If you can sleep in the upright position all night, then overnight flights were made for you. For the rest of us, however, the red-eye flight can be challenging and exhausting. Trading a bed for an airline seat is a serious comfort downgrade, but these tips can help you get through your next red-eye experience and arrive more well-rested and functional.
Choose the Right Seat
For most overnight flyers, the window seat can be the best seat on the fight for a little shut-eye. Unless you’re likely to get up multiple times throughout the night, in which case, do yourself and your seatmates a favor and book the aisle, you’ll find the closest approximation of comfort in the window seat. Bunch a sweater or jacket up against the side wall of the plane to build yourself a sleeping surface.
Overnight flight are tough enough but trying to get some proper sleep on two overnight flights with a late-night connection is really hard. While connections are sometimes unavoidable, if you can book a non-stop flight directly from your departure to your destination, you’ll be better off.
Being prepared for sleep on a red-eye means something slightly different for each flyer, but in general your prep kit should include an eye mask to block out light, earplugs to muffle ambient cabin noise, and warm socks to fight off the chill. Many people also find that the weight of a familiar blanket can help trigger sleep even in the REM-inhospitable environment of an airplane cabin.
Every medical and travel expert touts in-flight hydration, but if sleep is a priority on a red-eye, you may actually want to limit your fluid intake for an hour or two before the flight. After all, if you’re going to have to work extra hard to fall asleep sitting up, the last thing you want is to be woken up after an hour by the call of nature. Just be sure to drink extra water toward the end of the flight, since dehydration worsens the symptoms of jet lag
Take care of yourself
Don’t hit the ground running after a red-eye flight. Instead, go easy on yourself the day you land. When you’re planning activities, be realistic about your energy level. Try not to schedule big meetings or all-day activities on that day. Make sure to get plenty of natural light, eat healthy meals, drink lots of fluids, and get to sleep at a reasonable hour.
With this guide you will be able to battle through jet lag symptoms and have a red-eye free flight. Travel with confidence and get some rest on your next flight.