7 Red-Eye Flight Tips You Should Know Before Travelling

Dec 20, 2019

Nowadays with so many people having to constantly travel to various countries for work, getting enough sleep on a flight is becoming a luxury. While many who travel for work opt to catch a red-eye flight to avoid unnecessary delays, being able to shut your eye on these flights are sometimes a distant hope.

Those of you who aren’t regular flyers are probably wondering ‘what is a red-eye flight?’ Well, to put it simply, these flights leave late at night and arrive early morning. The flights that depart after 10 p.m. and arrive between 5 or 7 a.m.

The term ‘red eye’ is derived from the color changes to the eyes when one doesn’t get sleep. Seeing that these flights happen during your precious sleep hours, you may just end up with red eyes if you don’t sleep well.

There are numerous advantages to taking these late night flights. For one, many of them are much cheaper than regular flights.

Added to this, one doesn’t have to fret about missing a flight due to peak hour traffic. For business travelers, it’s time-saving and cost-effective as they have the advantage of getting the full day at either city and don’t have to spend on a hotel stay.

On your next red-eye flight, follow these tips to sleep easily.

1. Book a flight closer to your bedtime

Look for a flight that coincides with the time that you usually go to sleep. Booking a flight that is slightly past your bedtime will probably be great for grabbing some sleep.

Chances are you’ll fall asleep as soon as your flight takes off. On the other hand, if you book a flight that is earlier than your bedtime routine you may get so engaged in doing something else on the flight that sleep is the last thing on your mind.

2. Don’t book a flight with a stopover

When booking your flight try to book a direct flight with no stopovers or connections. It’s difficult enough trying to sleep on an overnight flight, but having to change flights can be quite a nightmare.

Even flights that have a stopover and don’t require you to change can be quite disturbing as new passengers get on. There’s always that one passenger who mistakes your seat for theirs and won’t hesitate to wake you to switch.

3. Choose your seats carefully

Everyone knows that there’s no better seat than the window seat if you want to catch some sleep on a flight. Being away from the aisle will ensure you don’t get disturbed by fellow travelers.

You can also curl up to the side by using a bunched-up jacket to rest on. Another good idea is to check out the seat map of the plane when selecting your seat online. If a seat is vacant in rows that have an open middle seat, book that.

You’ll be able to stretch your legs more comfortably in these seats and enjoy a night of better sleep. Avoid booking seats in the front or last row as you could get disturbed from laughter and chatter coming from the galley where the flight attendants are.

Find a seat as far away from the lavatory as possible as there is every chance that you’re going to be disturbed by the slamming of the door. One more thing to keep in mind with seats is that those in front of the exit row don’t recline.

4. Dress comfortably

Trying to get some sleep in a suit or your best outfit can be quite a task as you’ll most likely be semi-conscious of crumbling or ruining what you wear. Also, sleeping in tight clothing can be a tad uncomfortable.

So those tight jeans that look amazing should be swapped for something more comfortable. For a red-eye flight, wear clothing that is made from breathable fabrics and is loose-fitting.

Wear shoes that you can slip off easily to maximize your comfort and don’t forget to carry a pair of warm socks to keep your feet from freezing on the flight.

5. Take along some essentials

When packing your handbag don’t forget to stock it with a few essentials to give you a better chance at falling asleep. If you are someone who is accustomed to a darkened bedroom make sure to have an eye mask with you to block out any extra light.

Your co-passenger maybe someone who stays up reading all night so be prepared. Earplugs will also add to the comfort level as they’ll muffle any extra sounds. If you travel frequently then investing in noise-canceling headphones will definitely be worth it.

Pack a scarf or a thick shawl for extra protection from the cold on the flight. You don’t want to wake up shivering because you came unprepared.

6. Use a neck pillow

It’s a great idea to invest in a neck pillow for overnight travel. Trying to prevent your head from bobbing when you’re in deep sleep is sometimes next to impossible. Also, the weird angle in which you sleep on the flight could cause a stiff neck when you wake up.

Imagine sitting through an important business meeting, unable to turn your neck! These days you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a travel pillow as there are pillows to suit different sleeping styles.

7. Create the right scenario

This may sound a little strange but before you get on the flight, try to recreate some of your bedtime routine like brushing your teeth and washing your face. These routine actions can trigger sleep as they are a part of the muscle memory that your body is accustomed to.

Avoid alcohol or caffeine even if you are in the habit of having these at night. It’s best to avoid any kind of intoxicant on a late-night flight because it may cause you to fall asleep but will probably make you miserable when you have to wake early in the morning.

After having used our red-eye flight tips you’ll probably have a good sleep but it’s also important to wake up right. Remember you have the whole day ahead of you so it’s important to treat your body right.

Since you probably cut back on your water intake the night before, make sure to hydrate yourself properly in the morning. Have a good breakfast at an appropriate time at your destination’s time zone and try and don’t cram in too many things to do when you land.

If your flight delays for more than 3 hours, or was cancelled, you may be eligible for compensation up to €600 based on EU 261 rule.

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