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The Secret to a Good Flight’s Sleep

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
The Secret to a Good Flight’s SleepLike1

In Partnership with 

Virgin Atlantic and The Sleep Council reveal the secret to a good flight’s sleep! 

Virgin Atlantic has partnered with experts at The Sleep Council to combine airline industry tips and professional advice to help customers get some shut eye at 38,000ft.

Most travellers struggle to get forty winks whilst flying – meaning they can miss out on precious hours of their holiday due to jet lag. Virgin Atlantic has launched three tailored guides for the Upper, Premium Economy and Economy cabin giving helpful information from preparation the day before, tips onboard and what to do once you’ve landed to switch to holiday mode.

Top tips include:

  • Time for take off

A top tip from Virgin Atlantic cabin crew is to set your watch to your destination time so you can start eating at those meal times.

 

  • You are what you eat

It’s best to avoid carb heavy food when you want to get to sleep. Instead try something lighter and snack on energy giving foods such as bananas, nuts and wholemeal grains.

 

  • Old habits sleep hard

The Sleep Council suggests sticking as much as possible to your normal evening routine. From washing your face, removing any make up and giving your teeth a good brush, all these activities help to trigger your brain to get into sleep mode.

 

  • Get some Headspace

Virgin Atlantic have partnered with the mindfulness gurus at Headspace to provide tailored meditations for sleeping in each cabin. Customers can plug in and be guided through a meditation which is tailored to the seat type they’re in.

If customers are travelling in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin, they can also indulge in the brand new de Mamiel relaxation treatment available at London Heathrow, London Gatwick and New York JFK spas at the Clubhouse. This tailor made treatment has been developed by de Mamiel founder Annee de Mamiel to combine aromatherapy oils, meditation and touch. Customers can enjoy a 15 or 30 minute treatment before boarding their flight, ready to drift off into a slumber.

Soothing Scents and Moisturise

Lavender is a scent that is well known for its calming and sleep-inducing properties. Upper Class travellers receive a lavender pillow spray in their amenity kits. Spritz the scent onto your pillow or your PJs to provide a calming atmosphere.

Did You Know?

As a general guide the body takes roughly one day, for each time zone travelled, to adjust to a new cycle of day and night. So, you can probably travel through three hours without the need for specific counteractive measures (most of us can cope with going to sleep three hours later or earlier than normal once in a while) but more than that might need a bit of help. We also find it easier to adjust to travelling west than east as it lengthens rather than shortens our day.

While a few people seem able to catch some zzzs on
a flight, most of us struggle. This, ultimately, leads to exhaustion, irritability and several nights trying to catch up – the last thing you want to do either on your holiday or when you return home.

Top tips include:

 

Set the time

At the start of your flight, set your watch to the local time at your destination. Note what times you’ll be eating and eat according to the time of your destination.

Be comfortable

If you’re aiming to sleep, travel in non-restrictive comfortable clothing such as sweatpants, leggings and a loose fitting t-shirt and zip up top.

Upper Class travellers will receive a complimentary, soft, cotton sleep suit that you can change in to. Wearing loose clothing will help you drift off to sleep. A good tip

– remove your shoes too! Keep your socks on! 

Wind down routine

Following a similar routine to home is imperative to onboard slumbering. That means washing your face, taking off make up, tying hair back and making sure you brush your teeth – a toothbrush and toothpaste are supplied in the amenity kits onboard. Routines that are associated with sleep signal the brain that it’s time to wind down.

In Upper Class you’re provided with a hot flannel that has been infused with a bespoke de Mamiel oil which will help with relaxation. Bring the flannel up to your face and inhale. Gently wipe over your hands and arms. Use the soothing scented moisturiser from your amenity kit on your face, hands and feet.

Get into position

It’s hard to fall asleep sitting upright. In Upper Class, your chair niftily reclines into one of the longest flat beds in any business class. Your bed can be turned down for you by one of our cabin crew if you prefer.

