A long distance flight involves traveling for a very long period of time, usually more than 12 hours. For most, the prospect of such a trip is exciting, although it also produces nerves and anxiety. Whether for vacation or business, throughout this journey the person must be located in the same place, in the same position and with the same clothes. Added to this is the challenge of having to rest, eat and relax in that state for hours.
“The first tip for sleeping in this environment is to lower your expectations a little. Humans are simply not designed to sleep in a near-upright position. Unless you are lucky enough to fly in a class where the seat can be placed horizontally, it is very unlikely that you will get off the plane having slept straight for eight hours,” said the professor. Leigh Signal professor and researcher of Fatigue Management and Sleep Health at the Massey University in New Zealand.
One point to keep in mind is that on daytime flights it is much more difficult to sleep on the plane, while on night flights it is easier to fall asleep. Another parameter, in addition to the travel schedule, is the consumption of alcohol and caffeine. These drinks have a direct impact on the passenger’s ability to sleep during the journey.
He alcohol consumption It usually interferes with people entering the REM phase, also known as “dream dream”, the moment you fall asleep. On the other hand the caffeine consumption It helps keep us alert, but it is still possible to sleep. By drinking coffee, sleep is likely to be much lighter.
The circadian system, known as “biological clock”, conditions people to sleep at night and be awake during the day. “Our alertness naturally decreases in the middle of the afternoon, making this a good time to try to sleep on a daytime flight. On a night flight, it will be easier to sleep after dinner is served. Otherwise, you will be fighting against noise, light and the movement of people around you,” Signal explained to The Conversation portal.
Refering to melatonin, the specialist explained: “It is important to remember that melatonin is a hormone that our brain uses to tell us that it is night. Melatonin can help you sleep, but depending on when and how much you take, it can change your circadian clock.”
Finally, all the accessories to achieve the dream are useful and must be taken into account. Light and noise disrupt sleep, so wearing an eye mask and earplugs or a noise-blocking headset is recommended. Also, you should add a small blanket and a neck pillow to the kit that will make a difference during the trip.