Air travel tips: What to do if you can’t sleep on a long-haul flight, according to a flight attendant

A long-haul flight might be particularly intimidating. Do you have to prioritise sleeping or consuming, or each? What if you cannot sleep?

Kris Main is a British flight attendant with 25 years’ expertise. He is labored short-haul hops and spent 14-hour stretches within the sky. He is endured journeys with an unenviable variety of layovers, and he is change into an professional in refuelling through energy naps at 30,000 toes.

As many people put together for long-haul journeys, Main tells CNN Travel his ideas and methods on surviving a number of hours within the sky.

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Interior of commercial airplane with passengers in their seats during flight.
Flying can actually take a toll in your physique. (Getty Photos/iStockphoto)

What if you cannot sleep?

Many people discover it tough to sleep on airplanes, whether or not on account of unfamiliar noises or, for the cheaper seats, restricted leg room and upright positions.

Struggling to sleep on an extended flight, realizing you are going to pay for the misplaced hours if you land, might be an disagreeable cycle of fear.

Do you have to persevere and preserve attempting, or quit and watch a film?

Main says there is no level attempting to power sleep, notably in case your physique clock thinks it is the center of the day and also you’re merely not drained.

However he cautions that it is vital to remember what you are doing on the different finish. If you are going to be driving, for instance, or going straight to a gathering, you must attempt to relaxation as a lot as you’ll be able to.

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Do you have to deliver a journey pillow or depend on the airline choices?

Airways often present pillows for long-haul travellers, regardless of the cabin, however Main says bringing your individual eye masks, journey pillow and/or a blanket might be a good suggestion relying in your preferences.

Woman sleeping on plane
There’s all the time the prospect that pillows are unavailable.

Eye masks are nice in the event you’re attempting to sleep when the cabin lights are on, when you may desire your individual journey pillow to the airline model.

Plus, whereas it is uncommon, there’s all the time the prospect that pillows are unavailable – one thing that might be a giant drawback on a 14-hour flight.

“It occurs,” says Main. “So I’d say, cater your self on your personal consolation and your individual wants as a lot as you presumably can.”

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What you must and should not put on on a airplane

Do you will have any tips about feeling recent after sleeping on a airplane?

We have all skilled waking up after a mid-flight sleep, groggily heading to the airplane rest room to clean up, and alarming your self if you catch sight of your exhausted reflection.

Main’s high tip for feeling refreshed following inflight relaxation may sound apparent, however he insists it makes a world of distinction.

“Cleansing your tooth is all the time the one which freshens all people up probably the most,” he says, including that flight attendants will all the time have between 5 and 10 minutes to clean up earlier than they’re again on responsibility.

That is sufficient time to dress, wash and, if that you must, comb hair and refresh make-up.

Flight attendants will greet a returning colleague with a cup of tea or espresso. Then they’re going to head off responsibility for their very own relaxation interval.

In this real situation a row of unidentifiable passengers are sitting in their seats on an airplane. The seating is tight. Their legs are touching the seats in front of them.
Main’s private selection on a long-haul flight is reserving a window seat. (Getty Photos/iStockphoto)

What’s the most effective seat to e book for an extended flight?

In the event you’re nervous about turbulence, Main advises that you simply attempt to sit close to the entrance of the plane.

“You could possibly be standing on the entrance and really feel nothing, and down the again they’re bouncing in every single place – the plane strikes otherwise down the again,” he explains.

In the event you’re tall, reserving the emergency exit seat for the additional leg room might be worthwhile, though Main says it is value remembering “you’ll be able to’t put your baggage down at your toes or something as a result of it must be clear as an evacuation run.” Airways additionally typically cost additional for seats with leg room.

Main’s private selection on a long-haul flight is reserving a window seat.

“That is purely preferential, I can lean up towards the bulkhead, pull my head down and fall asleep. Whereas you’ll be able to’t if you’re within the aisle seats or the center seat,” he says.

The center seat isn’t enviable, nevertheless it’s maybe notably unappealing on an extended flight. Main reckons it is value paying additional for the aisle or window, particularly “if that you must sleep on the flight.”

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