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dwright17
07-15-2013, 02:41 PM
A few months ago I took an overnight flight and it was brutal. Unfortunately, I have another one coming up in two weeks. Not that long, only 6 hours, but I need to arrive ready to go, as I have plane well into the evening on the first day. This will be a West Coast to East Coast trip, so a 3-hour time difference in our favor, at least. Does anyone have any tips for sleeping on the plane? What's your favorite travel pillow, eye mask, ear plugs, headphones, etc? Thanks!

tCook
07-15-2013, 03:25 PM
I have done that flight many times. I like the Bucky eye mask that comes with ear plugs - the padded area below the eye blocks out a lot of light and feels comfortable to me. I listen to music and use the Bose QuietComfort 15 or current number - the around-ear fit is better (for me) than any on- or in-ear noise canceling headphones I tried. If you don't want music, you can still use the noise canceling feature, but I like to distract myself with the music. You would want some sort of neck pillow to keep your head stable since it isn't comfortable to lean to either side with the headphones, but I don't actually fall asleep - just kind of drift and relax.

bchaplin
07-15-2013, 03:43 PM
Like tCook said, eyemask (http://www.rei.com/product/729650/bucky-40-blinks-eye-mask) and music (though I use the in-ear ones). I sleep better in window seats where I can lean and not worry about falling onto the person next to me. And Ambien, if your doctor will prescribe it for you. Just try it out a few times at home first so you know it doesn't make you do anything crazy, and take it early enough so that you're conscious at landing.

photocat
07-15-2013, 06:55 PM
Dramamine -- the original formula. Sadly a non-negotiable requirement for me on any flight (motion sick) but the added benefit of knocking you out too.

GriffCouch
07-15-2013, 08:08 PM
I use EarPeace ear plugs when I travel. They work well when I don't want to feel the bulk of my headphones. In fact, I carry EarPeace plugs all the time now, because loud and/or high-pitched noises trigger my migraines. Restaurants, concerts and movies can be a problem for me.

EarPeace plugs block noise, but allow me to have a conversation without shouting at the other person. I discovered them after my most recent international flight, but I wish I had had them then. They have been great for me on multiple domestic flights.

Badger
07-15-2013, 08:12 PM
I use Shure SE215 noise-blocking earbuds. I sometimes use a white noise app, but I generally listen to music. I almost always wear a hoody on the plane. I just pull it over my head and pass out. Sometimes if I take a red-eye I pop a mini bottle or two of whiskey in my 311 bag to consume after we've reached cruising altitude. Those are always helpful.

jea
07-16-2013, 10:04 AM
I do a few things that work decently for me, although I still don't find it easy to sleep on planes. Something about the seats/noise/travel adrenaline/etc. combine with the fact that Im a light sleeper, and stop me from getting good quality rest. This is what has worked to date:

-I wear a lightweight, cotton, black scarf on the plane, and will use this to block light when its time to sleep. I find this more comfortable than facemasks, which often feel too hot to me, as they use synthetic fabrics that dont breathe well.

-I use normal foam earplugs for noise. (I would love to try noise-cancelling headphones, but haven't wanted to shell out the big bucks as of yet)

-I bought a pair of really lightweight, black cotton warm up pants at H&M. Cost about $12 and roll up to/weigh almost nothing. On an overnight flight or transatlantic I'll have these in my Synapse and change into them prior to sleep.

-Thick wool socks, so that I can slide off my shoes.

-I have occasionally used sleeping pills, but have had mixed results--occasionally waking up feeling overly groggy or dehydrated

-I recently bought an inflatable neck pillow, which when deflated is extremely thin and lightweight

-If possible, do some exercise prior to going to the airport

-Avoid heavy foods

gochicken
07-16-2013, 07:29 PM
My favorite travel pillow is this: TravelRest (http://www.amazon.com/TravelRest-Ultimate-Inflatable-Travel-REINVENTED/dp/B001DYDAEK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1374027574&sr=8-2&keywords=travel+pillows+for+airplanes)

It sets up quickly with a few breaths (easy for me even though I have trouble blowing up balloons) and is very adjustable for use with a child as well as an adult. It deflates easily, rolls up and secures with a snap......and it fits nicely into the front side pocket of a Co-Pilot! It can be used for air or car travel.