Snuggle down

To feel sleepy, you need to have a comfortable pillow and a snuggly duvet. The natural fibres of the cotton covered pillow case and duvet will aid your sleep. If the cabin is cool use the socks (provided in the amenity kit).

Do not disturb

Notify your cabin crew that you want to sleep so they will know not to disturb you. But make sure you let them know if you want to be woken up for breakfast and hand them your breakfast card with your choices.

Use the eye masks and earplugs in your amenity kit

You need darkness to make you feel sleepy. Light suppresses melatonin (the sleep inducing hormone), so pop on the comfortable eye mask. Equally, noise is a factor in disturbing sleep, so use the soft and supple ear plugs to block out people talking etc. At Virgin Atlantic, they take pride in keeping the noise to a minimum during night flights and our mood lighting can be changed accordingly.

Whether you’re reading this guide a week before your travels, in the airport lounge or even on your flight, there are some good practical tips you can follow so you can grab some sleep en route and feel rested and refreshed by the time you reach your destination.

Get into the right frame of mind

Try to relax before you board your flight, visit the Clubhouse Spa and indulge in a bespoke de Mamiel relaxation treatment. A unique service designed for preflight, this treatment combines aromatherapy oils with meditation and touch to help calm the mind and body.

Top tips include:

  • Time for take off

A top tip from Virgin Atlantic cabin crew is to set your watch to your destination time so you can start eating at those meal times.

 

  • You are what you eat

It’s best to avoid carb heavy food when you want to get to sleep. Instead try something lighter and snack on energy giving foods such as bananas, nuts and wholemeal grains.

 

  • Old habits sleep hard

The Sleep Council suggests sticking as much as possible to your normal evening routine. From washing your face, removing any make up and giving your teeth a good brush, all these activities help to trigger your brain to get into sleep mode.

 

  • Get some headspace

Virgin Atlantic have partnered with the mindfulness gurus at Headspace to provide tailored meditations for sleeping in each cabin. Customers can plug in and be guided through a meditation which is tailored to the seat type they’re in.

If customers are travelling in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin, they can also indulge in the brand new de Mamiel relaxation treatment available at London Heathrow, London Gatwick and New York JFK spas at the Clubhouse. This tailor made treatment has been developed by de Mamiel founder Annee de Mamiel to combine aromatherapy oils, meditation and touch. Customers can enjoy a 15 or 30 minute treatment before boarding their flight, ready to drift off into a slumber.

Pre-Travel Tips

The day before your flight, ensure you eat three balanced meals, including
at least five servings of fruit or green vegetables and one of protein-rich food eg white fish or tofu.

Set The Time

At the start of your flight, set your watch to the local time at your destination. Note what times you’ll be eating and try to keep back a bread roll or some crackers to eat at ‘normal’ mealtimes according to the time of your destination.

Switch Off Tech

Whether it’s a kindle, tablet or even the TV, if you’re looking to sleep switch it off! The light from screens keeps your brain awake. Instead read a book or listen to some soothing music to help you relax.

Mediation or mindfulness apps are also very useful in preparing you for sleep. Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with Headspace (guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training) to offer you a sleep guide specific to your flying needs.

‘The problem with jet lag is that you are doing things at times when your body isn’t prepared to do them. By teaming up with Virgin Atlantic, we are encouraging travellers to get the best possible night’s sleep while onboard a flight. Sticking to good sleep hygiene principles and sleeping at the ‘right time’ can help control the mismatch you get with biological clocks and the time zone you’re in, ensuring you’re feeling the best you can when you hop off the plane.’ 

Lisa Artis, PR and Communications Manager at The Sleep Council

 

‘I have always used my time on board as my quiet time; to sleep, relax or just do some thinking. I have developed these treatments to help the customer transition from the hustle and bustle of everyday life ready for a their own few precious hours of quiet time.’ 

Annee de Mamiel, Founder of de Mamiel

For more information – https://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information/your-wellbeing-onboard/Sleep-on-your-flight.html

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