Long haul flights aren’t fun.
You’re stuck in a seat for hours on end, surrounded by hundreds of other uncomfortable people, all while flying over multiple time zones.
To say it screws with your body is an understatement.
Take my recent business trip to Europe, for example. On Sunday evening I flew from Sydney at 9.30pm to Doha, where I landed at 5.30am on Monday. That’s a 15-hour flight. From there I flew six hours to Barcelona, where I landed just after lunch time on the same day.
Six days later I was on a plane again. This time flying out from Copenhagen at 12.30pm on Sunday to arrive in Singapore at 6am on Monday, wait for 14 hours in the airport and then fly to Sydney, which was another eight-hour journey. I returned home on Tuesday at 6am.
It’s an unrealistic expectation for your body to manage naturally. So, I cheat.
Yes, it’s not for everyone. But when I have to back it up by working an 10-hour day as soon as I step off the plane, I am going to do what I need in order to make it happen.
So, here’s my game plan — five things I always use to deal with the pain.
1. A window seat
This way you are less likely to be interrupted during your deep sleep.
2. A comfortable pillow
Use your jacket, the blanket provided or a travel pillow and get in the most comfortable position possible.
3. A sleeping tablet
The rule here is to sleep on the plane when you would be sleeping at the destination. It doesn’t matter if it is the middle of the morning where I am leaving from, I make it happen. This normally means taking the tablet with my meal and nodding off while watching a movie.
4. Noise cancelling headphones
Earplugs are great but they don’t fully block out the constant hum of the plane.
5. Eye mask
It’s important that you block out the light to trick you body into thinking it’s night time.
Consider: in my flights mentioned earlier I flew a total of 42 hours. I slept 34 of the 42 hours available, waking up fresh and ready for whatever the day had to throw at me.
*The author travelled to Barcelona as a guest of Atlassian.
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