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Thread: Looking for tips for sleeping on a plane

  1. #16
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    Eye mask, ear plugs, compression socks, no alcohol on the plane (although I may have a small glass of wine prior to the flight), and a way to prop my feet up (my carry-on bag). Bringing a case for my glasses is a must, else I'll stress over the possibility of breaking them. There's nothing like anxiety for causing insomnia.
    Last edited by snowbot; 07-30-2013 at 07:01 PM. Reason: "possible" is not a noun.

  2. #17
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    Happy to see this thread! I could use some new ideas for sleeping on flights. I travel with two young children, and sleeping can be brutal on our long flights. Makes me miss the days of strapping them into their car seats so they could sleep in a semi-tilted state. Now, at 8 and 10, there are arms and legs all over the place!

    I used a Travelrest pillow for a couple of years, and finally gave up. It just wasn't working for me. I'm still seeking a new travel pillow, as nothing seems to quite work for me. Trying to sleep on my hands, leaning forward on the tray table is the pits, but it's the best I can do right now.

    I adore my Tempurpedic eye shades, which replaced my Bucky shades when they fell apart. Tempurpedic does a better job of blocking light, in my experience, and I actually use them every night as well.
    --Amanda

    Packing and gadget geek, collecting bags to disperse to my family.

  3. #18
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    Headphones...not picky about what comes in through them--movie, music, podcasts...anything but the noise of plane-life; TempurPedic U shaped pillow (I owe my sanity and my rest on a 24 hour plane journey to this pillow..); and limited sleeping the night before a long haul trip. It also helps to not be afraid to talk to unsupervised children about their behavior even if they speak a different language...

  4. #19
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    Hi Everyone -

    Thanks again for all the great tips for sleeping on a plane. I thought I'd report back on my trip and on the products I used. Sadly, no sleep for me. I have trouble sleeping anyway, so I wasn't all that surprised. Now, feel free to laugh at all this, because I thought I looked absolutely hilarious!

    I came armed with Bose QC3 headphones (purchased right before the trip!), earbuds and earplugs as backup, Bucky 40 Blinks eye mask, compression socks, a Travel Rest inflatable pillow, and layers for both warm and cold plane temps. I was so ready to take on the challenge! I think my downfall was that I took my sleeping pill. I had even replied in this thread that it didn't work last time, but I thought, after not being able to sleep for over an hour, that the addition of an eye mask and a pillow might help. It only made me airsick. I will never take a sleeping pill on a plane again! I sat with the "courtesy bag" near my face for almost an hour, praying that I'd make it. Funny now, but not at the time! Anyhow, let me comment on each of these items, which individually have merit.

    Bucky 40 Blinks eye mask - I really liked this eye mask because it's practically weightless and it blocked out light really well. Key for me was being able to blink without my eyelashes being smashed to my face. I wasn't really fond of the velcro strip in the back, mainly because I'm a pinhead and there was overlap. If you have a normal sized head, that probably wouldn't be a problem. i just wish there were one with an elastic strap. Since I squirm a lot, the strap moved some. Yes, you'd hate sitting next to me on a plane.

    Compression socks - these were great. I got the light compression socks, and they really did feel nice. I can see why so many people use them. These are definitely a keeper for future flights! They felt absolutely wonderful on my tired legs and feet for the walk at the end of the flight.

    Bose QC3's - I'm VERY sad to report that these buried my glasses into my ears. I want the option to wear my glasses or not, so I'll return these. The sound is much better than the QC 15's in my opinion. The noise cancellation was good for me, again, because my ears are small and there was almost no leakage. I noted I still had to turn the sound up more, though. Given the overall experience, I think my Shure earbuds are just as good for sound quality, probably better, and block noise merely because they're earbuds. I may try the new Bose noise cancelling earbuds just because they may be slightly less itchy on my ears with the earpieces they use.

