Our first trip overseas taught us so much about traveling, but especially about tiny seats on airplanes and jet lag so here are 5 tips for flying overnight.
Tips for Sleeping on Planes
If you’re like me you cannot sleep on a plane. Cade on the other hand, well he does pretty darn well. Except on our trip to Italy. What a beast of a flight. If you can get into First Class, and I’m always for saving money, but if you can, I can totally see how it’s worth it as our seat space was wretched.
When you have to make do with a small space I’ve learned to bring a carryon bag with just sleep tricks. Many can even be hung off of your bag so it doesn’t take precious space.
The Best Neck Pillow for Travel
Alright, the number one thing is the neck pillow and I will be honest, I’ve never googled something so much in all of my life. I think this J pillow is not perfection, I want one that goes on both sides of the head and snaps in front to keep it together, but until they make that, this is it.
The other pillows were so big or so little and nothing made to support the neck, head and chin. The chin is so important because otherwise your head falls forward and wakes you up. This J pillow supports it all. I’m a little interested in trying the Daisy Travel Pillow as it goes around the neck a little more.
Has anyone else used it?
An overnight flight often supplies a blanket, but not always and they hardly cover you up. If you have a hard time sleeping on planes and get cold on flights like I do you for sure need a travel blanket. It gets stuffed in a travel bag all little, can hang off of a purse or strap and it’s quite large so it covered both Cade and I all the way up to our shoulders and our feet. We ended up using our own though because one person can pull it off the other, Cade…
This Cocoon CoolMax travel blanket is the best out there. It’s super light weight so it breaths but it blocks the cold air and keeps you warm. We’ve been using it in the car, camping, etc!
The Best Ear Plugs and Sleep Mask for Flying
You and I both know that there’s always someone who is noisy, snores or is always turning on their light or opening the window shade on a plane which can really interrupt sleep. Take it from us, a simple pair of ear plugs and a sleep mask that blocks out the light and allows you to blink so your eyes aren’t all squished (we want to mimic natural sleep as much as possible) is essential.
Our favorites are these Mack’s silicone ear plugs that you roll in a ball, gently press over your ear and they stay put. I ended up trying three different pairs and the silicone were the only ones that stayed in no matter how I moved. Plus, this particular link is to where they are the cheapest, just over $3!
The Blinks Contoured Sleep Mask is the best eye mask for sleeping on a plane. The cups allow you to blink your eyes and still block out of the light. It has an adjustable strap so you can loosen or tighten as needed.
Keep Your Arms Secure While Flying
I know that this is a little strange, but I am a side sleeper and so sleeping while flying is awkward since I can’t snuggle up and my arms are just hanging there or they fall and wake me up. I totally thought up this genius solution and I have to tell you, it worked!!!
Just take a simple, but long scarf and wrap it around your shoulders.
Nestle one arm in it and cross the other piece over the front.
Roll your arms upward in the fabric as if you’ve created a first aide arm sling. I know you wouldn’t normally roll them up in first aide, but your arms are fine so just do it this way so it keeps both arms snuggled up against you.
You wouldn’t believe the difference it makes!
What Sleeping Pill Is Best?
Because I have such a hard time sleeping on overnight flights I looked into a sleeping pill for the first time ever. I tried Ambien and I believe the other was Sonata.
I hated them both. Sonata was gentle and easy but as soon as it wore off it woke me up. Cade had the exact same experience.
Ambien wasn’t bad to fall asleep either but both of us had crazy, fast, nonsense dreams all night long and woke up feeling unrested. And that continued for another day, the unrested feeling. It just wasn’t worth it.
I did end up taking the Sonata on the flight when we had just 4 hours left and that was fine. It didn’t keep me asleep so it really wasn’t worth it.
Compression Socks for Flying
Cade was uncomfortable and had aching feet when we landed in Venice, but I didn’t. I mean, I wasn’t comfortable but the Sox compression socks kept my feet from swelling and my legs from cramping up. I have since tried three more flights, 2 without them and one with them and again, the compression socks made a difference. I just quickly switched socks on the flight, took them off when we landed and it wasn’t a big deal at all.
Don’t Sleep Until Bedtime for the New City
The best advice we received was to power through that first day and not go to sleep, even for a nap until it was time for bed. This will help your body to adjust to a new schedule quickly versus days of jet-lag.
Scheduling a walking tour is the best way to accomplish this. You don’t want to be on a tour bus (ever in our personal opinion, but we can talk about that another time.), because you can still doze off, but walking will keep you awake and busy.