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To sleep or not to sleep?

New Jersey
posts: 256
reviews: 25
To sleep or not to sleep?

I Have gone over the threads and not sure whether to sleep on an eight hour flight? I'm so concerned about the whole dvt issue? Common sense tells me that if I can get 4-5 hrs of sleep I should but That would require not getting up. What's the verdict? Also would you take n aspirin as a precaution for anyone? Can't hurt? Btw, I'm not at hi risk, in my 40s and in good health . Obviously just not a great flyer.

Milford, Ohio
posts: 1,520
reviews: 98
1. Re: To sleep or not to sleep?

Where are you going? Europe? I've taken Ambien and Tylenol PM (not at the same time) and slept the entire way - no issues. I take it when the plan is taxing and wake up when they are serving breakfast. I'm ready to go when the plan lands at my destination. I'd stop worrying about DVT unless you have pre-existing conditions. I've flown over seas to Europe/India 25+ times and never had an issue - also in my 40's.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines
posts: 16,820
reviews: 859
2. Re: To sleep or not to sleep?

Personally I find it very difficult to sleep on flights.

Generally I nod off here and there. Thought about sleeping tablets but didnt want to wake up drowsy. Alcohol...mmmm would keep me awake going to the loo.

No real solution unless you are one of those people you can sleep anywhere.


Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 13,197
reviews: 216
3. Re: To sleep or not to sleep?

Until I became a high risk candidate for DVT I used to sleep for at least six hours on an international flight. That is about as long as one can sleep between meals/snacks etc. Now that I am at risk for DVT I walk 15 minutes out of every hour making sleeping a bit more difficult.

I would not worry about DVT unless you are already at risk. Take an aspirin and wear some compression stockings if you are really concerned, then get some sleep. Developing a DVT is really a very small risk.

Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 28,070
reviews: 20
4. Re: To sleep or not to sleep?

If you are flying East, into night time where the clock is ahead of the time here in the EST then try to sleep. If you are flying West, sleeping will only mess up your body clock more!

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,415
reviews: 159
5. Re: To sleep or not to sleep?

If you can sleep on flights then by all means sleep as you will be more refreshed when you arrive, I personally find it impossible to sleep.

New Jersey
posts: 256
reviews: 25
6. Re: To sleep or not to sleep?

Thanks for all the replies, I am going NYC-AMsterdam about 8 hrs and will take an aspirin and look into the compression socks. It will make me feel better and can't hurt. I will try to sleep! Seems as if I can get at least 3/4 hrs it should be a big help.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 8,387
reviews: 51
7. Re: To sleep or not to sleep?

There are flights of around 18hrs or so and not everyone walks off at the end with a complimentary dose of DVT. In the scheme of things an 8hr flight isn't very long.

You can do small things to help your routine and adjust your body clock but in the end it's all down to you. The day before your flight go to bed late and wake up very early, only have about 3-4hrs sleep then keep yourself busy during the day. When you board your flight you should be ready to sleep even if it's quite early in the evening.

Leyland, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
posts: 24,501
reviews: 44
8. Re: To sleep or not to sleep?

Taking just one aspirin will do nothing to help at all, and the latest research says that aspirin does not seem to be very effective at preventing clots in veins. If you are going to wear compression socks, make sure you are measured properly for them and they are the right compression. Badly fitting ones can do more harm than good, and some reports say are of little use unless you are in the moderate/high risk category.

Keeping hydrated with water, and exercise, even if it's only moving your feet and ankles around will be of as much benefit. Do not take anything that makes you drowsy, and causes even more lack of mobility.

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 1,036
reviews: 22
9. Re: To sleep or not to sleep?

Also do little exercises in your seat, flexing your feet up and down and doing ankle rotations. I am genetically predisposed to blood clots so I do these exercises, walk around and take asprin (per my doctor) but I am unable to wear the compression stockings so have to be really careful.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 49,497
reviews: 15
10. Re: To sleep or not to sleep?

Aspirin works in a different part of the clotting cascade from other (prescription) anticoagulants, and as such a one off dose or short term course of aspirin will be of little benefit. Mobility is more important.

Hydration will be of more benefit to your overall well being if you 're wondering about how to mitigate jet lag. Drink plenty of water and / or juice as crew offer it and you'll increase mobility by going to and from the washroom; you should feel better overall having done so as well.

Edited: 3:27 pm, June 21, 2013