Sleeping On Long Flight to Europe

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by ranman1973, Apr 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. ranman1973

    ranman1973 Silver Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    138
    Status Points:
    375
    I've got a long flight ahead of me. YYJ --> SEA --> CDG --> CGN

    Question #1. What's the best way to get some sleep on the plane? I'm thinking I booze up in SEA and then let the beer buzz wear off.

    Question 2: Likelihood of getting a free or low cost upgrade on Air France? or KLM for my return flight?
     
    TravelBear likes this.
  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    Individual reactions to alcohol vary. But for most people boozing up before bedtime is a terrible idea. You do get sleepy after a few drinks, but then wake up 2-3 hours later, and can't go back to sleep. The potential for unpleasant side effects of alcohol (e.g. headache, congestion, etc.) is also higher on a plane.
    If you anticipate trouble falling asleep, try another relaxant.
     
  3. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    If you go the boozing route, drink plenty of water. Jet lag is not your friend, but is a close pal of dehydration. ;)
     
    Flyer1976, davef139, garyst16 and 3 others like this.
  4. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    8,739
    Status Points:
    7,270
    for me personally, I only care about sleep on the way to Europe from the US, so if an upgrade is to be scored, that is the leg I really try for.
    when my wife gets the upgrade (as I gave it to her, happy wife, happy life), and I was still in econ. I scored an empty 5 seat section, laid out with all the blankets and pillows, I slept solid until 30 mins before landing. It was the best sleep I've had flying US-Europe even when flying in J or F lie flats.

    I agree with MV70 has said, steer clear of excess booze as a means to entice sleep. I simply have gone to my doc, and told her that I'm flying international and would like some ambien or other sleep aid, which she promptly prescribes.
    A benefit I've found is using the sleep aid the 3rd/4th nights I'm at an international location as those are the nights I have trouble staying asleep.
     
    MX, TravelBear and IDGflygirl like this.
  5. akcae
    Original Member

    akcae Silver Member

    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    150
    Status Points:
    420
    KLM is known to sell upgrades at check-in out of AMS for approachable price. AF - zero chance.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    My favorite sleep aid is a business class upgrade.

    The fall-back is a Benedril for me. I usually have 3-4 of those tiny glasses of wine, or 1-2 of the tiny bottles they have in coach. I have tried Ambien and it didn't work for me.
     
    KyRoamer likes this.
  7. Gardyloo
    Original Member

    Gardyloo Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    4,431
    Status Points:
    2,470
    Your SEA-CDG and (I presume) AMS-SEA legs are both operated by Delta, and I would expect upgrade chances will very low.

    I find alcohol counter-productive in these cases, and the risk of dehydration is indeed high.
     
  8. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,901
    Likes Received:
    2,975
    Status Points:
    1,470
    Even if we weren't discussing DL, your likelihood of getting upgrades on non-USA based airlines is best expressed with long strings of zeros, only to be made better by applying large amounts of cash to the existing ticket. Unless there's a fluke op-up, plan on staying in the cabin you bought tickets in. The "we upgrade people for cheap or if they have a shiny card" game is not played very much outside the USA (the notable exception being BA where mileage upgrades can sometimes be had, but you're not flying them).
     
    TravelBear likes this.
  9. txmoney

    txmoney Silver Member

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    44
    Status Points:
    120
    I use Xanax..take 2 with a glass of wine and you will sleep like a baby. Even in coach.
     
  10. cvsara
    Original Member

    cvsara Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    4,537
    Status Points:
    2,670
    Is that a prescription? I have a real problem from OGG to PIA, after being awake for 10 to 14 hours b/f boarding. Then a looooong flight thru the west coast, ORD, down to PIA, then a 70 mile drive home. I'd love to sleep, not just doz on any and all of those legs. Heck, I'd even give up traveling that return w/o my good traveling friend, Jack. That is tough to say, but, after doing at return for over 30+ years, and never being able to sleep on that trip, -- well, best not bring up what else I'd give up. ;)
     
  11. txmoney

    txmoney Silver Member

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    44
    Status Points:
    120
    Yes, just tell your doctor it's for a long flight. I take the LA - Hong Kong often and I feel great when I get there. Sleeping pills made me feel kinda cloudy but Xanax I feel good.
     
  12. dayone
    Original Member

    dayone Silver Member

    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    824
    Status Points:
    795
    Water and prophylactic aspirin can help you wake refreshed.
     
  13. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    Do not use alcohol, it will just contribute to dehydration.

