With warmer temps heating up travel plans for spring break, it’s time to think about where you’re going, and more importantly, how much sleep you’ll get along the way. When it comes to sleeping on airplanes, a lot can disturb your aerial slumber. Service carts, turbulence, not enough leg room…the list goes on. If you’re a traveler who has difficulty sleeping on planes, you’re not alone. Luckily, we’ve compiled the best shut-eye tips to help you sleep soundly from take-off to touch down.
Claim the best seat in the house.
Whether you’re on a short flight from New York to Boston or a long-haul flight from LA to Sydney, your seat choice impacts your sky-high Z’s. To make the most of your flight, choose a window seat. Not only will you be undisturbed by fellow passengers, you’ll also be able to comfortably lean your pillow against the window. Relax, recline and rest up!
As Jon Snow said in last season’s Game of Thrones, “winter is coming.” And now, mid-January, it’s here. To escape freezing temperatures and chilling wind gusts, we created a few helpful suggestions on how to stay warm.
Hint: they all include your bed!
Simone Giertz describes herself as a professional maker and robotics enthusiast. She also acknowledges a special expertise in crummy robots. Her latest project is the stuff nightmares are made of. It’s a mechanized alarm clock that uses a fake arm to smack the sleeper awake.
The Wake-Up Machine is a DIY wall-mounted robot that you position above your head. When the alarm goes off, a rubber arm whips around, slapping you until you get up and get out of the way.
Giertz posted a video on November 11 that follows along with the build process. There’s enough information there to get you started on making a robo-alarm of your very own if you already have some maker tendencies.
Small changes to your habits and lifestyle can have a big effect on sleep.
You might have heard some women talk about their biological clocks in regards to fertility; all living creatures have another type of internal clock, called the circadian rhythm. It refers to the 24-hour cycle of activity and sleep affected by the change from light to dark. A part of the brain called the hypothalamus manages the circadian rhythm, or pattern, by processing information (like when your eyes detect light) and creating sleep patterns. This sleep-wake cycle gives you the cue to go to sleep.
If you have trouble with sleep and insomnia, slightly adjusting your routine and habits may help.
Sleep is food for the brain. During sleep, important body functions and brain activity occur. Skipping sleep can be harmful — even deadly, particularly if you are behind the wheel. You can look bad, you may feel moody, and you perform poorly. Sleepiness can make it hard to get along with your family and friends and hurt your scores on school exams, on the court or on the field. Remember: A brain that is hungry for sleep will get it, even when you don’t expect it. For example, drowsiness and falling asleep at the wheel cause more than 100,000 car crashes every year. When you do not get enough sleep, you are more likely to have an accident, injury and/or illness.
Setting the Stage for Healthier Sleep
The field of sleep science is still looking into the cause and effect relationship between oversleeping and health, but some habits and steps that promote better quality sleep and a healthy sleep duration are known.
While a small percentage of people naturally sleep longer, for many long sleepers (especially whose sleep needs have changed), there are certain conditions, behaviors and environmental factors that can increase sleep need or affect sleep quality (making you feel less rested on a normal amount).
To get an idea of how to avoid oversleeping and get healthier Zzz’s, we reached out a few sleep experts for their words of wisdom. Here’s what they had to say: