Saturday, March 5, 2016

Guide to a good sleep onboard

Most of my adult airline travel life has been spent on uncomfortable economy or budget class seats trying to catch a few winks before I get sucked into the dreaded customer meetings or work on the other side. Having worked in not-so-well-to-do companies, I have never had the luxury of traveling a day in advance to recuperate or travel anything better than the "cheapest seat on the cheapest possible airline at the last available minute to the destination".

Anyway, all this misery has taught me that it is vital to be able to sleep on an airplane. The worst I can do on the other side of my journey is doze off in an important meeting or presentation. Over the period of last several years, I have slowly and steadily improvised and figured out ways to catch up on those precious winks. While many well-to-do business travelers insist on dressing up while traveling, I am completely against it. Formal clothes aren't comfortable enough to sleep on an economy or lower class seat. If you insist on dressing up for your journey, I am mighty sure you are the upper class snob. Period.

So how do you get the precious sleep? Here is Girish's guide to airline sleeping:
  1. Dress as comfortably as possible. As a guy, I have gone down to wearing extremely comfortable lounge pants, a t-shirt and a hoodie (or sweater).
  2. No accessories, no wallets, even specs go into the cabin baggage. Wear removable shoes with socks.
  3. Take a window seat so that you are not obligated to get up to let go off any passengers for their bio-breaks. You go in there and stay there till you have to get up. No one else can bother you.
  4. Wear a balaclava or a knit cap on your head such that it can be pulled down to cover your eyes and ears when sleeping. Not only does it help you to keep warm but it also forces you to sleep (you can't open your eyes if the cap's fabric is on them).
  5. Carry a medical face-mask to cover your nose and mouth. Not only does it provide some level of protection from the perennial germs lurking in the aircraft, but also it helps you to sleep (by not drying up your mouth and face).
  6. Finally, the only thing you do once you get inside the airplane is - sleep. That's it. Wear your seat belt and sleep. No reading magazines, no watching television, no chit-chatting with neighbors. And no caffeine since 2 hours before your flight. Don't wait for the flight to taxi/ take-off/ announce random weather news or duty-free items. When food shall be served, the stewards will wake you up.
But if you travel higher classes, kindly ignore my advise and enjoy your flight. Good night. 

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