Red eye flights aren’t pretty.
You always board the flight with the best intentions of sleeping and waking up the next morning relaxed in your new destination. How often does this really happen? You walk off looking like the zombie apocalypse, asking “What Just Happened to Me”.
Here are 5 of my best tips for surviving a red eye flight.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
I don’t care if you have to walk off the airplane and go straight to a business meeting, wear comfortable clothes on your flight and change in the bathroom at the airport if you have to. If you aren’t comfortable for a 5+ hour flight you won’t have any chance of catching some zzz’s.
Sleep Mask, Warm Socks, a Travel Pillow and Earplugs
Come prepared! Block the light with a sleep mask, the sound with earplugs and the freezing cold airplane air with socks. Get rid of all of the outside distractions that might keep you up and bring the necessities that will keep you as comfortable as possible.
Stick to Your Normal Routine
Just because the flight attendants are serving a meal at 2 AM doesn’t mean you need to eat it. Eat before you board at your normal dinner time and then when you find your seat, you can fall fast asleep. If alcohol keeps you up, or coffee makes you jittery and you aren’t use to drinking it past a certain hour…don’t! Also, I personally always brush my teeth, either at the airport after I eat or in the tiny airline bathroom. I sleep and feel a million times better with freshly brushed teeth.
Pick a Good Seat
Don’t be passive about getting a good seat if you want to sleep. Check in early on your red eye flight to make sure you get the best seat. Ideally you want the window seat on a red eye flight so your neighbor won’t keep waking you to get up and down to use the restroom. If it’s a long flight and the emergency exit row is available maybe you spend a few more dollars to have the extra space to hopefully get an extra hour or two of sleep in.
There is nothing worse than sleeping for 3 hours, having to get off the plane, walk to your next flight and board only to hopefully sleep for 2 more hours. If you are booking a red eye do all that you can to make sure it is a direct flight.
What would you add to our list? How do you survive red eye flights?
I think these are great tips. I have a lot of trouble sleeping on airplanes, so my only other advice is to mentally prepare for the day ahead. Psych yourself up for it.
Caroline Eaton says
Good tip! Do you think it’s good to take a long nap the day before to prep for no sleep, or to stay up in higher hopes of sleeping overnight on the plane?
Kenin Bassart says
These are great tips, sadly I can’t sleep on a plane. The only tip I have is to drink enough until I pass out, of course that does little to fix the whole zombie problem… 🙂
Caroline Eaton says
🙂 I tried to restrain from adding “outside influences” to help you sleep… but yes, this is another proven tip!
Great article! Defiantly part of the ‘unwritten’ less glamorous aspect of traveling. Sticking to your own schedule is a must and you are right, not eating just because the attendant is serving! The hardest thing I have is not watching movies on long haul flights…. they are the only thing that keeps me up when I should be sleeping. LOL
Lance | Trips By Lance says
I don’t even try, but maybe if I used these tips I could.