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Five tips for improving your sleep during air travel

November 1, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Getting some shut-eye on your red-eye flight is not always easy. Cathay Pacific has marked its deployment of an A350-900 on the Perth-Hong Kong route by partnering with a Sleep Expert, Professor Peter Eastwood from The University of Western Australia, to produce what it calls the Ultimate Sleep Guide.

Eastwood created the guide with colleague Ian Dunican from the same university.

Here are the tips (with a few references to the A350 thrown in, as you’d expect).

Eat for sleep

What you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat can affect your sleep. Try to avoid large, fatty and sugary meals at any time when flying, but especially just before you are about to go to sleep. These foods are difficult to digest when you are sitting for long periods of time. There are plenty of dietary options on Cathay Pacific’s extended inflight menu. Eat light to help sleep tight!

Stay hydrated

Dehydration can negatively affect sleep by causing your mouth and nose to become dry, setting you up for snoring during sleep and a parched throat on waking. Minimise these effects during flying by regularly consuming water, minimising alcohol consumption, and using eye drops and a face moisturiser. Coupled with the benefits of increased cabin humidity and pressure on Cathay Pacific’s A350, you can optimise your chances of having good quality sleep, reduce fatigue and improve your well-being.

Move to sleep

Sleep requires you to be relaxed. Prolonged inactivity can sometimes result in sore or aching muscles of the back, arms and legs. Simple stretching exercises, such as flexing and extending the ankles at regular intervals while seated, and frequently contracting the calf muscles can relax them, plus increase blood flow and deliver oxygen to them. The A350’s wider economy seats provide more room to support relaxation and comfort on your flight, and also makes stretching easier to achieve.

Sleep smart

Set your watch to the destination time and try to sleep at the appropriate time for your new location. The smart lighting on Cathay Pacific’s A350 flights help you sleep as it is programmed to reflect day-time and night-time at your destination. Passengers who sleep during the ‘dark hours’ become better adapted to the sleep and wake cycles needed at your new location.

Sleep requires a quiet environment

External noises can have a negative impact on sleep quality. Noise can prevent you from falling asleep initially, and sounds during sleep can cause you to wake. The use of ear plugs or noise-cancelling headphones can help minimise these noises. These strategies, together with the innovative noise reduction design of the A350 cabins serve to optimise your potential for good quality overnight sleep en route to your destination.

Edited by Peter Needham

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