If you travel for business, sooner or later you'll find yourself on a red-eye flight. Those overnight flights are draining enough, but when you need to go directly from the airport into a meeting it can really tax your system. Still, you need to put your game face on and show up sharp, fresh, and ready to go.
Never fear--you can do it! Here are a few tips to make your transition from airport to boardroom as seamless as possible.
1. Only medicate if you must.
It's common to pop some Benadryl or Ambien to knock you out so that you can sleep through a red-eye flight. But make sure you only resort to this if you absolutely need to. While medication might help you fall asleep, it can also make it harder to wake up upon your arrival. And if you need to go straight from the airport to a meeting, you'll want to be alert and sharp. If you do need to take a sleeping pill, talk to your doctor about options that will leave you feeling less drowsy in the morning.
2. Hydrate before, during, and after your flight.
We've all heard about the importance of staying hydrated while flying since the the recycled air on board a plane can be drying and dehydrating. But when you're taking the red-eye, it's just as important to hydrate after you land.
When you sleep, your body loses water. So if you want to feel alert when you land, hydrate well. Before you pour yourself a cup of coffee, pour yourself a tall glass of water. It'll refresh you, revive you, replenish you, and perk you up.
3. Book a window seat.
The last thing you need on a red-eye flight is to be awakened every time your neighbor needs to take a bathroom break. So make sure to grab yourself a window seat to ensure that you can sleep without interruption.
4. Turn off your screen before you board.
There's a growing body of scientific research that suggests that the light from our computer, tablet, and mobile phone screens before bedtime is disrupting our sleep cycles and keeping us awake later. If you want to sleep on your flight, start preparing for sleep by turning your screen off before you board. Doing so will prep your brain for a good rest.
5. Bring travel-friendly toiletries.
Disposable face towelettes and toothbrushes are the red-eye flyer's best friend. These products are security checkpoint-friendly, and, more importantly, they're easy to use in airplane bathroom. Giving your face a quick wipe and your teeth a quick brush will help you feel alert and awake before you head off to work.
6. Pack a clean shirt.
You're going to look ruffled when you deplane from a red eye. Plan your outfit accordingly. You don't necessarily need to pack an entire outfit in your carry on, just swapping out the shirt that you slept in for a clean one can make all the difference in the world. You will look and feel more presentable and work-ready.
Gotta go. The plane is about to land!