Having trouble falling asleep in the air?
Well, Martin Seeley – a travel professional and CEO of MattressNextDay – revealed his top 10 hacks for conquering in-flight sleep.
If you fancy a glass of wine, it’s best to opt for water as the alcohol will dehydrate you, while one of his other tips is to use any free time at the airport to stretch your legs and increase your step count to increase your chances of falling asleep.
Take a flight down to see some of Martin’s tried-and-true ways to close your eyes during transport so you can savor every moment of your well-earned getaway.
1. What time for dinner? The only question to ask the crew
Martin Seeley – a travel professional and CEO of MattressNextDay – has revealed his top 10 hacks for conquering in-flight sleep (stock image)
Once the plane has taken off and the seatbelt signal is off, Martin advises asking the cabin crew when the food will be served.
He explains, “There’s nothing worse than falling asleep only to be interrupted by those sitting next to you eating their food and turning on their lights.
“By asking this question early on, you can time your sleep around food and make sure you’re not disturbed by service.”
2. Shop till you drop: why a ride to the airport is important
Not only should you get to the airport early to account for delays, Martin says this way you can also increase your step count before you sit still on a plane for hours.
He recommends spending 30 minutes “walking around the airport, in duty-free or even in the lounge”, before boarding.
Explaining his approach, he says, “Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of moderate exercise can improve sleep quality.
“Another study found that women who spent more time being active and taking more steps reported improved sleep and more time spent sleeping, which is essential before your vacation begins.”
Not only do you need to get to the airport early to account for delays, Martin says this way you can also increase your step count before sitting on a plane for hours (stock image)
3. Wing Row Wonders: This is the seat of choice for the most restful sleep
Picking the right seat on an airplane, says Martin, is key to getting good rest.
When it comes to choosing a place, he advises avoiding the toilet at all costs because it’s “where people tend to chat”.
Instead, it says the main seats are located in the same row as the wing.
Detailing why it’s the best position on an airplane, the globetrotter says: “Not only is it probably the quietest area, but since the wing is usually where the emergency exit is, you’ll have more legroom.”
However, if you are traveling long distances, Martin points out that it can be worth booking the front of the plane because “you will be served your food first and you are more likely to disembark first, which is why attendants recommend these seats for people”. trying to sleep.’
4. Patience can pay off! Plank last to land a full line
If you missed a fender or a front seat, Martin says “don’t worry.”
Revealing another hack to get a good seat to sleep, he asks travelers to “hold on at the airport gate until everyone has boarded”.
“If you’re the last to board the plane, you can see where the empty seats are and choose a seat that has two or three empty seats, allowing you to spread out.”
5. Get rid of spirits! NEVER drink alcohol on the plane
Although a drink may help you fall asleep at first, the frequent flier says ‘alcohol actually disrupts your sleep and lowers its quality’ (stock image)
When it comes to what to drink on a plane, Martin recommends “always opt for water over alcohol.”
Although a drink may help you doze off at first, the frequent traveler says that “alcohol actually disrupts your sleep and lowers the quality of it – making you more tired in the morning.”
He continues: “And, if you’ve ever had a scratchy throat on a plane, it’s because the air is notoriously dry on a plane.”
“This can make it harder to fall asleep, so drinking water before and during your flight will not only alleviate these issues, but make it easier for you to fall asleep.”
6. Synchronized: Change your watch as soon as you board
To get your body in sync, Martin recommends changing your watch as soon as you board the plane and that way you can “sleep and act according to that time zone” (stock image)
Clock changes can dramatically affect your sleep, Martin says, due to changes in daylight hours.
He explains: “As there is more light, we produce less melatonin which is a hormone that helps sleep.
To synchronize your body, he recommends changing your watch as soon as you board the plane. This way you can “sleep and act according to this time zone”.
If you’re traveling long distances, he advises adjusting to the new time zone about two to three days before the flight “to regulate your new sleep routine.”
In addition to helping you sleep, these two tips will help your internal clock (known as the circadian rhythm) adjust, making you less susceptible to jet lag.
7. Serene Sounds: Download a White Noise App
Instead of music or podcasts, Martin recommends downloading “white noise” playlists to listen to in-flight to drown out external sounds.
He reveals that white noise “has long been considered an aid for those who have difficulty sleeping or suffer from insomnia…and a 2021 study found that white noise helped improve sleep in those who had difficulty sleeping due to environmental noise”.
However, if you don’t find it relaxing, you can “pre-download sleep stories or meditation guides which can be found on sites such as Headspace or Calm.’
8. What to wear: Pack a sleep kit
What you wear on the plane is also very important, says Martin. First, he says investing in a good pair of comfortable socks is essential.
The company owner explains: “The air conditioning on an airplane can get cold and wearing socks can actually prevent you from waking up if you are a light sleeper.
“A study recently found that for those who wore socks, the number of awakenings was 7.5 times lower than for the group without socks.”
If you’re traveling late or overnight, an eye mask is also “essential to block out lights from people reading and/or watching TV.”
He suggests buying one that “conforms to your face as opposed to the standard models the airline distributes, as these are less likely to block out all the light.”
If you’re flying late or through the night, an eye mask is also ‘essential to block out lights from people reading and/or watching TV’ (stock image)
One of the newest to hit the market is the Lumos smart sleep mask that uses light therapy and was developed based on Stanford science and tested by NASA astronauts.
As well as being comfortable to wear, this mask “exposes the eyes to specific light sequences that intelligently adjust your internal clock to lessen the impact of jet lag without interfering with your sleep.”
If you don’t already have one, Martin suggests investing in an airport travel pillow as it will “help support your neck and help you sleep upright” and he says the best on the market are the foam ones. with “soft” shape memory.
Plus, he recommends earplugs to help muffle the noise.
9. Surround sound: noise canceling headphones are a good investment
To listen to white noise or sleep stories, you’ll need headphones, however, Martin says you shouldn’t bring “just any headphones.”
He explains: “As flying can be extremely noisy, with the noise from some cabins being over 85 decibels, which is louder than a vacuum cleaner, you should ideally bring noise canceling headphones.”
He also advises investing in in-ear headphones, as in-ear wireless headphones are at risk of falling out while you sleep and “due to tight spaces on the plane, you may not be able to find them again!” »
10. If you are traveling with children, stick to the routines
If you’re traveling with kids, Martin says you can help them sleep by sticking to their bedtime routines.
The entrepreneur explains: “So if that means getting into your pajamas, brushing your teeth and reading them a book, then do it.”
“You can go to the bathroom to brush your teeth and put them in their pajamas, so they know it’s time to sleep.
“If possible, you can also travel at night when airplane passengers are more likely to be asleep, so there’s less to distract them.”