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Surviving the red-eye flight

  • Story Highlights
  • Window seats at the front are best, the last row is the worst for a good night's rest
  • Travel pillows may be awkward to carry, but they can aid sleep
  • Resist the urge to nap. Acclimatize to the new time zone as quickly as possible
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The overnight long-haul doesn't have to be a killer. Follow some simple steps to survive the red-eye flight.

The right seat

Window seats are best for catching some sleep, as there is something to lean against. You also don't risk being woken by a neighbor clambering past to get to the toilet.

Seats at the front of the plane are the quietest.

The worst seats are on the back row, as often they don't recline.

Some seats on exit rows also do not recline and here bags must be stowed in lockers which means you'll have to keep getting up to get at belongings.

To find the best seats, visit SeatGuru that weighs up the pros and cons of each seat on every commercial plane.

Bag it

Sleep-inducing goodies to pack in the carry-on bag include ear plugs, comfy socks, and noise-canceling ear phones.

Travel pillows may be awkward to carry, but they are proven at improving sleep by supporting the head.

An eye mask can also minimize interference from a neighbor's light and video screen.

Perfect timing

Try to resist the urge to nap. The idea is to acclimatize to the new time zone as quickly as possible. So if you arrive in the morning, try to push through to bed time.

But don't over-do it the day after. A big night out is not the best idea, but early morning meetings could help you hit the ground running.

Skip coffee in the airport and especially when the trolley comes round during the flight.

If you're on a transatlantic red-eye, wait an hour or two before having breakfast on arrival in London. After all, it may be 7 am in London but it's still the middle of the night in New York.

Set your alarm to wake up half an hour before the plane touches down. This will provide enough time to use the bathroom, gather possessions and acclimatize to the new day. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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