    TravelRest Pillow - This unfortunately didn't work for me at all. The reviews were very promising, but I found the top part of the pillow to be too large no matter how much air I let out of the pillow. The length from the back of the seat to where the pillow curved down was just too wide for my body and it slipped off my shoulder. Yes, I read the instructions carefully, but several positions later, I gave up. If you have a window seat, you can slide the upper part between the seat and window, which worked pretty well. If you have a middle seat, as I did coming back, it doesn't work for a small person at all. However, I was able to let most of the air out, fold it, and use it for lumbar support. That was a real help.

    Well, hope this rundown was helpful for any of you considering these items for long plane flights. As for me, I'll just plan to get to my destination a day early and catch up on my sleep!
    Indigo/Solar Western Flyer, Aubergine/Steel Tri Star, Nordic/Steel Aeronaut, Indigo/Solar Synapse, Cocoa/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Aubergine/Hemp/Steel Imago, Wasabi Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Small Shop Bags, Solar Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Large Shop Bags, Indigo, Wasabi Dyneema, and Plum 3D Organizer Cubes, Wasabi Dyneema Travel Tray, Wasabi Dyneema Large Yarn Stuff Sack, Small, Mini and Pen/Pencil Pouches, an assortment of key straps

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwright17 View Post

    I think my downfall was that I took my sleeping pill. I had even replied in this thread that it didn't work last time, but I thought, after not being able to sleep for over an hour, that the addition of an eye mask and a pillow might help. It only made me airsick. I will never take a sleeping pill on a plane again! I sat with the "courtesy bag" near my face for almost an hour, praying that I'd make it.
    Oh my! Thanks for the follow-up. I'm sorry to hear none of your goodies work but like I mentioned earlier -- Dramamine (the real original one) is the answer! Stops the motion sickness and especially if you take the full dose (or - ahem - extra as I do b/c of my motion sickness tendencies) staying awake is almost impossible - whether you want to or not. Good luck on your next journey!

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwright17 View Post
    ...... What's your favorite travel pillow, eye mask, ear plugs, headphones, etc? Thanks!
    I've found that far better than any travel pillow is using one of those Velcro cervical neck collars, available in drug stores and medical supply. It does look really dorky but keeps your head and neck well supported. No stiff neck and good comfort. Helps me sleep more than I used to.

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    This is a bit off topic but its already headed there...

    I have a friend in the portable audio industry. He says hands down those in the business prefer to use Etymotic or Shure earphones when traveling over any of the battery powered noise canceling offerings. I tried some $500 Sony NC ones on a flight followed by his recommended Etymotic earphones and the Etymotic were far better at blocking noise. Aside from lots cheaper, they fit in my pocket, and don't need batteries. Shure is a bit more expensive but are supposed to be the same for blocking out noise.


    For me there's no sleep without getting rid of the engine noise and everything else going on.

  8. #23
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    I agree. I already own Shure earbuds, and overall, the earbuds did a better job than any over-ear or on-ear noise cancelling headphones. At least in the end I saved myself a lot of money!
    Indigo/Solar Western Flyer, Aubergine/Steel Tri Star, Nordic/Steel Aeronaut, Indigo/Solar Synapse, Cocoa/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Aubergine/Hemp/Steel Imago, Wasabi Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Small Shop Bags, Solar Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Large Shop Bags, Indigo, Wasabi Dyneema, and Plum 3D Organizer Cubes, Wasabi Dyneema Travel Tray, Wasabi Dyneema Large Yarn Stuff Sack, Small, Mini and Pen/Pencil Pouches, an assortment of key straps

  9. #24
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    I just returned from a 2-week vacation that involved 4 flights of 9 or more hours. At the beginning of the first flight, I noticed that my inflatable travel pillow wouldn't stay inflated. I later determined that the plastic had degraded to the point that the seams were coming undone and there were multiple holes. *sigh*

    On another note, if you have the aisle seat and decide to take a sleeping pill, please consider switching seats with your interior neighbor.

  10. #25
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    I use Benadryl as my "sleeping pill" of choice. Knocks me right out, and clears my sinuses too. :-) And to the point of flying with the "courtesy bag" at the ready. That's why you don't put any bags you care about under your seat. I hide it between my legs and throw my huge scarf over it so the miserable stewardess don't see it. People puke down there. There's no way I'm putting anything I care about down there too.