We just tested it on our recent 5 hour flight to Toronto, and it worked so well it earned a spot on my "travel checklist".

itsablur
07-17-2013, 04:18 AM
My favorite travel pillow is this: TravelRest (http://www.amazon.com/TravelRest-Ultimate-Inflatable-Travel-REINVENTED/dp/B001DYDAEK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1374027574&sr=8-2&keywords=travel+pillows+for+airplanes)

How does that prevent itself from falling? I assume it doesn't inflate and wrap around behind you (that would be uncomfortable!) like those inflatable neck pillows do.

RhoFro
07-17-2013, 05:34 AM
I bought one of these for a trip to Europe this spring and didn't use it so if anyone wants it, private message me. I think it also wraps around your luggage handle for portability.



My favorite travel pillow is this: TravelRest (http://www.amazon.com/TravelRest-Ultimate-Inflatable-Travel-REINVENTED/dp/B001DYDAEK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1374027574&sr=8-2&keywords=travel+pillows+for+airplanes)

It sets up quickly with a few breaths (easy for me even though I have trouble blowing up balloons) and is very adjustable for use with a child as well as an adult. It deflates easily, rolls up and secures with a snap......and it fits nicely into the front side pocket of a Co-Pilot! It can be used for air or car travel.

We just tested it on our recent 5 hour flight to Toronto, and it worked so well it earned a spot on my "travel checklist".

gochicken
07-17-2013, 07:55 AM
How does that prevent itself from falling? I assume it doesn't inflate and wrap around behind you (that would be uncomfortable!) like those inflatable neck pillows do.

It has an adjustable cord that you can attach to your seat, but also sling around yourself (like wearing a cross body bag). I liked that way better. So when you are sitting on the plane, the cord is behind you and your body up against the seat keeps the pillow in place.

Here's a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-EL0iyXcu8) I found on YouTube that gives you an idea. The valve on mine was different, but just as easy to use.

dwright17
07-18-2013, 09:09 AM
Thanks for the ideas, everyone. @gochicken, I have read rave reviews about the Travelrest pillow and definitely think I'll go with that one. @bchaplin, you confirmed the Bucky 40 Winks sleep mask that I was considering. Now I need to check out those Earpeace earplugs, @GriffCouch! I use Hearos, but will check those out also.

I have some Shure in-ear buds that are absolutely fantastic for sound; I just am not a fan of wearing them for a long time. I've looked at the Bose QC's so many times, but can't seem to justify the expense for the one or two long distance flights I do a year! Each year, though, I continue to look at them. But I'm sure you would all agree, when choosing between a new TB bag and a set of Bose, the bag wins. But then again, I'm a bag lady, and I already have a pair of super earbuds!

Thanks again for all your comments; I really appreciate your help!

dwright17
07-18-2013, 09:10 AM
Oooooh, tcook! You use the Bucky also! I immediately started getting dreamy when you mentioned the Bose headphones, lol!

dwright17
07-18-2013, 09:15 AM
Thanks for this great list of things to bring. I've tried a sleeping pill on an overnight flight before as well, and it was terrible. I still couldn't sleep, and the added grogginess made me feel twice as bad! Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten that experience until reading your post. Yes, yoga pants and some Smartwool socks sound very cozy!



I do a few things that work decently for me, although I still don't find it easy to sleep on planes. Something about the seats/noise/travel adrenaline/etc. combine with the fact that Im a light sleeper, and stop me from getting good quality rest. This is what has worked to date:

-I wear a lightweight, cotton, black scarf on the plane, and will use this to block light when its time to sleep. I find this more comfortable than facemasks, which often feel too hot to me, as they use synthetic fabrics that dont breathe well.

-I use normal foam earplugs for noise. (I would love to try noise-cancelling headphones, but haven't wanted to shell out the big bucks as of yet)

-I bought a pair of really lightweight, black cotton warm up pants at H&M. Cost about $12 and roll up to/weigh almost nothing. On an overnight flight or transatlantic I'll have these in my Synapse and change into them prior to sleep.

-Thick wool socks, so that I can slide off my shoes.