    If you do use a sleep aid (I have friends who successfully use Ambien), make sure not to take the pill until the plane is in the air. A friend took the pill before pushback and the plane ended up going mechanical -- not fun having to drag yourself and your stuff off the plane and to another gate when you're already sedated.
     
    HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.
  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    In the air might not be enough, but definitely advisable. We recently returned to SFO after about one hour in the air (broken engine) and departed on another aircraft six hours later. Would have hated to have taken sleep medicine and then fought against sleep in the lounge.
     
  15. kyunbit
    Original Member

    kyunbit Silver Member

    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    1,154
    Status Points:
    825
    The best option if it works for you: do not sleep the night before. You are bound to sleep well on the flight. I sleep well even in Y using the simple trick.
     
    kiwi likes this.
  16. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    Likes Received:
    2,117
    Status Points:
    1,270
    Xanax and wine(or any alcohol) is a REALLY bad idea - there are multiple reports of amnesia for events transpiring during the time the drug is in your system (also a danger with other meds in this class but xanax seems especially bad).
     
  17. txmoney

    txmoney Silver Member

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    44
    Status Points:
    120
    I just took the advise of a doctor and it has worked great for me. Never had any amnesia issues at all. Don't drink excessively only a glass of wine or two.
     
  18. kiwi
    Original Member

    kiwi Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,851
    Likes Received:
    27,973
    Status Points:
    20,020
    No amnesia - what about insomnia or jet lag?
     
  19. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    Likes Received:
    2,117
    Status Points:
    1,270
    amnesia - means you can't remember what you did during a period of time (therefore unless traveling with a companion that can tell you later you wouldn't know :D) This is especially bad with ambien and alcohol - but I'll stop giving free medical advice and stick to giving the real info to the people who pay me for it VBG
     
    HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.
  20. LAM

    LAM Silver Member

    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    280
    Status Points:
    475
    You really need to know what your reaction to Ambien will be. My 15 yr old niece was prescribed Ambien and she thought it was snowing and I was Santa Claus. We also had a hard time keeping her in bed. She would get up and walk around. She never remembered anything she did. You could really embarrass yourself on the plane.

    Someone I know swears by Excedrin PM to sleep on planes.
     
    HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.
  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    I have observed something like that, too. Definitely would recommend a couple of trial runs at home.
     
  22. KyRoamer
    Original Member

    KyRoamer Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,715
    Likes Received:
    17,469
    Status Points:
    10,620
    My wife is a Benedril fan. Two pills and she's out whether in Coach or Business class.

    I'm not as lucky. Benedril doesn't do anything for me. Ambien let's me sleep but I wake up tired and that tiredness can last for hours. So I just relax and hope to sleep some. My wife says that when she wakes up (nature calls), I am usually fast asleep and snoring. She punches me to get out and hopes I stay awake long enough for her to fall back to sleep.

    I take something to read and if I don't sleep, I read. I usually prefer a real book to an eBook because when I do doze it falls somewhere.

    We always go to Europe a day early. That protects against most flight delays and gives us time to reset our body clock on arrival. We typically arrive Europe after clearing customs, immigration and reclaiming our bags between 8 and 11 am.

    We usually go to our hotel, drop our bags, check in if the room is available and walk for a bit. We do a light lunch and around 3 or 4 pm take a nap for two to three hours. Then we clean up and go to dinner and do not go back to bed until at least 11 pm local time. The next morning we use an alarm to wake up early and we seem to be on local time for the rest of our trip.

    We think the short mid-afternoon nap makes up for lost sleep on the flight and allows us to enjoy dinner and be tired enough to go to bed fairly late and still sleep well. Going home is always for us a daylight trip arriving home after being up close to 20 hours.We force ourselves to eat dinner and stay up until 10 or 11 pm. By the next day we are still a bit tired but our body clock is on the way to resetting. I say on the way as it usually takes up three days or more to not get tired in the late afternoon.

    Best advice here is to avoid booze (wine too) and drink lots of water. We do a glass of wine for dinner (if we eat) and that's it for the trip. If we have a late flight out (after 7 pm) we eat at the airport and skip the meal. t s easier to sleep when not digesting a big meal. Also many trips to Europe (NYC to London or Paris) from wheels up to when they wake you for breakfast are only about five or six hours. Since meal serve doesn't start at once, eating means little sleep time.
     
    HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.
  23. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    That may be some exaggeration. As mentioned above, KLM has been known to offer economical upgrades out of AMS on day of departure. In terms of economical upgrades for transocean service, you're not going to get much from USA-based airlines either, and often the european airlines can actually offer more - BA, VS, KL for example.

    The cheap/shiny card upgrade game is really mostly for domestic service, not transocean.
     

Share This Page