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Thread: Looking for tips for sleeping on a plane

  1. #1
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    Looking for tips for sleeping on a plane

    A few months ago I took an overnight flight and it was brutal. Unfortunately, I have another one coming up in two weeks. Not that long, only 6 hours, but I need to arrive ready to go, as I have plane well into the evening on the first day. This will be a West Coast to East Coast trip, so a 3-hour time difference in our favor, at least. Does anyone have any tips for sleeping on the plane? What's your favorite travel pillow, eye mask, ear plugs, headphones, etc? Thanks!
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    I have done that flight many times. I like the Bucky eye mask that comes with ear plugs - the padded area below the eye blocks out a lot of light and feels comfortable to me. I listen to music and use the Bose QuietComfort 15 or current number - the around-ear fit is better (for me) than any on- or in-ear noise canceling headphones I tried. If you don't want music, you can still use the noise canceling feature, but I like to distract myself with the music. You would want some sort of neck pillow to keep your head stable since it isn't comfortable to lean to either side with the headphones, but I don't actually fall asleep - just kind of drift and relax.

  3. #3
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Like tCook said, eyemask and music (though I use the in-ear ones). I sleep better in window seats where I can lean and not worry about falling onto the person next to me. And Ambien, if your doctor will prescribe it for you. Just try it out a few times at home first so you know it doesn't make you do anything crazy, and take it early enough so that you're conscious at landing.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 07-15-2013 at 04:31 PM.

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    Dramamine -- the original formula. Sadly a non-negotiable requirement for me on any flight (motion sick) but the added benefit of knocking you out too.

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    I use EarPeace ear plugs when I travel. They work well when I don't want to feel the bulk of my headphones. In fact, I carry EarPeace plugs all the time now, because loud and/or high-pitched noises trigger my migraines. Restaurants, concerts and movies can be a problem for me.

    EarPeace plugs block noise, but allow me to have a conversation without shouting at the other person. I discovered them after my most recent international flight, but I wish I had had them then. They have been great for me on multiple domestic flights.

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    I use Shure SE215 noise-blocking earbuds. I sometimes use a white noise app, but I generally listen to music. I almost always wear a hoody on the plane. I just pull it over my head and pass out. Sometimes if I take a red-eye I pop a mini bottle or two of whiskey in my 311 bag to consume after we've reached cruising altitude. Those are always helpful.

  7. #7
    jea
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    I do a few things that work decently for me, although I still don't find it easy to sleep on planes. Something about the seats/noise/travel adrenaline/etc. combine with the fact that Im a light sleeper, and stop me from getting good quality rest. This is what has worked to date:

    -I wear a lightweight, cotton, black scarf on the plane, and will use this to block light when its time to sleep. I find this more comfortable than facemasks, which often feel too hot to me, as they use synthetic fabrics that dont breathe well.

    -I use normal foam earplugs for noise. (I would love to try noise-cancelling headphones, but haven't wanted to shell out the big bucks as of yet)

    -I bought a pair of really lightweight, black cotton warm up pants at H&M. Cost about $12 and roll up to/weigh almost nothing. On an overnight flight or transatlantic I'll have these in my Synapse and change into them prior to sleep.

    -Thick wool socks, so that I can slide off my shoes.

    -I have occasionally used sleeping pills, but have had mixed results--occasionally waking up feeling overly groggy or dehydrated

    -I recently bought an inflatable neck pillow, which when deflated is extremely thin and lightweight

    -If possible, do some exercise prior to going to the airport

    -Avoid heavy foods

  8. #8
    Registered User gochicken's Avatar
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    My favorite travel pillow is this: TravelRest

    It sets up quickly with a few breaths (easy for me even though I have trouble blowing up balloons) and is very adjustable for use with a child as well as an adult. It deflates easily, rolls up and secures with a snap......and it fits nicely into the front side pocket of a Co-Pilot! It can be used for air or car travel.

    We just tested it on our recent 5 hour flight to Toronto, and it worked so well it earned a spot on my "travel checklist".
    Satisfied owner of: Azalea Swift & LS, Blk/Plum Swift, Cork LS, Blk/UV LS, Synapse 19 & Co-Pilot, Steel/UV Pilot, Fst/Stl Tri-Star, Fst/Blk/UV SA, UV PCSB, Plum SE, FJN, & SCB, Aubergine WF, LS & Kit, Trvl Trays, Passport Pouches, and Shop Bags in all colors , Multiplying OPs

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    Registered User itsablur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gochicken View Post
    My favorite travel pillow is this: TravelRest
    How does that prevent itself from falling? I assume it doesn't inflate and wrap around behind you (that would be uncomfortable!) like those inflatable neck pillows do.
    Own: Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Iberian), Aeronaut 30 (Steel/Ultraviolet), Night Flight (Coyote/Steel), Guide's Pack (Steel), Synapse 19 (Olive/Steel), Daylight (Navy), Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack (Wasabi), Founder's Briefcase (Black), Pilot (Steel 400d/Steel), Co-Pilot (Black/Iberian), Side Effect (Black/Ultraviolet), Travel Tray (Iberian), various cubes, pouches, sacks, and straps

    Want: EVERYTHING.

