What's the secret to a good flight’s sleep?
After a long awaited vacation, one thing and one thing only can mess up your holiday plans, you’ve probably guessed it right- JET LAG.
Whether you get a bed in first class or are forced to cue up your sleep the night before for your economy ticket, this incurable nightmare will haunt you wherever you are, and there is no escaping it. Or is there?
Ahead of the holiday season, Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with the experts at the sleep council - an impartial, advisory organisation that raises the awareness of the importance of a good night's sleep to your health - to help you get ready on your way to your destinations.
They set up a guide that reveals what to eat, wear and smell to ease your preparation the day before, onboard and once you land as you switch to holiday mode.
First thing's first, a tip followed by cabin crew members recommends you set your watch to your destination time so you can start eating at those meal times.
The Sleep Council suggests sticking as much as possible to your normal evening routine. From washing your face, removing any makeup and giving your teeth a good brush, all these activities help to trigger your brain to get into sleep mode.
Be comfortable. If you’re aiming to sleep, travel in non-restrictive comfortable clothing such as sweatpants, leggings and a loose fitting t-shirt and zip up top.
Get into the right frame of mind. Try to relax before you board the plane. These days most airports offer massage chairs or a spa, use them!
It’s best to avoid carb heavy food when you want to get to sleep. Instead try something lighter and snack on energy giving foods such as bananas, nuts and wholemeal grains.
Switch off tech. Whether it’s a kindle, tablet or even the TV, if you’re looking to sleep switch it off! The light from screens keeps your brain awake. Instead read a book or listen to some soothing music to help you relax.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the flight to prevent dehydration and also to help mobilise your energy reserves for your arrival.
Notify your cabin crew that you want to sleep so they will know not to disturb you.
Use the eye masks and ear plugs in your amenity kit. You need darkness to make you feel sleepy.
Snuggle down. To feel sleepy, you need to have a comfortable pillow or cushion and a snuggly blanket.
*** Upon arrival
Once you arrive, use light (daylight or artificial) to re-set your body clock. Getting some fresh air will help you feel more awake and alert as will drinking plenty of water.
Lisa Artis, PR and Communications Manager at The Sleep Council commented, ‘The problem with jet lag is that you are doing things at times when your body isn’t prepared to do them. By teaming up with Virgin Atlantic, we are encouraging travellers to get the best possible night’s sleep while onboard a flight. Sticking to good sleep hygiene principles and sleeping at the ‘right time’ can help control the mismatch you get with biological clocks and the time zone you’re in, ensuring you’re feeling the best you can when you hop off the plane.
Following these tips means you should reach your destination fully rested, whether you indulge in a nifty nap or a solid sleep, and leave you feeling like a happy traveller!