Flights for many plane passengers are a chance to catch up on sleep ahead of a holiday. But with so many noises and distractions going on in the cabin, slumber can often be hard to come by. However, by packing one simple thing in your hand luggage you might be able to fall asleep more easily. Staying warm helps people go to sleep – but this is often hard to achieve in an aircraft.
Consequently, it can be a good idea to pack a pair of extra cosy socks to help keep you warm.
“With the harsh air-conditioning on planes, it can sometimes be difficult to stay warm during your flight, so it’s important to pack some comfy and thick socks in your hand-luggage,” said sleep expert Neil Robinson from bed brand Sealy UK.
“Having warm feet helps you to drift off faster, as well as have a less restless sleep,” he added.
For the full, high-quality sleep experience, it’s worth packing two other items in your hand luggage, too.
Firstly, Neil recommends bringing an eye mask. It may not be the most sociable move if travelling with others but it will help block out unnecessary light.
“Planes are full of bright lights – from the overhead reading lights to the blue light emitted by the TV screens – which can have a negative impact on our slumber,” explained Neil.
“When we witness a light form, it stimulates a nerve pathway from the eye to the brain this stops us from feeling tired, making it harder to drift off.
“Wearing an eye mask will help to block out these lights and help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.”
Secondly, passengers are advised to pack ear plugs to fully switch off from the plane’s distractions.
“With everything from screaming children, pilot announcements and coughing passengers, there are lots of noises that can keep you from getting that all-important shut-eye,” said Neil.
“Ear plugs can help to muffle this and turn it into soothing ‘white noise.'”
Neil also recommends steering clear of any technology before you try and get some sleep.
He explained: “While it may be tempting to watch a film or read on your tablet during the flight, the blue light emitted from the screens impacts our levels of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.
“By avoiding technology for a minimum of 30 minutes before you’re planning to get some kip, you can help ensure a better quality sleep.”
A flight attendant has also recommended bringing a pen or pencil in your hand luggage for a flight.
She told Readers Digest: “If you’re travelling overseas, do yourself a favour and bring a pen. You would not believe how many people travel without one, and you need one to fill out the immigration forms. I carry some, but I can’t carry 200.”
People who forget to pack one could find themselves frantically asking other passengers or delayed at the airport when they haven’t filled in their form.