How to Sleep on a Plane Part 2: After

Thursday, 15 January 2015

We're back from our trip after a lovely 3 weeks away. Refreshed and rebooted, ready to pack and move house in a couple of weekend's time. I'm lurching between excitement and terror at the moment!

Lots of people have been asking me how I got on with the two night flights we took this year. I wrote about my difficulty in sleeping on planes and the paraphernalia steps I was going to take to try and get some shuteye this time round here.

So this is how it went:

Flight from London
I managed to sleep on and off for about 6 of the 11 hours, which is a good result to be honest. It was the kind of sleep that you drift in and out of, but it was better than nothing. I was told that I was 'a different person this time' when we arrived, so that speaks for itself I think!!

Flight to London
This was the real success ~ 5 hours of proper sleep out of the 10 hour flight. YES! I felt at least refreshed on landing and slept well at home that night. I think it was aided by two additional factors:
1. I was super relaxed after the break
2. Because we were travelling on my birthday they gave us a huge glass of Bailey's after the meal!

Let me quickly review the sleep aids I used:

Neck Pillow
This worked pretty well, and as advertised, it's great if you turn it round the other way to stop your head from dropping forward. I also made use of it on a longish car drive we did down to the south of Colombia. It folds up ok & fitted nicely into my hand luggage bag.

Eye Mask
Another good buy. It blacks everything out completely and allows your eyes to move around as you sleep, so you're less likely to wake up. I had a bit of an issue with the straps rubbing against the top of my ears and the nose section sometimes felt a bit awkward, but overall, worth it.

Ear Plugs
These were the real winner. They took a little fiddling to get into place, but were brilliant at blocking out the sound and so comfortable. Rather than pushing them into the ear canal, you mould them to plug up the entire outer ear well. This makes them super comfortable and they don't fall out. I realised that blocking out all noise, even the 'quiet' hum of the plane, is key for me. It helped my body and mind to retreat into their own little world and, with nothing at all to focus on, fall asleep. I reused the same plug, split in half on both flights so in terms of value for money, these are great & a box should last you years.

Herbal Sleeping Tablets

I've had mixed experience with these, before, during and after flying. I think they do help your body to relax a little more, encouraging sleep if you are tired. But for jet lag they've not been so helpful unfortunately. At the moment it may be because I have a million things buzzing round my head related to our upcoming house move, but a couple of nights ago I was wide awake at 2am and these tablets couldn't cut the mustard I'm afraid.

Overall I'm pleased with how I managed the experience this time round. I may have to try the Bailey's method again of course, just as a confirmation!

If you travelled over the holidays, do you have any tips to add?

Find out where I bought my sleep aids here.

How to Sleep on a Plane Part 1: Before



  1. All great tips, Claire! I'll remember them if I do a long journey in the future.

    1. Get the ear plugs if nothing else Sandra, they're amazing!


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