- Supplies Guide
When the BedTimes and Sleep Savvy team booked flights for the summer Las Vegas Market, we found ticket prices were up about $300 over January. Trying to save money, two of us decided to take a red-eye home and cut a night of hotel costs.
Red-eyes are brutal and I’ve been worried about how this one might wreak havoc with the improvements I’ve made to my sleep in recent weeks.
I was right to be concerned.
Dr. Robert Oexman, the director of Kingdown’s Sleep to Live Institute who has been leading me through his cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia program, calls red-eyes “train wrecks.”
And mine was shaping up to be the mother of all train wrecks.
Traveling from west to east already is harder on the body and its sleep cycle than heading in the opposite direction. And today’s cramped, crowded planes render sleep virtually impossible. Making it even worse, I’d be flying coach and had a three-hour layover in Atlanta. Oh, and I seemed to be developing a sinus infection.
At best, Oexman told me when we met during the Las Vegas Market, “you’re going to get maybe three hours of sleep.”
His best advice: Don’t take red-eyes.
Given that it was too late for that, he gave me tips for getting my sleep back on track quickly after a red-eye:
Frankly, much of this advice is the same he offered when I asked him before market how to ensure good sleep when traveling from my home on the East Coast to Las Vegas.
Here’s one of the main things I’m learning from Oexman: Good sleep, at least in middle age, is all about maintaining good habits—just like losing weight requires regular exercise and a healthy diet. Despite what pharmaceutical companies want us to believe, there’s no magic pill.
Oexman did, however, offer to write me a prescription for the next time I’m tempted to book a red-eye: Take flights only during the day and early evening. Repeat as needed.