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Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
165 posts
23 reviews
Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

My family of three (two adults, one teen girl) will be taking an overnight British Airways flight to London this summer that departs a little before 9 p.m., and arrives at about 8 a.m. London time.

My husband can sleep ANYWHERE, and unfortunately, my daughter and I cannot. We would LOVE to sleep through most of this flight, so that we can spend our first day in London at least somewhat rested. We're flying coach or standard or whatever they call non-first class.

Does anyone else have this problem of not really being able to sleep if you're not actually in a bed? Have you found anything that helps? I'm open to suggestions...if anyone has found items that help them sleep - certain travel pillows, comfortable sleep masks, OTC sleep aids, whatever, please let me know!

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10,638 posts
97 reviews
1. Re: Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

Try doing a search. The search box is right above your post and you can pull up many previous threads with lots of suggestions. Here's one to get you started:


Level Contributor
3,561 posts
46 reviews
2. Re: Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

I never sleep on planes unless I take a very mild, short-acting sleeping pill - Triazolam or Sublinox.

Ear plugs, a neck pillow and eye mask help too and I take a pashmina rather than use the airline blanket.

Most of the time I just resign myself to a sleepless flight and make sure I have plenty to keep me occupied.

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
Level Contributor
39,469 posts
177 reviews
3. Re: Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

I can't sleep on flights and have just learnt to live with it. If I take something it leaves me drowsy so I just hope theres a good entertainment programme to keep me occupied but we're all different and I know that people here do take light sleeping tablets and are fine.

London, UK
Level Contributor
1,553 posts
154 reviews
4. Re: Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

I find the little blue sleep aid pills sold OTC in both Walgreens and the other big US drugstore chain (I forget its name) reasonably effective and they don't leave you with a hangover. In fact, I stock up on them whenever I visit the US as there's nothing similar on sale in the UK. They won't knock you out, but if you make a bit of an effort to help yourself get to sleep (earplugs, eye mask, a decent neck support pillow, a glass or two of wine with dinner) they generally ensure me a bit of sleep in a seat. Failing that, there's lots of in-flight entertainment available, even in economy.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
51,286 posts
15 reviews
5. Re: Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

Sleep on planes eludes me as well. After years of shift work and the need to sleep in the daytime, I've found that 50mg of dimenhydrinate (sold as Gravol in Canada and Dramamine in the States) does help somewhat.

It's an antihistamine, so the drowsiness is a side effect. I've not had any hangover effect after having taken it, but if you want to give it a go please try it at home before boarding the flight.

There are a few things you can do to help reset your circadian rhythms for the journey. After wheels up, set your watches to London time, and try to put thoughts of 'it's X o'clock at home' aside. On arrival in London, stick to your usual daily habits as much as possible.

That might be a bit tricky with an arrival at 0800 as you may wish to have a nap as soon as you reach your hotel, but make it a short one if you must. Get some fresh air and go for a walk, not only for the benefits of both but as a distractor.

Good luck!

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
51,924 posts
64 reviews
6. Re: Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

I take a dramamine I (the kind that makes you sleepy) .

It helps on over night flights so I get a little sleep.

Then I stay up walking around in the sunshine until an early dinner time and early to bed that first night.

Taking a nap doesn't get me into the local time zone so I never do that!!

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
1,745 posts
132 reviews
7. Re: Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

I , like lots of other people cannot sleep on a plane and I have resigned myself to that fact. I think the more you stress about trying to get to sleep, the more anxious you become and those zzzz's become even more elusive.

If you know you can't/won't sleep , just try to relax and get some rest.

White Beach...
Destination Expert
for Tasmania
Level Contributor
1,151 posts
79 reviews
8. Re: Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

Since the flight leaves at 9pm you may not be that tired when it leaves so try getting up really early for a few days before the flight and going t end early so that you are tired when you boars. From the timings, it's only 6 hours and will be about 3am ody time when you arrive so I think you will still feel tired when you arrive. I'm not suggesting you drink too much by personally I et what I'm given and drink what I'm offered, watch a movie and then sleep!

Level Contributor
1,494 posts
198 reviews
9. Re: Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

1) Bose QuietComfort 15's (noise cancellation headphones).

2) Some sort of neck pillow. Doesn't have to be a travel specific pillow. Balling up a shirt can work, too.

3) Tempurpedic-style eyeshades. tempurpedic.com/Travel/Tempur-Pedic-SleepMas…

4) IF you already are prescribed and/or are ok taking prescription pills: Xanax or Clonzapam.

5) If you want OTC: Benadryl or another sleep-inducing antihistamine

6) Drink plenty of fluids

7) Don't eat the meal they serve

8) Don't drink

9) MOST importantly. If you try and still can't fall asleep--don't get anxious, don't freak out, just ACCEPT it and make the most of your time. Realize that the worst that comes from it is you'll have a sleepy first day in London and a really good first nights sleep.

Lake Crystal...
Level Contributor
411 posts
25 reviews
10. Re: Help us sleep! Please, suggestions needed!

I agree with the notion posted above: Even if you don't sleep your body can get a great deal of rest if you don't stew about not sleeping. Anxiety drains more resources than sleeplessness.