I noted with pleasure a recent post by Virginia Heffernanthat reveals her yearning for the ability to catch a sound nap on board a plane. After all, a refreshing nap has plenty of positive health benefits. Unfortunately, there are lots of physical obstacles—cramped quarters, aisle traffic, public address announcements, turbulence—not to mention the cognitive strain of reconciling the banal proceedings inside the cabin with the unlikely fact of traveling at 500 miles per hour at 35,000 feet. I find sheer fatigue (and abstention from alcohol) is the best sleep inducement, but at least one reader suggested a routine that includes 1) avoiding an aisle seat, 2) covering neck or lap with a scarf or fleece (to produce blanket memory), and 3) repeating a positive thought as a mantra with eyes closed. And, oh yes, “vigil sleep”—the state of drowsiness with “one eye open” doesn’t count. I went through a phase where I would fall into a deep sleep only to startle myself awake with the vivid image of hanging suspended above the Atlantic in a tiny tube and wondering “how did I get here?” I guess I still have a long way to go before I lose my self-consciousness and gain perfect knowledge.

Are you able to meditate on a plane?

Photo by floralbrigades.


About The Author

Michael Hartung, editor of Healthy Travel Blog, serves as head of Product Development at HTH Worldwide. Mike is responsible for all product strategy and development for the company. Mike has over twenty years of successful product innovation to his credit. He has played a senior management role in three start-up companies and has built complex organizations in rapid growth environments. Prior to joining HTH in 2000, he served as President of U.S. Healthcare’s Workers Comp Advantage subsidiary, which he co-founded with Angelo Masciantonio. Mike has also served in senior roles at Aon Consulting, Vantage Health Partners and Managed Health Care Services. Mike earned an M.B.A. from New York University, an M.A. from Duke University and a B.A. from Carleton College.

1 Comment

  1. Flying East by leaving at midnight PST for 5 hours to transfer to another flight for 6 hours has the ability to knock you out just prior to so called lunch time.
    On AC you have just left Vancouver, lights go out and 2 hours later they wake you up for breakfast so now you in truth have not had sleep.
    Sleep does catchup on the second flight with a jolt.
    Fly East to Heathrow from Vancouver and not bad but we found once you get to Hotel, have a nice shower , crawl into bed and wakeup for 6pm for a light supper. Go to bed as normal , say 11pm and you will wakeup at 2AM , wide awake, continue this for three night till you’re on on GMT

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