-I have occasionally used sleeping pills, but have had mixed results--occasionally waking up feeling overly groggy or dehydrated

-I recently bought an inflatable neck pillow, which when deflated is extremely thin and lightweight

-If possible, do some exercise prior to going to the airport

-Avoid heavy foods

tCook
07-18-2013, 04:42 PM
I finally splurged on The Headphones when I thought I was taking a 36-hour Amtrak trip riding in coach. Turned out the trip got canceled, but I've never regretted the headphones for a second - I'm not a great flyer, so it was easy to justify! (Plus, I *might* have several bags already ... don't even have my eye on one right now!)

snowbot
07-30-2013, 01:03 PM
Eye mask, ear plugs, compression socks, no alcohol on the plane (although I may have a small glass of wine prior to the flight), and a way to prop my feet up (my carry-on bag). Bringing a case for my glasses is a must, else I'll stress over the possibility of breaking them. There's nothing like anxiety for causing insomnia.

Toblerhaus
08-08-2013, 04:24 PM
Happy to see this thread! I could use some new ideas for sleeping on flights. I travel with two young children, and sleeping can be brutal on our long flights. Makes me miss the days of strapping them into their car seats so they could sleep in a semi-tilted state. Now, at 8 and 10, there are arms and legs all over the place!

I used a Travelrest pillow for a couple of years, and finally gave up. It just wasn't working for me. I'm still seeking a new travel pillow, as nothing seems to quite work for me. Trying to sleep on my hands, leaning forward on the tray table is the pits, but it's the best I can do right now.

I adore my Tempurpedic eye shades, which replaced my Bucky shades when they fell apart. Tempurpedic does a better job of blocking light, in my experience, and I actually use them every night as well.

KmK
08-12-2013, 07:55 AM
Headphones...not picky about what comes in through them--movie, music, podcasts...anything but the noise of plane-life; TempurPedic U shaped pillow (I owe my sanity and my rest on a 24 hour plane journey to this pillow..); and limited sleeping the night before a long haul trip. It also helps to not be afraid to talk to unsupervised children about their behavior even if they speak a different language... :)

dwright17
08-14-2013, 12:53 PM
Hi Everyone -

Thanks again for all the great tips for sleeping on a plane. I thought I'd report back on my trip and on the products I used. Sadly, no sleep for me. I have trouble sleeping anyway, so I wasn't all that surprised. Now, feel free to laugh at all this, because I thought I looked absolutely hilarious!

I came armed with Bose QC3 headphones (purchased right before the trip!), earbuds and earplugs as backup, Bucky 40 Blinks eye mask, compression socks, a Travel Rest inflatable pillow, and layers for both warm and cold plane temps. I was so ready to take on the challenge! I think my downfall was that I took my sleeping pill. I had even replied in this thread that it didn't work last time, but I thought, after not being able to sleep for over an hour, that the addition of an eye mask and a pillow might help. It only made me airsick. I will never take a sleeping pill on a plane again! I sat with the "courtesy bag" near my face for almost an hour, praying that I'd make it. Funny now, but not at the time! Anyhow, let me comment on each of these items, which individually have merit.

Bucky 40 Blinks eye mask - I really liked this eye mask because it's practically weightless and it blocked out light really well. Key for me was being able to blink without my eyelashes being smashed to my face. I wasn't really fond of the velcro strip in the back, mainly because I'm a pinhead and there was overlap. If you have a normal sized head, that probably wouldn't be a problem. i just wish there were one with an elastic strap. Since I squirm a lot, the strap moved some. Yes, you'd hate sitting next to me on a plane.

Compression socks - these were great. I got the light compression socks, and they really did feel nice. I can see why so many people use them. These are definitely a keeper for future flights! They felt absolutely wonderful on my tired legs and feet for the walk at the end of the flight.

Bose QC3's - I'm VERY sad to report that these buried my glasses into my ears. I want the option to wear my glasses or not, so I'll return these. The sound is much better than the QC 15's in my opinion. The noise cancellation was good for me, again, because my ears are small and there was almost no leakage. I noted I still had to turn the sound up more, though. Given the overall experience, I think my Shure earbuds are just as good for sound quality, probably better, and block noise merely because they're earbuds. I may try the new Bose noise cancelling earbuds just because they may be slightly less itchy on my ears with the earpieces they use.

TravelRest Pillow - This unfortunately didn't work for me at all. The reviews were very promising, but I found the top part of the pillow to be too large no matter how much air I let out of the pillow. The length from the back of the seat to where the pillow curved down was just too wide for my body and it slipped off my shoulder. Yes, I read the instructions carefully, but several positions later, I gave up. If you have a window seat, you can slide the upper part between the seat and window, which worked pretty well. If you have a middle seat, as I did coming back, it doesn't work for a small person at all. However, I was able to let most of the air out, fold it, and use it for lumbar support. That was a real help.

