Sleeping On The Trip Over.....

Sep 24th, 2009, 06:15 PM
Original Poster
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Sleeping On The Trip Over.....

Just wondering what ya'll do to try and make sure you get at least a few hours of shut eye on the plane when traveling to Europe. When I last went (a long time ago) I always took Tylenol PM and drank a glass or 2 of wine on the plane. Any other suggestions?
Sooosally is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 06:20 PM
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No suggestions. I can not sleep. I usually go to bed at midnight at home and by that time we are almost to Europe.

Some take Benedryl. But some one has to stay awake to help the pilot fly the plane.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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Well, I took half an Ambien one time between Chicago and London, and my friend had to grab my OJ glass out of my hand as I fell totally asleep! Woke up as breakfast coffee was being served and felt fine. I had 'practiced' with an Ambien at home beforehand, and realized that it has a strong effect on me (thus the half-pill only), but it hit me so hard on the plane that I decided to only take one when I am traveling with someone else, to save me from falling asleep snuggled next to a stranger...

A book, headphones, and eyeshades help in lieu of a pill. Oh -yes, a glass of wine or something a wee bit stronger helps, too.
annabelle2 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 06:29 PM
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Earplugs, eye mask, inflatable neck pillow, 2 benadryl and a tranquilizer--and I still don't sleep much.
Pegontheroad is online now  
Sep 24th, 2009, 06:30 PM
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here's what I do.

- take an after dinner flight if possible
- eat dinner before I get on the plane, regardless of when the flight is. dinner service won't be done until 2+ hrs after takeoff, so that's 2hrs more I can use to get some shut eye.
- change into pjs as soon as I board.
- put on my noise cancelling headphones & ipod (need to turn them off for takeoff)
- cover my eyes and start to doze off
- immediately after takeoff recline my seat, zone out and get in sleep mode. I don't read, watch a movie, listen to the couple behind me talk endlessly about nonsense, etc.
J62 is online now  
Sep 24th, 2009, 06:40 PM
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I have never been able to fall asleep so just resign myself to being the only one in the cabin with my light on and read a book. I think I'd have a better chance of sleeping if the plane left at the time I usually go to sleep.
grandmere is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 06:44 PM
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J62 - seriously, you wear pajamas?
Sally30 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 06:53 PM
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I have slept on a plane perhaps 5 times in my life, and I fly a lot. The only time I can do it is if I have at least 2, preferably 3, seats to myself, and at least 2, preferably 3, of those little bottles of wine. Even then, I'm lucky to get 2 hours of sleep. The vast majority of time I get absolutely none, even if I cuddle up with a blanket and don't move.

The one time I tried a Tylenol PM I felt like doing aerobics all the way to Europe. Won't go there again.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 24th, 2009, 07:17 PM
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I usually doze instead of really sleeping, even though I will take 1 Benadryl right before boarding the plane. I don't like eye masks, but I do listen to my ipod.

Since I don't really sleep on the plane, I really need a 2-hour nap that first afternoon.
Samsaf is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 07:42 PM
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we eat light things before the flight, but alchol at all before or during the flight....preferably only water...we might pick lightly at the meal served...

we take halcion (prescription for our PCP) as soon as meal service is finished for europe flights or later for over the pacific assures at least a 4-6 hour nap....
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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Wow I have the same question as wear PJS?
Footed kind or silky lacey?
amsdon is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 08:02 PM
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The Pj thing threw me too!

I do watch a movie, eat the fabulous dinner, drink a glass of wine to relax ( yes, i know i should not)and drink lots of water.
I slip my shoes off and have a pashmina to keep warm and snuggly and a neck roll filled with buckwheat.
You almost need to psyche yourself into sleep! I manage about 1-4 hours on most transatlantic flights.

I would stay away from sleeping aids - I have seen grown men fall in a groggy slump and hurt the others around them - no joke!
annesherrod is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 08:25 PM
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I just give in to the fact that I can't ever sleep and settle in to enjoy channel-surfing, reading and sitting quietly with my eyes closed at times. Really, it isn't that long a flight from the east coast--6-7.5 hours usually. Since landing is between 1 and 3 a.m. EST (your "mental" time), it seems reasonable to me that I wouldn't sleep.

