web Musings of The Global Traveller

Friday, July 07, 2006

Red Eyes

This year I seem to have had a lot of overnight flights - already 34 nights spent mostly on the plane! As I prepare for yet another red eye flight I thought it may be helpful to readers to pass on my tips to endure the trip.

A red eye is a short overnight flight, leaving late evening and arriving early in the morning. Mostly they are eastbound. I'm sure there are definitions around but this will do for me.

With a flight time of only a few hours it can be difficult adjusting to the time change and sleep is guaranteed to be short (unless you are an insomniac anyways).

  • I try to eat well before the flight and resist the temptation to snack in the lounge or onboard.
  • I try to be in a darkened environment with no real exercise of body or mind in the couple of hours before heading to the airport. This way I am sleepy at the start of the flight.
  • I may have a drink or two at the lounge to induce sleep, avoiding coffee and coke.
  • I try to find somewhere quiet in the lounge or airport. Blaring tvs or announcements aren't good.
  • I'll select a window seat, or a middle aisle seat - so that I won't be disturbed by a seat mate getting up for the toilet or food and drink.
  • In the pre-departure ritual I'll ask the flight attendant to not wake me for a meal.
  • I'll find a comfy position in the seat and shut eyes straight after the safety announcements. Sometimes I'll bring some eye shades which I've found to work, or other times I won't bother - I don't find them comfortable so they don't always work for me.
  • Assuming I am still awake after take-off I'll shut the window shades so I won't get woken up by the dawn light.

Now off to follow my own advice - cheers.

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