Today’s post is for you Erika.
Today, we’re going to talk about how I can get a good night’s sleep on a plane.
That’s right…I said on a plane.
And not only me, but I can get my kids to sleep too.
One time I mentioned to Erika something about us all sleeping on a flight and she was like “what, you all sleep?” and I’m like, “girl, I have an entire routine that gets us to sleep” and she made me tell her everything and ever since then, she’s been requesting that I share it with you. So…last week, I gave my best tips for traveling with your kids and today, sleeping on a plane. Because…you never know when you might need to sleep on an airplane?
So…this is us coming home from China with Madeley. People typically don’t take photographs of us stepping off a plane, so I’m using our adoption pics as my examples today 🙂 . We don’t look amazing here…but we don’t look that horrible either considering we had just been traveling for about 48 hours, right? #indulgemeplease Well, it’s because we’re rested. (Or at least as rested as you can be in that situation.)
I learned a long time ago that the worst way to begin or end a vacation is exhausted, so when we travel, I’m very particular about sleeping. Now, side note: Andrew does his own thing. He likes to stay up and watch movies on long flights, but the kids and I sleep. This way, when you land, you’re not just completely worn out.
Over the years, I have perfected my sleep routine and so, I’m sharing it with you today. It’s just a bunch of random tips and products that help us get as much sleep as we can.
Here we go:
1: We don’t sleep on domestic flights (nap maybe, but not sleep). Because Dallas is smack in the middle, we can basically get anywhere in the US in about 3ish hours, so we don’t need to sleep. Plus, we’re not going to have jet lag because good old Central Standard Time is in the middle too.
2: If we’re flying west (like Dallas to Hawaii), we do not sleep on the plane (I mean, the kids might nap, but not a hardcore sleep). Because typically on those flights, you land in the evening and I want everyone to land, go to the hotel and head straight to sleep. This helps with jet lag!! So, watch your landing time because if you’re landing at night, I would really try and avoid sleeping on the plane or else you’ll be all sorts of screwed up at the beginning of your trip.
3: We fly east a lot (like say Dallas to London) and on those flights, you almost always leave Dallas in the evening and arrive in Europe first thing the next morning, which means, you need to be rested or else you’ll be exhausted all day long.
4: The kids are pros at this now, but we still talk about how we’re going to sleep on the flight. We talk about it before we get to the airport that way, the expectation has been set. They know that we’ll board, they’ll watch movies and such, then the airline will serve us something to eat and then we’ll “get ready for bed” and sleep until the airline wakes us back up about 1.5 hours before we land to serve us that last meal (or sometimes, they just keep sleeping until we land). So, sleeping on the flight is no surprise to them because the expectation is set.
So, we board, I read (they typically watch movies), then we eat our inflight meal and then after that’s been cleared is typically when we “get ready for bed”.
Here’s what we do:
1: Everyone goes to the bathroom. My big kids like to hold it all day long and always tell me they’re fine…but I make them go anyway because the last thing we need happening is for everyone to be asleep and then they wake up and have to go (because it will wake everyone up!). So, everyone must potty.
2: While they’re in there lavatory, each kiddo must brush their teeth and (I’ll give you a list of things I bring with us in just a minute).
3: When they get back to their seats, the kids wash their faces with those makeup remover towelettes. Clean teeth, clean face, empty bladder…good enough, right?
4: After that, screens OFF. No movies, no distractions. Each kiddo brings with them two of their favorite things: a neck pillow and sleep mask. They put their pillow around their necks, cover up with their blankets and put their eye masks on. Then, they go to sleep.
It’s a crazy simple as that for my kids. Now, it wasn’t this easy the first time. The first time, they put up a little fight “I’m not tired, I don’t want to sleep, I want to watch a movie, etc.”, but I was firm that they needed to sleep (think about it…it’s probably the middle of the night back at home, so you know they’re tired!). If it’s noisy on the flight, the kids will even put on their headphones to block out the noise. They’re cuddled in their blankets, it’s dark (sleep masks!) and they’re off to sleep. I also bring socks for them if they happen to not have any on their feet (summertime especially) and they put socks on to keep them warm.
Now, I know you’re thinking “what about little ones?”. Well, I’ve been traveling with babies since the very beginning and I’ve found that if you keep their routine the same (even inflight), they sleep…
Here is five month old Smith flying from Dallas to Amsterdam. I fed him, made it as dark as possible around him, swaddled him (just like at home) and he’s sound asleep on that flight. I’m not saying it’s always going to work, but I think if you’re consistent, you have a really good shot.
Now, my little routine is a little more complex. Here’s what I do:
1: I also brush my teeth in the lavatory before returning to my seat to remove my makeup. (Yes, Erika laughed at this…I remove my makeup.) The worst feeling to me is waking up after sleeping in makeup. Ugh! I hate that! I wipe all of my makeup off with those makeup towelettes and then apply a nighttime moisturizer to my face (because flying is so dehydrating). After that, I…
2: Put a mask on my face.
Erika HOWLED when I told her this. She thought this was the funniest thing EVER! But friends, IT WORKS!
I always carry a mask with me and for the last year, it’s been that Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask which is TSA compliant. #woohoo This one is especially nice because it’s not white (it’s clear), so no one can tell you’re wearing a mask. Now, there have been many times when I’ve used a white mask and honestly, no one cares because no one is looking (it’s dark on the plane and most people are trying to sleep), so whatever you love and will get through security, bring it. Your skin will thank you!
3: After I put on my mask, I put on cozy socks to keep my feet warm, remove all of my jewelry (because it can become uncomfortable while I sleep), add my sleep mask, my noise-cancelling headphones, cover up with a blanket and will myself to sleep.
4: Now, when the flight attendants tell us that we’re getting close to arriving, I put myself back together. I use another towelette to wipe off my face and that face mask, I get up and brush my teeth again (because your breath can’t be too fresh, right?!), then I return to my seat and apply my AM cream, a little tinted moisturizer, mascara and lipstick. That’s it. I don’t do my full makeup routine, but those things right there perk me back up (you could by all means do your full routine though!). I apply some lotion to my hands and neck, put my jewelry back on and wake up the kids.
So, in order to do all of this, I have to come prepared. I bring a gallon-sized baggie and fill it with these items:
1: Toothbrushes for everyone (not their actual toothbrushes! Just ones I keep in this baggie for our flights)
3. Makeup remover towelettes (Neutrogena is a great one!)
4: Cozy, warm socks
5: My typical AM/PM creams (just make sure they’re TSA-compliant
6: A face mask (I love this one)
7: Evian spray (I’ve blogged about this stuff before but it’s a game-changer on flights! All six of us use it! It quickly hydrates you and perks you right up plus, it can go right over your makeup and not only won’t it not hurt it, but it will “revive” it!)
8: Headphones (or ear plugs)
9: Neck pillows
10: Sleep masks
11: A hand cream
12: A lip moisturizer
13: Either your complete makeup set or just a few necessities
I mean…we look pretty decent, right? A little well-rested? Not too horrible considering we just got off a flight from China?
If nothing else…on long flights…my little routine will give you something to do :). Because it’s always so boring, right?!
My tips aren’t earth-shattering, but what I think makes them work is that we always do them…we’re consistent. And because we’re consistent, we are able to sleep. And because we’re able to sleep…we don’t arrive completely exhausted.
Okay, share your tips for getting rest inflight! I know you ladies have them!! Comment and share please 🙂 .
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