Must-have sleep essentials and tips for air travel

Try these hacks to get the best sleep on your next long-haul flight. Source: Getty

Travelling can be such an exciting experience, there’s nothing quite like jetting off to a new land full of sights and adventures just waiting to be had. 

Long-haul flights can feel like they’re never going to end, especially when you’re running on empty from lack of sleep. You easily become miserable, shifting in your seat to try and get some semblance of comfort, and even if you do manage to get some sleep, it’s likely whatever position you dozed off in has wreaked havoc on your neck.

Whether you’re a frequent flyer or embarking on your first international trip, we’ve collected some helpful tips and tricks that can improve your chances of getting a restful sleep on your next flight.

Sleep masks

Investing in a quality sleep mask is an absolute must if you’re serious about good sleep. If you’re on the hunt for a new travel eye mask, keep in mind that not all are created equally! Be sure to look for one that is gentle around the eyes and doesn’t apply any kind of pressure.

When you block out all the light, it helps, create an optimal environment for your body to relax and naturally fall into a deep and peaceful slumber.

Sleep masks can also help the mind and body to relax by giving you a sense of privacy and forcing your eyes to stop straining – especially after reading or watching a movie on the plane’s screen. 

Neck pillows

Neck pillows are one of the most popular ways to catch up on rest during a long-haul flight, with one major benefit being comfort and support. 

By supporting your neck, these pillows help you avoid neck pain and stiffness from sleeping in awkward positions, and can even reduce your stress and fatigue as it helps you to relax and get better rest. They are also a great way to reduce snoring with the neck support preventing your airway from obstruction. 

When looking for the perfect neck pillow for your next trip, be sure to consider the following:

  • What type of neck pillow are you looking for; inflatable, microbead, or memory foam?
  • Depending on kind of sleeper you are, will determine the level of neck support you need
  • What material is the neck pillow made of; are you looking for something that is a little warmer, such as fleece, or smooth plastics and cotton?

Compression socks 

Sitting on a plane for long periods of time can cause a lot of discomfort and fatigue to your legs, potentially preventing you from being able to sleep well from the resulting aches and pains. 

Compression socks can help minimise the discomfort caused by long periods of sitting by improving blood circulation and reducing swelling, resulting in more comfortable sleep. 

There are a few different types of compression socks available, so be sure to shop around and find what suits you best. 

Noise-cancelling headphones

With engines roaring, passengers talking, and announcements blaring over the intercom, it can be challenging to tune out the external noises and find some peace and quiet to catch up on sleep on a flight. 

Noise-cancelling headphones are a game-changer when it comes to creating the optimum sleep environment, eliminating most of the ambient noise that can make it difficult to doze off.

Be sure to choose headphones over earphones for optimal comfort, as the soft ear cushions work with the noise-cancelling technology to block out unwanted sounds and create the right environment for a good sleep.

Book a window seat

Booking yourself a window seat has a number of benefits, not only does it give you a picturesque view as you glide across the globe, but it also allows you benefits that a middle or aisle seat can’t offer. 

Window seats provide you with something to lean against as you try to sleep and ensure significantly fewer disturbances from fellow passengers who may need to move around the cabin. 

They also give you more control over the amount of light you’re being exposed to through the window, allowing you to create a more sleep conducive environment. 

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