How To Sleep on Planes

The White Company sleep collection
White Company Sleep Collection. Photo credit: The White Company

Travel is meant to broaden the mind. It has screwed up mine. Travel has taught me to detest, dislike and actively dread many things. Like Jet Lag. And not sleeping on planes.

We’ve all been there. To that twilight zone in which the world seems to bend and shimmer around you and people make noises like curlews who have been at the nitrous oxide. That grey limbo-land where the body is present but the mind not so easily locatable.

It all has something to do with leaving one country and getting to another fourteen hours later at exactly the same time you left with the net result that you look like the day after.

If I have learned anything from my travels is that travel is no fun at all if you can’t sleep and the great sights of the world are meaningless if you are asleep.

I suffer awfully from jet lag. I dress as sleep conducive as I can. From the Cariouma trainers to the Rip Van Winkle sleep hat with The White Company cashmere socks and fleecy sweatpants. And the Luff sleep pillow.

I don’t get on with a special travel pillow. If I do sleep, I wake up feeling like I have been asleep all night with my head in a lavatory lid.

I use pharmaceuticals in the form of pillow mists.

To get off to sleep I don’t count sheep jumping over a farm gate. Instead, I try and remember and name all the ingredients and essential oils in my pillow mist.

I start off with jasmine, sandalwood and cananga odorata (ylang ylang). Then it’s sandalwood and balsam extract. By the time I get to citrus zurantiim bergamie, my eyelids are drooping, and I am beginning to doze off.

The final words that go through my mind as I drift off completely are Eugenol and Isoeugenol.

My wife is auditory challenging. She snores. Or rather she falls asleep and starts snoring before I do.

Her nocturnal eructations got the better of me. I self-medicate “Linanool” to activate my alpha waves and limbic system.

My wife’s snoring got so bad that I had to go to the doctor. I described the symptoms. The tossing and turning, the confused circadian rhythms and the domestic violence. Sonic. He listened, nodded and said, “Miaroma”.

Luff Sleep Pillow
The Cambridge Bamboo Pillow. Photo credit: Luff Sleep

Which I thought was a terminal condition. Then he said, “Honeysuckle” which I thought a little forward and fresh and inappropriate in a doctor-patient relationship.

But he was prescribing or suggesting lavender pillow spray.

I asked a friend for a second opinion, and she said “Bach”. I immediately thought of sound hubs play sedating sounds like crashing waves, rainfall or wine chimes rather than fugues and orgelwerke.

But he was recommending a brand of flower remedy “rescue” pastilles and non-habit-forming, fast-acting, no-sedative, heavy on Star of Bethlehem and white chestnut sprays.

I had tried everything. I had almost bankrupted myself on CBD oils, melatonin capsules and caplets, valerian tablets, cranial electrotherapy, pre-bed eucalyptus bubble baths, chamomile tea, Kalms, Lenor, Night Nurse, Ovaltine, SSRIs weighted blankets, breathing classes, oat milk body lotion, cannabis, lullaby CDs and caffeine curfews as well as blue light and social media screen time blue screen diets.

Money is no object to radiate liveliness when you wake up in the morning.

I began sleeping with lithium-ion batteries and visiting sleep hygienists. I also started experimenting with an Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax roller ball.

But my wife remained the source of a disturbing amount of ambient noise. She lay between me and eight hours of restorative unconsciousness. She haunted my helix and tormented by tagus.

Then my doctor, who believes in self-hypnosis and self-sedation, suggested reciting the contents of sleep sprays. Although no neuro- scientist, he guaranteed I would fall asleep before I got anywhere near Vetiveria zizanoides.

To fall asleep and stay asleep, I had trusted in the hemp seed oil and E.l.f. hemp see Dope Dreams Sleep Mask. But I became dependent. I began weaning myself in bed. My waking and sleeping life is not measured in blister packs but essential oils natural anxiolytics (anxiety relievers) and a tried and tested aromatherapy regime.

Every Monday I now spritz and douse myself with lemon myrtle and melissa and our pillows with Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax sleep mist. My life has changed. The punching and swearing have stopped. I get a good night’s rest, “high performance” sleep and my skin gets its collagen.

On Tuesday it’s White Company. Wednesday it’s more White Company. They have a special clary and vetivert forward Sleep Collection with body balm, bath soak and tranquilizing candles. Maybe a little squirt or two of Jo Malone London Lavender and Moonflower.

On Thursday it’s Bloom & Blossom (I always forget the linden blossom) and Friday is for Susanne Kaufmann.

On Saturdays I trust in Mauli Rituals Sleep Bundle. Including their Body Calm and bedside candle.  Sundays are for L’Occitane’s Aromachologie pillow spray.

I like to be organised when I rest.

Author Bio:

Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appear worldwide, and he has been published in over 800 titles.

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