Restful Sleep on an Private Flight

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One of the greatest comforts of traveling in a private jet is the opportunity to sleep onboard without being disturbed. When you’re in the air, however, you might be out of your comfort zone. There are sounds that you might not be used to, the air is dry, and the cabin pressure can make you feel different. But, even a few good hours of solid sleep makes all the difference when you have a full day following a overnight flight. Getting quality sleep on a plane takes some preparation, but it’s not impossible.

How to Sleep on Air Charter Flights

1. Charter a private jet with a flat bed. If you’re making a short hop in a turboprop or small jet, aircraft like the Embraer 300 and Beechcraft King Air have seats that convert into flat beds. Some smaller jets also have divan beds. Medium-sized jets with beds include the Citation XL, XLS and XLS+, as well as the Hawker 900, and Legacy 450 and 500. The exceptional space in large body and long-range jets offer a variety of sleeping options. Some of the best include Gulfstream’s G650, the Dassault Falcon 900EX, and Bombardier’s Global Express, Global 5000 and Global 6000.

2. Dress comfortably. To sleep comfortably, wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. Good options include those that are lightweight and loose fitting. If you feel comfortable enough with the flight crew and fellow passengers, wear your favorite loungewear.

3. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol. Everyone reacts to caffeine and alcohol differently. The affects of such beverages may change when you’re thousands of feet above the Earth. Instead of beverages that dehydrate you, like alcohol and caffeine, choose those that help you relax and feel comfortable. Switch out that cup of coffee or cocktail, for example, for gourmet hot chocolate.

4. Eat light. One of the worst times for the body to digest a heavy meal is during a flight. Instead of having a big meal for dinner during a private flight, graze on smaller meals made up of foods that are easy to digest.

5. Stock the plane with comfortable linens. Feel more at home as you try to sleep during an overnight flight by having the crew stock the plane with your favorite type of pillows, bed sheets, blankets and comforters.

6. Dim the lights. When your eyes sense darkness, they send messages in your brain to convert serotonin to melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. As you get ready to sleep, ask the flight attendants to dim the cabin lights so they’re no brighter than 60 lux. If the crew needs lighting to perform their duties, request that they use red-colored lights because red wavelengths don’t trigger the brain to wake up, as those with blue and white wavelengths do. If other passengers want to use a light as you sleep, wear a comfortable eye mask.

7. Listen to something relaxing. If the whir of engines or other noises keep you up, wearing a pair of foam earplugs may help. Similarly, using a pillow with built-in speakers and playing relaxing music may lull you to sleep. If you usually fall asleep while watching the news or a TV show, stream the program so you hear it through the pillow’s speaker. Doing so will keep in step with your current sleep hygiene and signal to your brain that it’s time to snooze.


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