Unless you are traveling in the pointy end of the plane, most people think that taking an overnight flight means a sleepless night and arriving at your destination tired and bleary-eyed. But taking the red-eye flight doesn’t mean arriving with red eyes – provided you are well prepared.

  1. Eye Mask Getting some good shuteye depends on a dark environment. Even with the cabin lights off, the flicker from fellow passengers’ television sets can make sleep impossible. Don’t rely on the cheap flimsy ones your airline might provide; invest in a good eye mask that fits snugly without irritating the nose. Check out the Cabeau midnight magic mask, which is top of the range.

  2. Pillows On budget airlines, you are lucky if you get a pillow, let alone a comfortable one. Full-service airlines might give you a small one, but you’re best to invest in a good neck pillow and something to support your lower back. Again, check out the Cabeau range, which supports the chin and the neck. If you are limited to carrying on, take an extra pullover that you can use to keep your back.

  3. Earplugs Essential for uninterrupted sleep. Nothing kills the slumber like the sound of other passengers who can’t sleep (or are snoring!) and impatient flight attendants. We like the silicone variety that can be molded to the ear to fit snugly. Alpine Hearing Protection, out of the Netherlands, offers an excellent set to order online.

  4. Stay warm Many airlines keep the cabin cold. Be sure to bring a pullover and wear long pants, even traveling between warm destinations. If you have space, bring a small blanket.

  5. Skip the in-flight meal Don’t let a free meal come at the expense of a nice sleep. When you take off, eat, and have the tray cleared, you will be at least two hours into your overnight flight. Eat at a nice airport restaurant and brush your teeth before boarding to settle straight in for a good sleep.

  6. Your seat matters Unfortunately, we can’t all be as lucky as the guy pictured above, so there are pros and cons to consider. Being on an aisle seat means you have easy bathroom access, but it could also mean that your sleep is interrupted by neighbors with weak bladders. If you plan to clock off for the night uninterrupted, go for the window. Make sure you take your sleeping supplies to the seat with you, so you don’t have to wait until the seatbelt sign is off before settling in.

  7. Sleeping tablets Talk to your doctor about taking a sleeping tablet to help you nod off. When used properly, they can mean the difference between arriving ready for the day or preparing for bed. Don’t mix them with alcohol, and it’s best to have a trial run at home before flying to check for side effects.

Hopefully, with these tips in hand, you’ll get off your overnight flight feeling more refreshed and enjoy your day at your destination. You might also want to check out our tips on staying in shape while on the road.