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ILP Tip: How To Fall Asleep On A Long Flight!

Posted by Lindsay Hall on 5/10/16 12:53 PM

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If you've ever flown internationally, you know the pain of trying to sleep on a flight. It's not the easiest task to complete (unless you luck out with a first class seat), but it can be done!
Sleeping on a plane is an art. Anyone can master this art with a few helpful tips. Trust me, following these tips will save your sanity while flying over seas. 

When you are preparing for your trip, don't forget to prepare for the plane ride also. That is mistake number one that most rookie flyers make. Don't let that be you! Here's some things you can mentally prepare for and bring to help those zzz's come easier:

  • Chose your seat wisely
  • Consider what you are wearing (from you head to your feet)
  • Bring the 4 essentials
  • Avoid certain drinks and foods
  • Use your carry on to your advantage
  • Bring that extra aid

Chose your seat wisely

Some airlines will let you chose a seat while checking in. They may charge a small fee to change your middle aisle seat, but trust me, that extra $3-5 may be worth it. Everyone knows that the middle and aisle seat are the ones you should try to get, but you need to consider one thing when choosing between the two...your height. Choosing correctly can help you sleep much better through the night.

If you are tall and have long legs, you won't be able to sleep if you are crushed between the window, seat in front of you and the person in the middle seat. Chose the aisle! When the turn down the lights and everyone is (suppose to be) sleeping, you can stretch those long legs out in the aisle. If you're a shorty like me, leg room is not a problem. Go with the window! You will be able to curl into a ball and lean against the window.

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Consider what you're wearing!

This is important. Comfort is essential in this situation. You will need to plan your perfect outfit and think it through. You may also want to consider NOT wearing make up (I know, I know...you won't look as cute in your pictures)...it will be worth it. I don't know about you, but I hate old make up! You'll be glad you did it. 

Bring the 4 essentials

There really are 4 essentials if you are planning on sleeping on a plane. Here they are: neck pillow, blanket, eye mask and head phones. Planes can be cold, distracting places making it hard to catch some shut eye. The neck pillow is for your comfort, the blanket to keep you warm, the eye mask to shut out all those annoying lights and people walking around and head phones to mask the noises of people and the plane. 

Avoid certain drinks and food

Don't get a caffeinated drink right before you go to sleep! That is never a good idea. Opt in for a glass of water or juice before you plan to sleep. Also, if you have certain foods that mess with your stomach...stay away. It's always a good idea to skip on the airplane food this round and go with a snack that will be kinder to your stomach. Make sure you eat something though! Empty stomachs don't help sleep either.

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Use your carry on to your advantage

This is for the shorties out there! Use your carry on as leg support. Chances are high that your legs and feet will start to swell up after being in a sitting position for so many hours. Use your carry on to prop your legs up and give yourself a little relief. You may look like that crazy person on the flight, but you will feel much better!

Bring that extra aid! 

If all else fails, bring a sleeping aid. They will help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Just make sure you take them early on in your flight, so you're not totally out when you are landing and need to navigate a new airport!

If you're a newbie at this whole flying internationally thing, don't worry! We have plenty more tips for you! Check out what to do if you miss your flight and need to change it, how to survive a long flight awake and how to survive a long layover


Do you want to teach English in Ukraine? Click below to learn how you can serve abroad with ILP (International Language Programs) and see what a day in the life of ILP Ukraine volunteers looks like!
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Topics: Travel Tips

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