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Sleeping well on the plane is possible!

OUR TIPS – Can you fall into the arms of Morpheus on a long-haul flight in economy class? Little practical guide to allow you to sleep in the sky.

That’s it, you can get back on a plane again, heading for the vast rainforest of Parque Nacional Corcovado in Costa Rica or the paradisiacal beaches of the preserved bay of Samaná in the Dominican Republic. But before enjoying the sun of the holidays, eight, ten, sometimes 12 hours of flight await you. And not always in optimal conditions. Result: impossible to close your eyes during the whole trip and, jet lag in addition, you arrive on site exhausted. Unless you follow the advice of Sylvie Royant-Parola, sleep specialist and president of the Morpheus Network. Anthology.

SEE ALSO – Time change: the answers of a sleep specialist

Avoid sleeping pills

First, do not take sleeping pills. Especially if you don’t normally use them, insists Sylvie Royant-Parola. And for good reason, they can cause sleepwalking attacks which could lead to inappropriate actions and be dangerous for oneself and others. Another weighty argument from the sleep specialist: sleeping pills immobilize the person. However, the prolonged immobility already induced by the plane leads to poor blood circulation. The risks of thrombosis and the formation of blood clots therefore increase. Danger here too. We avoid.

Only plane phobics, anxious at the thought of flying over the Atlantic for example, can opt for a light sedative such as bromazepam to ask your doctor for the trip.“, concedes the health professional.

Wear a comfortable outfit

At home, wouldn’t you dream of sleeping in jeans? In the plane it’s the same, priority to comfort. We put on wide clothes, such as jogging or leggings. “Avoid anything that tightens the waist“, underlines the doctor, who also suggests bringing a warm sweater or blanket to compensate for the temperature variations and drafts associated with air conditioning. Same with the shoes. “We prefer a comfortable pairshe says, remembering to take into account that the feet swell during the flight.”

Wear compression stockings

Another essential on a long-haul flight: compression stockings. Mandatory only for pregnant women and people with venous insufficiency, the doctor advises everyone. And for good reason, if prolonged sitting is bad for blood circulation, compression stockings make it possible to rectify the situation. “They completely change circulatory kinetics and compensate for the action of the calf muscle by allowing active venous return.explains Sylvie Royant-Parola. But they also avoid the feeling of heavy legs and help to feel rested“, she completes.

Provide the right accessories

The outfit chosen, the compression stockings put on, make way for the accessories! To sleep well during the flight, it is essential to recreate the conditions for falling asleep. By reducing, for example, noise pollution. To do so, “earplugs or noise-reducing headphones are provided“, suggests the president of the Morpheus Network. We also rely on a sleep mask, generally provided by the airline, which protects against light, as well as a memory foam travel pillow. In U, it supports the neck and holds the head.

Move, move

The professional is categorical,Above all, do not remain seated for the duration of the trip.“, because of the risk of thrombosis linked to the immobility induced by the plane. To remedy this, it is therefore necessary to move regularly, to move. Even on a night flight. “Ideally, one should go back and forth down the aisle at least once every two hourssuggests the healthcare professional.


In absolute terms, it would be necessary to drink more than two liters of water for 11h30 of flight. Adobe Stock

Last but not least, it is essential to stay hydrated during the flight. And for good reason, the cabins are pressurized, which has the effect of making the air breathed particularly dry and cold. To compensate, Sylvie Royant-Parola recommends “to drink a lot of waterand avoid coffee and sodas. As for alcohol, she strongly advises against it on board. “In addition to dehydrating the body, it disrupts breathing and sleep.“, she analyzes. Not to mention that its effects are multiplied by three in flight. So we’ll stay in the water!

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