Well, hope this rundown was helpful for any of you considering these items for long plane flights. As for me, I'll just plan to get to my destination a day early and catch up on my sleep!

photocat
08-14-2013, 06:24 PM
I think my downfall was that I took my sleeping pill. I had even replied in this thread that it didn't work last time, but I thought, after not being able to sleep for over an hour, that the addition of an eye mask and a pillow might help. It only made me airsick. I will never take a sleeping pill on a plane again! I sat with the "courtesy bag" near my face for almost an hour, praying that I'd make it.

Oh my! Thanks for the follow-up. I'm sorry to hear none of your goodies work but like I mentioned earlier -- Dramamine (the real original one) is the answer! Stops the motion sickness and especially if you take the full dose (or - ahem - extra as I do b/c of my motion sickness tendencies) staying awake is almost impossible - whether you want to or not. Good luck on your next journey!

pfbloom
08-15-2013, 07:46 AM
...... What's your favorite travel pillow, eye mask, ear plugs, headphones, etc? Thanks!

I've found that far better than any travel pillow is using one of those Velcro cervical neck collars, available in drug stores and medical supply. It does look really dorky but keeps your head and neck well supported. No stiff neck and good comfort. Helps me sleep more than I used to.

SKIMT
08-15-2013, 08:51 PM
This is a bit off topic but its already headed there...

I have a friend in the portable audio industry. He says hands down those in the business prefer to use Etymotic or Shure earphones when traveling over any of the battery powered noise canceling offerings. I tried some $500 Sony NC ones on a flight followed by his recommended Etymotic earphones and the Etymotic were far better at blocking noise. Aside from lots cheaper, they fit in my pocket, and don't need batteries. Shure is a bit more expensive but are supposed to be the same for blocking out noise.


For me there's no sleep without getting rid of the engine noise and everything else going on.

dwright17
08-15-2013, 10:46 PM
I agree. I already own Shure earbuds, and overall, the earbuds did a better job than any over-ear or on-ear noise cancelling headphones. At least in the end I saved myself a lot of money!

snowbot
08-24-2013, 02:10 PM
I just returned from a 2-week vacation that involved 4 flights of 9 or more hours. At the beginning of the first flight, I noticed that my inflatable travel pillow wouldn't stay inflated. I later determined that the plastic had degraded to the point that the seams were coming undone and there were multiple holes. *sigh*

On another note, if you have the aisle seat and decide to take a sleeping pill, please consider switching seats with your interior neighbor.

TOBaggirl
09-03-2013, 12:17 PM
I use Benadryl as my "sleeping pill" of choice. Knocks me right out, and clears my sinuses too. :-) And to the point of flying with the "courtesy bag" at the ready. That's why you don't put any bags you care about under your seat. I hide it between my legs and throw my huge scarf over it so the miserable stewardess don't see it. People puke down there. There's no way I'm putting anything I care about down there too.

flitcraft
09-03-2013, 10:52 PM
I've personally never liked the U shaped neck pillows, and I've tried the foam ones, the blow-up ones, and the ones stuffed with buckwheat or whatever it is. They don't stop my head from dropping forward, which wakes me up just as I'm drifting off.

I bought a wedge shaped blow-up pillow that is supposed to go on your tray table and you lean into it. That worked better, but it's really bulky and blocks access to the aisle, so I found it only worked if I had a window seat; even then, I had to squish the air out before getting out of my seat to access the bathroom.

In the end, I bought a travel collar called Embrace Sleep Collar--it's basically similar to the drug store cervical collars but a bit better adapted to travel. It's made of fairly stiff foam with a nice curve under the chin for comfort. But it's not as bulky as a cervical collar, and it connects in the back with fabric rather than foam all around, so it doesn't get as hot. The fabric fastens with Velcro. It's far more compact than anything other than the blowup models, and the fabric-Velcro closure lets you fasten it to a luggage handle, which Tom Bihn bags are richly supplied with. Or, sometimes I strap it to my upper arm over my jacket and it looks a bit like an orthopedic brace, then take it off once I'm settled in my seat. Or, if there's room in my Imago, I just tuck it on top of everything else and loosen the front buckle a tad.

