find it much harder to sleep if you have caffeine coursing through your veins, especially on a daytime flight, where even the view out the window can be a distraction, so also limit your tea and coffee input.
Dr Yousef Abou Allaban, managing director of the American Centre of Psychiatry and Neurology, says the best advice is to avoid any caffeine drinks for 4-6 hours prior to boarding the plane. He also says eating a heavy meal up to two hours before flying is not recommended.
He added that passengers should always wear loose clothing, drink water, or milk with honey, and read the newspaper or a novel to put you in the mood for winding down.