  10. #10
    Registered User RhoFro's Avatar
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    I bought one of these for a trip to Europe this spring and didn't use it so if anyone wants it, private message me. I think it also wraps around your luggage handle for portability.


    Quote Originally Posted by gochicken View Post
    My favorite travel pillow is this: TravelRest

    It sets up quickly with a few breaths (easy for me even though I have trouble blowing up balloons) and is very adjustable for use with a child as well as an adult. It deflates easily, rolls up and secures with a snap......and it fits nicely into the front side pocket of a Co-Pilot! It can be used for air or car travel.

    We just tested it on our recent 5 hour flight to Toronto, and it worked so well it earned a spot on my "travel checklist".
    ~ one of virtually everything ~ Happy victim of Tom Bihn mind control

  11. #11
    Registered User gochicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsablur View Post
    How does that prevent itself from falling? I assume it doesn't inflate and wrap around behind you (that would be uncomfortable!) like those inflatable neck pillows do.
    It has an adjustable cord that you can attach to your seat, but also sling around yourself (like wearing a cross body bag). I liked that way better. So when you are sitting on the plane, the cord is behind you and your body up against the seat keeps the pillow in place.

    Here's a video I found on YouTube that gives you an idea. The valve on mine was different, but just as easy to use.
    Last edited by gochicken; 07-17-2013 at 08:02 AM. Reason: added video link
    SusanM likes this.
    Satisfied owner of: Azalea Swift & LS, Blk/Plum Swift, Cork LS, Blk/UV LS, Synapse 19 & Co-Pilot, Steel/UV Pilot, Fst/Stl Tri-Star, Fst/Blk/UV SA, UV PCSB, Plum SE, FJN, & SCB, Aubergine WF, LS & Kit, Trvl Trays, Passport Pouches, and Shop Bags in all colors , Multiplying OPs

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    Thanks for the ideas, everyone. @gochicken, I have read rave reviews about the Travelrest pillow and definitely think I'll go with that one. @bchaplin, you confirmed the Bucky 40 Winks sleep mask that I was considering. Now I need to check out those Earpeace earplugs, @GriffCouch! I use Hearos, but will check those out also.

    I have some Shure in-ear buds that are absolutely fantastic for sound; I just am not a fan of wearing them for a long time. I've looked at the Bose QC's so many times, but can't seem to justify the expense for the one or two long distance flights I do a year! Each year, though, I continue to look at them. But I'm sure you would all agree, when choosing between a new TB bag and a set of Bose, the bag wins. But then again, I'm a bag lady, and I already have a pair of super earbuds!

    Thanks again for all your comments; I really appreciate your help!
    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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    Oooooh, tcook! You use the Bucky also! I immediately started getting dreamy when you mentioned the Bose headphones, lol!
    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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    Thanks for this great list of things to bring. I've tried a sleeping pill on an overnight flight before as well, and it was terrible. I still couldn't sleep, and the added grogginess made me feel twice as bad! Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten that experience until reading your post. Yes, yoga pants and some Smartwool socks sound very cozy!


    Quote Originally Posted by jea View Post
    I do a few things that work decently for me, although I still don't find it easy to sleep on planes. Something about the seats/noise/travel adrenaline/etc. combine with the fact that Im a light sleeper, and stop me from getting good quality rest. This is what has worked to date:

    -I wear a lightweight, cotton, black scarf on the plane, and will use this to block light when its time to sleep. I find this more comfortable than facemasks, which often feel too hot to me, as they use synthetic fabrics that dont breathe well.

    -I use normal foam earplugs for noise. (I would love to try noise-cancelling headphones, but haven't wanted to shell out the big bucks as of yet)

    -I bought a pair of really lightweight, black cotton warm up pants at H&M. Cost about $12 and roll up to/weigh almost nothing. On an overnight flight or transatlantic I'll have these in my Synapse and change into them prior to sleep.

    -Thick wool socks, so that I can slide off my shoes.

    -I have occasionally used sleeping pills, but have had mixed results--occasionally waking up feeling overly groggy or dehydrated

    -I recently bought an inflatable neck pillow, which when deflated is extremely thin and lightweight

    -If possible, do some exercise prior to going to the airport

    -Avoid heavy foods
    jea likes this.
    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

  15. #15
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    I finally splurged on The Headphones when I thought I was taking a 36-hour Amtrak trip riding in coach. Turned out the trip got canceled, but I've never regretted the headphones for a second - I'm not a great flyer, so it was easy to justify! (Plus, I *might* have several bags already ... don't even have my eye on one right now!)

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