My tips for a better sleep

My tips for a better sleep
19/11/2017 pilotpatrick
my tips for a better sleep

Hello my Aviator, time literally flies. I am already flying for one year the Airbus A300. As you may have noticed the operation requires me to have a lot of flights at night. A restful sleep is not only important for pilots to be fit to fly. Sleep is one of the most important needs in life. I am a pretty good sleeper and I want you to learn from my tips for a better sleep. I hope they will help you so a good night’s sleep does not remain a dream.

sunset milan airport

Breathtaking sunset at Milan airport /no filter!

Some colleagues of mine have approached me and inspired me to share my tips and guidelines in this blog post. They thought since I am the fit and healthy pilot I might help others. Especially in the Aviation industry pilots have to cope with irregular working hours. Thus many are experiencing problems sleeping well. Lack of sleep can cause moodiness, lack of concentration, and sluggishness. A former colleague of mine faced these problems. The frustration turned into depression and in the end, she had to take a timeout in the hospital. The effects of a bad night’s sleep are not to underestimate.

my tips for a better sleep

Hotel bed in Casablanca

My tips for a better sleep

Body’s internal clock

Try to get in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, also called circadian rhythm. This is one of the most important strategies for sleeping better, but also the most difficult one to follow as a crew member. Keeping regular sleep-wake schedule lets you feel more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times. Choose a bedtime when you normally feel tired.

Good night tea

Instead of alcohol which makes you sleepy, have a cup of tea before you go to bed. Access alcohol might even have the effect that your sleep is less restful. Any herbal tea works, as long as it is without caffeine. I can recommend the organic Snore & Peace Tea of Clipper. For me, a tea has a soothing effect and calms my body and my mind down.

Earplugs

Don’t let you disturb by noise. In a hotel, I always hang the “do not disturb” sign out and I sometimes even unplug the hotel phone. If you have a noisy environment I recommend wearing earplugs to eliminate the risk of waking up by noise. I use costume made earplugs of Hoerluchs. They are fitted to my ears and are really comfortable to wear.  A more affordable option is the product of Ohropax. Those earplugs are made out of wax and adjust to any shape. The downside is that you might lose them during sleep.

 

my tips for a better sleep

Bedtime tea

my tips for better sleep

Earplugs by Hoerluchs

Sleeping mask

A room which is too bright makes it harder to fall asleep or wakes you up to early. Sometimes I use a sleeping mask when the room is not dark. I have not found the ideal one yet. Even the sleeping mask out of the first class of Lufthansa might come off while sleeping. Last night I tried the sleeping mask, SleepMaster. This sleeping mask is a little bit more expansive, but it is really comfortable to wear and I did not lose it while sleeping.

Your phone

Avoid bright screens within one hour of your bed-time. In case you have to use your phone just prior going to bed make sure, you have turned down the brightness and activated the night option, which is called “night shift” on the iPhone

Reading

Reading helps me a lot to fall asleep. I am reading a magazine or a book and I avoid reading from a back-lit screen. This technique helps me to relax and to clear my head if my brain has been overstimulated a lot over the day.

 

my tips for better sleep

Earplugs and sleeping mask

How does food affect your sleep?

What you eat and drink before bed can affect your sleep. Spicy and acidic foods can also kill sleep efforts because they cause heartburn. Lying down makes heartburn worse, and the discomfort from heartburn hinders sleep. Additionally, a heavy meal activates digestion, which can lead to nighttime trips to the bathroom.

Foods containing the amino acid tryptophan—a building block of the sleep-related chemical serotonin—could make you sleepy. (not proven if the amount is enough to change your sleep) Foods such as eggs, chicken, fish, and nuts contain roughly equal amounts of tryptophan. Carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain. Some whole wheat crackers with peanut butter are a good before bedtime snack.

How does exercise affect your sleep?

Exercise regularly and you will sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Regular exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia. Additionally, it increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep. The harder the work out is the deeper is my sleep. But also light exercise will improve your sleep.

Try to finish moderate to vigorous workouts at least three hours before bedtime. Relaxing, light exercises such as yoga or gentle stretching in the evening can help promote sleep.

cockpit view Airbus A300

Sunrise in the sky

Most important is that you have the willingness to try out new techniques and alter your habits to potentially notice an improvement. Routine, relaxation, and listing to your body’s internal clock is the key to success. One of my next blog posts will be about how to cope with working at night. 

my tips for a better sleep

I found my hotel room for tonight!

How many hours do you sleep a day and what is your tip for a better sleep?Please leave me a comment below the article and subscribe to my newsletter with your email.

Happy landings and happy sleeping!

Your PilotPatrick

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24 Comments

  1. Allena 4 weeks ago

    Nicee tipss Mr. Patrick. Hope Always Healthy your life.

  2. Rajee Jee 4 weeks ago

    It’s really useful and very good tips.your healthy lifestyle give us more inspiration.be happy healthy life PilotPatrick.hope we can get more health tips from you.

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 weeks ago

      Hello Rajee,
      thanks for your comment. I will do my best and keep sharing my healthy tips.
      Happy ladings
      Patrick

  3. UMI NADHIRA 4 weeks ago

    Hi, thank for your tips, my friend. Actually I almost dont have problem with night sleep but napping day. I can sleep for 3 or 5 hours at night. I can sleep late but wake up early too. But sometimes I feel difficult to take a nap. I almost fainted 2 days ago cause I didnt nap n had busy work. But yesterday I took a nap for almost 4 hours. Maybe this is an impact from my night sleep. OMG your photo in the hotel bed in Casablanca is so funny hahaha. Sleeping in the dark is better for our eyes too. Thank you very much.

