Red-Eye Guide

Healthy ways to make it through an all-night flight

  • Before leaving for your flight, have a healthy, hearty meal to fuel your body. Stick to lean proteins, vegetables and whole grains. Chicken stir-fry with quinoa is a great example. Drink a big glass of water with your dinner to maintain hydration.
  • Take vitamin C and/or D 30 minutes before your flight to help you stay awake and alert during the long night ahead. This also helps support your body's immune system which can become weakened from the late hours.
  • When you get to the airport, skip the caffeinated beverages and go for water. Water provides oxygen to the brain helping your mind stay alert and focused. Continue to stay hydrated throughout the flight and reserve caffeine until later in the night. When you do reach for the caffeine, stick to caffeinated tea or a small cup of coffee. Too much caffeine may make you more tired and potentially shaky or nauseous when consuming it in the middle of the night. It may also make it difficult to get good sleep post-flight. Stick to using caffeine as a small pick-me up instead of an all night crutch.
  • A warm beverage can be comforting in the middle of the night when your body gets cold and wants to shut down and sleep. Herbal teas are a great way to receive that comfort without the caffeine.
  • Pack an indulging treat for when you get the snackies between services. Bringing something you consider an indulgence can save you from eating airplane food but still satisfy the need for snacks when you are tired. Sweet potato fries, gluten free English muffin pizzas, almond flour cookies or salted caramel corn are a few examples of "junk" food done right. Check out the snack recipes on this site for some more tasty ideas. Save this snack for the second half of your night when the cravings attack.
  • Peppermint oil encourages clear and open airways, which allows your body to supply more oxygen to your brain and, in turn, provides energy and alertness. When you begin to slump, apply peppermint oil (diluted with a carrier oil for sensitive skin) to your temples and back of neck. You can also add a drop to your tea or water for an extra lift (do not use peppermint oil in a plastic cup or bottle.)
  • Once you've finally landed safely at your final destination, have a light breakfast before going to bed. If you are lucky enough to end up home at the end of the night, prepare you breakfast the day before so you don't have to think about what to eat when you get home. You don't want to consume heavy or sugary food right before sleep. Sweet Potato Casserole, Breakfast Sausage with fruit or Blueberry Vanilla Granola with yogurt are a few ideas to have already made up in your refrigerator. Enjoy your breakfast with a small cup of chamomile tea to help you unwind. 
  • Follow the tips under Layover when preparing for sleep.