How do you sleep on a long-haul flight?

I’m usually pretty good at sleeping on long-haul flights, but that’s because I tend to do them over night and there’s a glass or two of wine involved!

But you can hardly start asking for a G&T at 7am when your 8-hour flight begins (although I’ve seen it done!), so what do you do?

Any tips / tricks on how to sleep during long-haul flights from all you seasoned travellers would be much appreciated! Thanks :)

Lottie Gross 08/05/14    General travel chat Link Report

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All I need is one of those soft travel neck pillows. Feet up on the arm rests in front and I’m away. Easy Peasy.

pug88 08/05/14    Link Report

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  • Find the most boring film they have, and you’re away…

    Seriously though, I try to be strict about my sleeping times before I go away, start shifting it to the new time zone, even if it means I have to sleep on the daytime flight over. I try to make sure I’ll be tired when I get on the plane (not hard – airports tire me out!) then have a cup of herbal tea (or something stronger, as you say) and put on my eye mask and ear plugs. These last two are vital for me, as seeing / hearing a plane full of other people can really put you off sleeping!

    Tip a friend gave me: if you have any pre-sleep ritual, make sure you do it as best you can on the plane. So I take my cleanser, moisturiser etc – under 100ml, of course – and make like I’m getting ready for bed on a regular evening. I’m guessing comfy pyjamas are a step too far though, sadly…

    Rebecca Hallett 08/05/14    Link Report

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  • Badly, generally because I can barely fit into the seat when some idiot in front of me reclines. Which is why I think they should be banned! http://bemusedbackpacker.com/2013/10/18/is-it-time-airlines-banned-reclining-seats-completely/ But if I can somehow get past that (like on a recent flight where I managed to snag a perfect front row seat with actual leg room, bliss!) I can sleep like a baby anywhere.

    As far as actual tips, stay the hell away from alcohol, seriously. (This is advice coming from a medical professional here!) You’ll pay for it later. And try and adjust your body clock to the time zone where you will be landing before you fly, so if that involves staying awake the night before so you are knackered and will sleep through the flight but arrive at 7am in your new destination refreshed and after a full nights sleep, great. If you need to stay awake the whole flight so you arrive at 11pm ready for a long sleep, so be it.

    There are some tips on beating jet lag here too http://bemusedbackpacker.com/2014/03/28/how-to-beat-jet-lag/

    Michael Huxley 09/05/14    Link Report

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  • To be honest, for me the red wine trick works at any time….It may seem to be a little extreme, but a couple of glasses early in the flight will get me off to sleep every time! :-)
    Make sure that you drink plenty of water too….No one likes waking up with a mid afternoon hangover!

    Christian Jones 16/05/14    Link Report

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