It’s a long night, traveling to foreign destinations as we are doing tonight, flying to Munich, Germany, As I walk through the cabin, I marvel at the different ways my fellow coach passengers attempt to find sleep in a sitting position.
There are the standard travelers who utilize the little white airline pillows that pop out from under your head every time you shift. We can send a man to space but not improve this pillow.
Well, there are the pillows you can purchase at the little airport stores. They come in all colors and shapes. I call these the “nod and bob” pillows. They are soft and cozy around your neck, but when you fall asleep, your head will bob with a potential risk of whip lash. I don’t find that restful at all.
Tonight I saw several seats with people covered completely, head to toe with the little airline blanket. There is a zombie type of appearance that makes me chuckle as I walk by.
A few folks tonight are using black masks to create darkness to promote their sleep. I have not tried this method but when you wake up in the middle of the night with a masked man sitting next to you, it can give you quite a start!
During my business travel days I often flew the red eye to the east coast. On occasion I would get an upgrade, I recall one night sitting in first class when a very handsome, well dressed man sat down next to me. Although we never spoke, I still remember that intimate feeling of waking up and seeing him with his mouth hanging open and a little drool in the corner of his lip. It was a one night stand, we never slept together again.
As I sit here now at 38,000 feet, I am pretty sure my collective traveling companions in coach will agree, we were not designed to sleep sitting up, even in mild turbulence.
Our final challenge will be to arrive at the equivalent time zone of morning but really it will be in the middle of the night for us. Our bodies know this and our brains can sense the confusion. To make a good transition to our new reality, we try to stay up and active until bedtime so our second morning, we wake, somewhat acclimated to the zone and thankful for a good night’s sleep in a soft bed.