  11. #26
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    I've personally never liked the U shaped neck pillows, and I've tried the foam ones, the blow-up ones, and the ones stuffed with buckwheat or whatever it is. They don't stop my head from dropping forward, which wakes me up just as I'm drifting off.

    I bought a wedge shaped blow-up pillow that is supposed to go on your tray table and you lean into it. That worked better, but it's really bulky and blocks access to the aisle, so I found it only worked if I had a window seat; even then, I had to squish the air out before getting out of my seat to access the bathroom.

    In the end, I bought a travel collar called Embrace Sleep Collar--it's basically similar to the drug store cervical collars but a bit better adapted to travel. It's made of fairly stiff foam with a nice curve under the chin for comfort. But it's not as bulky as a cervical collar, and it connects in the back with fabric rather than foam all around, so it doesn't get as hot. The fabric fastens with Velcro. It's far more compact than anything other than the blowup models, and the fabric-Velcro closure lets you fasten it to a luggage handle, which Tom Bihn bags are richly supplied with. Or, sometimes I strap it to my upper arm over my jacket and it looks a bit like an orthopedic brace, then take it off once I'm settled in my seat. Or, if there's room in my Imago, I just tuck it on top of everything else and loosen the front buckle a tad.

    Another comfort item--Go makes an oblong inflatable travel pillow with a nice handwashable velour top so it doesn't get sweaty. It comes with a fair amount of foam padding already, and then you can blow it up to a firmer amount. Often I don't bother--the padding is enough. I use it behind my back as a lumbar support or under the tush to relieve economy seat numbness there. Did I mention it fits easily into the magazine/folder compartment in my Imago? It also provides an additional layer of protection for computers, tablets, and Kindles that crawl into my Imago on travel days.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  12. #27
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    Thanks for the Embrace Sleep Collar recommendation, flitcraft. I just ordered one for a trip starting next week. I'll post comments when I get back home.

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    @flitcraft, is this the oblong pillow you were referring to? Inflatable 3-Way Carry Cushion | Going In Style Travel Accessories I checked out the Embrace collar and am not sure I wouldn't go nuts with the collar since I'm not a big turtleneck fan. Rats! Somewhere out there is the perfect travel pillow, I'm sure of it . . .
    Indigo/Solar Western Flyer, Aubergine/Steel Tri Star, Nordic/Steel Aeronaut, Indigo/Solar Synapse, Cocoa/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Aubergine/Hemp/Steel Imago, Wasabi Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Small Shop Bags, Solar Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Large Shop Bags, Indigo, Wasabi Dyneema, and Plum 3D Organizer Cubes, Wasabi Dyneema Travel Tray, Wasabi Dyneema Large Yarn Stuff Sack, Small, Mini and Pen/Pencil Pouches, an assortment of key straps

  14. #29
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    Not the same pillow, @dwright17, the one I got is here: http://www.go-travelproducts.com/tra...lumbar-support

    It's padded to start with, but has less 'blow-up' room than the one you linked to.

    I also tried their blow-up footrest--as I really do need one, at 5 foot 1 with a gimpy ankle to boot. But I accidentally left it on the first flight I used it on, which was the short leg of a long haul flight. So, no review... :-(
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  15. #30
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    Thanks so much for the link, @flitcraft, and SO very sorry about the footrest! I just hate it when that happens!! I'm 5'0" also and am seriously thinking about investing in one.
    Indigo/Solar Western Flyer, Aubergine/Steel Tri Star, Nordic/Steel Aeronaut, Indigo/Solar Synapse, Cocoa/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Wasabi Small Cafe Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Aubergine/Hemp/Steel Imago, Wasabi Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Small Shop Bags, Solar Dyneema and Nordic Dyneema Large Shop Bags, Indigo, Wasabi Dyneema, and Plum 3D Organizer Cubes, Wasabi Dyneema Travel Tray, Wasabi Dyneema Large Yarn Stuff Sack, Small, Mini and Pen/Pencil Pouches, an assortment of key straps

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