Another comfort item--Go makes an oblong inflatable travel pillow with a nice handwashable velour top so it doesn't get sweaty. It comes with a fair amount of foam padding already, and then you can blow it up to a firmer amount. Often I don't bother--the padding is enough. I use it behind my back as a lumbar support or under the tush to relieve economy seat numbness there. Did I mention it fits easily into the magazine/folder compartment in my Imago? It also provides an additional layer of protection for computers, tablets, and Kindles that crawl into my Imago on travel days.

snowbot
09-04-2013, 06:27 AM
Thanks for the Embrace Sleep Collar recommendation, flitcraft. I just ordered one for a trip starting next week. I'll post comments when I get back home.

dwright17
09-04-2013, 11:35 AM
@flitcraft, is this the oblong pillow you were referring to? Inflatable 3-Way Carry Cushion | Going In Style Travel Accessories (http://www.goinginstyle.com/Inflatable-3-Way-Carry-Cushion-P4766C14.aspx) I checked out the Embrace collar and am not sure I wouldn't go nuts with the collar since I'm not a big turtleneck fan. Rats! Somewhere out there is the perfect travel pillow, I'm sure of it . . .

flitcraft
09-04-2013, 12:58 PM
Not the same pillow, @dwright17, the one I got is here: http://www.go-travelproducts.com/travel-pillows/lumbar-support

It's padded to start with, but has less 'blow-up' room than the one you linked to.

I also tried their blow-up footrest--as I really do need one, at 5 foot 1 with a gimpy ankle to boot. But I accidentally left it on the first flight I used it on, which was the short leg of a long haul flight. So, no review... :-(

dwright17
09-04-2013, 01:03 PM
Thanks so much for the link, @flitcraft, and SO very sorry about the footrest! I just hate it when that happens!! I'm 5'0" also and am seriously thinking about investing in one.

jeffmac
09-04-2013, 01:25 PM
I have one of these and it works surprisingly well

HOME The Travel Halo (http://www.thetravelhalo.com)

Having the eyemask integrated is a nice touch and it does not take up a lot of room in a bag.

dwright17
09-04-2013, 01:47 PM
Hi jeffmac! I haven't seen this one before. I wonder if it would work for a shorty like me. Most of my trouble is that the headrest pokes in near the top of my head, bending it forward. I honestly feel like I need to slump in the seat or sit on something to avoid that! Does it really prevent your head from drooping downward as well?

jeffmac
09-04-2013, 09:32 PM
Doesn't really help the downward droop, just the left/right, "oops, I drooled on my neighbor" droop.

dwright17
09-04-2013, 11:30 PM
LOL! Ok, good to know!

daisy
09-20-2013, 07:57 PM
Not sure I could cope with the ihug (http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/inflight-comfort/ihug-travel-pillow)

Might send me into screaming claustrophobia.

CallaVandy
09-30-2013, 05:27 AM
I have one of these and it works surprisingly well

HOME The Travel Halo (http://www.thetravelhalo.com)

Having the eyemask integrated is a nice touch and it does not take up a lot of room in a bag.

The greatest problem I have to bear is that my head fell either right or towards left, which not only cause pain in my neck but also disturb my sleep. I have just viewed video of awesome travel pillow; it works great. Thanks for sharing.

casun
11-11-2014, 12:53 PM
i've tried foam earplugs and etymotics but i've found that the best, most comfortable are mack's silicone Buy Pillow Soft White 6 pair, Best Earplugs for Sleeping, Loud Noises and Swimming | Macks Earplugs. (http://www.macksearplugs.com/details/noise-ear-plugs/pillow-soft-earplugs-6-pair-value)

sujo
11-12-2014, 10:58 AM
Thanks so much for the link, @flitcraft, and SO very sorry about the footrest! I just hate it when that happens!! I'm 5'0" also and am seriously thinking about investing in one.

At 4'11", I never travel without my footrest. I bought it for a trip to the Netherlands several years ago and now I take it with me for any flight, regardless of length. I use the Back Relax folding footrest (http://www.amazon.com/Folding-Footrest-Relax-Ships-Priority/dp/B000AXTU62/ref=pd_sim_op_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=10H9ZYY355682TJEFPHP). It's about the size of a paperback and fits nicely in a Snake Charmer! I even use it for meetings at work, as I can never adjust the chair well enough to reach the table and touch the floor. I always had to choose table and my feet dangled. Not anymore!