“I don’t know how he does it,” she told me. “He fell asleep when the wheels lifted off the ground and hasn’t woken up since. At one point, he was kneeling backward on the seat with his head against the headrest. When dinner was served, the flight attendant came by, lowered his tray table, left the food and then eventually removed it uneaten. So he leaned forward and began sleeping with his head down on the tray table. Then the guy in front of him put back his seat, trapping your husband’s head between the seatback and the tray table. Your husband barely managed to wriggle free. All this and he never once woke up!” Half an hour later, as the plan began its decent into Oslo, Rich sat up, smiled at his seatmate and said, “Not a bad flight!”
It’s a gift. But preparation helps, too. We don’t eat too much, either before or during the flight; airline food quality makes this a lot easier. We drink lots of water and never touch alcohol or coffee. For ten-hour, overnight flights, we usually take half a sleeping pill; any more and we’re too groggy when we land. We bring comfortable eyeshades (the ones provided by the airlines tend to be too tight with stringy straps) and soft earplugs. And we take a homeopathic product called No-Jet-Lag.
The same manufacturer (who frankly deserves a Nobel Prize) also developed a homeopathic product called Drink Ease, which prevents hangovers. Being a total alcohol lightweight, it’s easy for me to over-imbibe when others are just getting into their stride for the evening. When I travel, and new-met friends insist on introducing me to their favorite local libations, round after round after round, it’s nice to know I’ve got Drink Ease tucked in my suitcase. These days I don’t leave home without it.