The next day I power through, sleep well that night and wake up the next day with little to no jet lag.
MelJ is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 08:25 PM
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I can never sleep either. Last time I had a flat-bed in business class and still couldn't sleep. In some ways it was worse- I couldn't stop fiddling with all the buttons all night, thinking I should be able to get myself more comfortable.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 09:17 PM
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annabelle - Was that Ambien or Ambien CR? You aren't supposed to cut the CR in half as it has a time release coating.
The regular Ambien comes in 5 or 10mg and only lasts four hours.
kybourbon is online now  
Sep 24th, 2009, 11:43 PM
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I can't sleep and I'm flying from Seattle (about 9.5 hours to most European hub cities). I alternatively watch a movie or two, read the New York Times and most of one book, usually a detective story. Arriving around noon, give or take an hour or two, I find my hotel, get settled, go out gritting my teeth a bit, wander about, try to last until about a 7 pm local time dinner, return to the hotel and hold out till about 9 pm and then to bed. I get a full (or a bit more) night's sleep and feel rested and ready to go pretty much at a normal 8-9 am get-up time the next day. It's worked well for me.
mohun is offline  
Sep 25th, 2009, 04:22 AM
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PJ's - definitely, yes. Maybe it's part of the mindset that "I'm on the plane for sleep", not entertainment, dinner, chit-chat, or anything else.

I've found that the silky pj's cause me to slide out of the seat, so those are a no-go.

Footies get all twisted so those are out. Hate it when that happens.

Lacy? Well I'm not a lacy kind of guy, so no.

I change into a pair of light loose fitting cotton PJ pants with loose elastic waistband, and a soft long-sleeve shirt.

I try to stay away from the prints & go dark solids, but have been known to wear my cartoon character pants once or twice.

No buttons, no zippers, no belts, no stuff in the pockets, etc. Also keeps my travel clothes fresh for arrival.
J62 is online now  
Sep 25th, 2009, 04:49 AM
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Okay so there is no new wunder sleep advise since my last trip. I used to wear some kind of sweats on the plane and a loose fitting top. I can sleep some on a plane normally. Even on a 2 or 3 hour flight I usually catch a cat nap. I always get a window seat so that I have something to lean up against. On prior European trips I've normally been able to sleep for a couple of hours at least. Then I will myself through the day I get there and go to bed 8PM. Wake up the next day fresh as a daisy and ready to go!! I know people who take naps when they get there but I think that would kill me.

So, this brings up another question. On international flights, do they still have those little pillows. On domestic flights they are very hard to come by any more. Should I plan to take something with me?
Sooosally is offline  
Sep 25th, 2009, 04:52 AM
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Ambien - regular, not CR, is the only thing that has helped my husband to sleep on a plane and it has been a lifesaver! Even with Business Class seats, wine, OTC meds, getting up early, taking late flights, etc. he could never get any real sleep and it made him feel sick for the next 48 hours. Got the Rx for Ambien from his doctor, tried it out at home first to see how he did, now we'd never travel without it. He still does a lot of other things, like getting up very early for a few days before the flight, not bothering with the "dinner" on the plane, no caffeine - but takes the Ambien shortly after takeoff and gets a decent 4 hours, sometimes more. Since we are on the east coast our Europe flights are fairly short anyway so he is awake in time for breakfast and feels pretty good. I've also insisted the past few trips that he continue to take the Ambien at night for the next 2 nights. This also helps him to deal better with the time change.

I'm the fearful flyer who can sleep no problem with my Xanax, and my daughter uses OTC dramamine.
AtlTravelr is offline  
Sep 25th, 2009, 05:00 AM
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You didn't ask about what to do upon arrival to acclimate, but for me that's as important as getting a few winks on the flight.

I do whatever I can to stay up until a reasonable bed time on the 1st day. For me anything more than a 30min power nap during the day will keep awake too late and force the jetlag into day 2, 3...

I've also found that 30-45min vigorous exercise the 1st day helps to excise jetlag. Run, walk, swim, spin, etc.
J62 is online now  

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