How to get beauty sleep while travelling by air
Experts have provided a five step guide to helping business travellers get some decent sleep while flying amidst all the clutter of murmuring passengers, crying children and noisy engines.
It starts by taking control - passengers are powerless when it comes to controlling the noise and temperature of a plane but there are a few ways of creating a more comfortable environment that could enable a better sleeping standard.
"Wear suitable clothes. Too many people dress inappropriately for a flight," CNN quoted Sammy Margo, sleep expert at the Physiotherapy and Pilates Practice in London, as saying.
"If you're too warm and you can't get cool, you're not going to be able to get any rest," Margo said.
Even tough it is tempting to drown out the noise of a screaming child or snoring neighbour by watching a film or television program, it is not a good idea.
"Audio is a million times better than video. The blue lights of a TV can affect the quality of sleep and are really unhelpful," Margo said.
"It's best to listen to an audio book or a radio program. It keeps your mind off things and will help you to relax," Margo said.
Secondly, lean forwards not back - sleeping while sitting upright is a difficult task, and the taller you are the more difficult it can be to stretch out and find the ideal position. It's therefore important to make the most of the space around you.
Most passengers think the best way of doing this is to recline their seat and lie back. But Bobby Laurie, a flight attendant with a major US carrier, has another suggestion.
"If for unforeseen circumstances you end up in the middle seat, it makes getting comfortable really difficult with your arms in an awkward position," Laurie said.
"I've seen more and more people sleeping on the tray table. It keeps you in your own space and allows you to spread your arms out," Laurie said.
Thirdly, pack your creature comforts - not every airline provides the blankets and pillows passengers require to trick their bodies into believing its bedtime. Laurie suggests passengers bring their own.
"Even if they are provided, you often don't know where they've been previously. Blankets can end up on the floor, and flight attendants can just pick them up and make them look nice again," Laurie said.
According to Margo, earplugs, eye masks and neck supports are also helpful tools.
"Find a pillow that suits you. Just because it's expensive doesn't mean it will work for you," Margo said.
"You might nod off with your head crooked in one direction or the other and wake up with a sore neck, which isn't good if you have an important business meeting later," Margo said.
Fourthly, avoid the minibar - certain food and drinks can make nodding off even more difficult than normal. Keeping your body hydrated at all times during the flight will make it easier to sleep.
"Plenty of fluid is often a great remedy," Margo.
"Avoid the temptations of the mini-bar. There's no harm in one glass of wine as it could actually relax you. But don't go too crazy. You'll end up dehydrated and that prevents you from getting into the deeper realms of sleep," Margo said.
Choosing the right foods and when to eat them is important too. If possible time your meals around your normal sleep pattern. Avoid sugary foods as they are a stimulant.
Lastly, if all else fails try a sleeping aid.
"Sleeping tablets for some people can be helpful" Margo said.
However, natural remedies like magnesium are also good.
"Some business travellers have it down to a fine art with their own regime. If you're not a habitual user then you're going to be more sensitive, so be careful," Margo said.
Laurie also warns of the dangers surrounding dosage.
"Sleeping tablets are the easiest way to ensure a good rest. But be mindful of how long the flight is," Laurie said.
"Plenty of times I've had people passed out at the table, trying to wake them out because we've landed an hour early.
"If you have a shorter flight then be sure to half the dosage," Laurie added.