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 weeks ago

      Hello Umi,
      maybe you should try not to take any taps during the day and sleep longer at night. If you nap it should only be for 30 minutes!
      Happy landings 🙂
      Patrick

      • VAISHALI PURUSHOTTAM PAI 3 weeks ago

        try not to take any taps during the day or naps during the day

  4. Padmini Barve 4 weeks ago

    Dear i like ur lifestyle….

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, I like it too. I hope my tipps inspire you.

  5. Cherryl Chew 4 weeks ago

    Dear Pilot Patrick, Congratulations on your new blog. I find that all your posts are really very informative and interesting even though l had just followed you for only one week. Keep up the good work my handsome, brilliant and fantastic idol. It is already a routine for me to write my comment on your post now. I hope that you will answer my second questions sometimes as l know you have your own rules.

    Well, normally l use to sleep for about 5 hours only. I don’t have many tips but l would suggest to rest our mind at least 1 hour before bedtime by doing things we like such as watching tv, reading something such as your comments on instagram.

    Having a relaxing massage with essential oil in the afternoon can really help a lot as well.

    Sometimes l can also get very sleepy at night after doing housework for the whole day.

    Your suggestion on hot tea is very helpful. I would take a hot drink and some snacks if l have difficulty to sleep.

    How was your exam? I hope that you did well and will be promoted to become a Captain very soon.

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 weeks ago

      Hello Cherryl,
      thanks for your comment and sharing your tips! I really appreciate it. Especially that you are an Aviator 🙂
      The Simulator went well so far. Since I just started flying on the Airbus I still need some more hours to become Captain.
      Happy landings! Patrick

  6. Amy Kurdi 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for the tips Pilot Patrick ! A great read as I do work night shift at the moment. I get about 3 hours sleep then I’m up for few hours, then back to sleep for a couple more hours before my shift starts again. I’m always feeling tired so I love my days off to catch up on sleep. Or to atleast get a proper nights sleeps 🙂 Looking forward to your future articles.

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 weeks ago

      Hello Amy, thanks a lot for your comment. One of my next blog post will be about working at night. I know it is difficult. But a healthy lifestyle and power naps can help-
      Happy landings 🙂 Patrick

  7. Rajemah Rajali 4 weeks ago

    Hi patrick…very good tips today.i just share your blog to my friends in our group.i hope your tips in blog can help them too.like me always lack a quality of sleep.this two days i didn’t get enough sleep.just because of weekends i decided to complete my work without worry about my quality of rest at night.today my friend ask about panda eyes hahaha…they said am looked like a panda with dark circle below my eyes and can see the eye bags….i never try herbal tea but only with a warm choco drink,read some a bored novel(always can help)wear a eye mask and listen a slow music..but if am too tired i will get a warm bathing before go to bed…..now very hard to follow my time management due to a lot of work…..thanks for your all tips patrick….

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 weeks ago

      Hello Rajemah,
      thanks for your comment and for sharing your tips. As long as the choco drink is without sugar it is ok 😉 A bath can bee quite tiring as well and helps going to bed.
      All the best and try too rest in between busy days!
      Happy landings!
      Patrick

  8. Fernando 4 weeks ago

    These are great tips my friend! And you are right, having a great rest when you sleep it’s a must if you want a better life! Thank you for sharing you’re knowledge!

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 weeks ago

      Hello Fernando,
      thanks for your comment! 🙂 All the best and happy landings!

  9. Emily 4 weeks ago

    Hi Patrick!! I ask myself this question about sleep every time, especially for you as a pilot since you are daily requested, and you must concentrate for a long time which is tiring physically as wall as mentally. Despite your jetlag and travel fatigue you’re always fit and always cheerful and a in great mood. You are just super Patrick, and these are great advice!

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 weeks ago

      Hello Emily,
      thanks for your nice comment. I really appreciate it. I think it is because of a good combination of sleep, exercises and healthy food. You are very welcome.
      Happy landings!
      Patrick

  10. Japan 4 weeks ago

    Have a nice day today

  11. Maks 4 weeks ago

    Thank you, Patrick. Specialy for the brain relaxing advice. It makes a big problem for me latelly. I litterally cannot rest my brain so I cannot sleep. I will try reading and tea tonight.

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 weeks ago

      Hello Maks,
      thanks for comment. I hope my tips will help you! 🙂
      All the best and happy landings
      Patrick

  12. VAISHALI PURUSHOTTAM PAI 3 weeks ago

    Very useful sleeping tips pilot. Really good ones. Glad to know about so many devices to improve the quality and quantity of sleep. Thanks for sharing them with us. Lack of sleep is a major cause of all illness. Yesterday I was feeling slightly feverish. But after I took 2 short naps of 1 hour each in afternoon I felt better and the fever vanished. I realised I had over exerted day b4 yesterday and day b4 yesterday so I badly needed to take rest yesterday to compensate the lack of sleep. So good sleep is absolutely necessary

  13. kim 3 weeks ago

    Hi Pilot Patrick,

    I really like your tips and I will for sure follow it. Can you also share some advices or tips on how to be fit especially for person without motivation for exercise? Do you know some natural alternatives to a person who really loves eating sugar and couldn’t avoid it? I would really appreciate if you could share your healthy lifestyle to me or us who are following your life.
    Btw, hope everything is fine with you and have a happy flying.

    Best regards,
    Your Aviator

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