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Red Eye Tips

Old 06-23-2021, 05:19 PM
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I have been an early riser my whole life, but have started doing more red eyes (I try to bid around them, but not always possible), and have not yet been successful in napping before the flight. I tried sleeping very late on the first one, and then was not remotely tired until van time, the second one I woke up early but still was not able to nap, and was more tired at van time. I was still FFD for all these flights.

Any suggestions on red eyes or napping would be helpful, thanks!
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:23 PM
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyPurdue View Post
I have been an early riser my whole life, but have started doing more red eyes (I try to bid around them, but not always possible), and have not yet been successful in napping before the flight. I tried sleeping very late on the first one, and then was not remotely tired until van time, the second one I woke up early but still was not able to nap, and was more tired at van time. I was still FFD for all these flights.

Any suggestions on red eyes or napping would be helpful, thanks!
nap during the flight....
But melatonin worked good for me to get that nap in. Besides that coffee and books
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyPurdue View Post
I have been an early riser my whole life, but have started doing more red eyes (I try to bid around them, but not always possible), and have not yet been successful in napping before the flight. I tried sleeping very late on the first one, and then was not remotely tired until van time, the second one I woke up early but still was not able to nap, and was more tired at van time. I was still FFD for all these flights.

Any suggestions on red eyes or napping would be helpful, thanks!
Before I do a red-eye I stop somewhere at the airport and grab a big cup of coffee.

as far as a nap. Try taking a melatonin or something strong before you nap but make sure it has worn off well before your flight.
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyPurdue View Post
I have been an early riser my whole life, but have started doing more red eyes (I try to bid around them, but not always possible), and have not yet been successful in napping before the flight. I tried sleeping very late on the first one, and then was not remotely tired until van time, the second one I woke up early but still was not able to nap, and was more tired at van time. I was still FFD for all these flights.

Any suggestions on red eyes or napping would be helpful, thanks!

Melatonin is your friend when trying to nap.


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Old 06-23-2021, 05:56 PM
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This is great info re:melatonin. I have never taken it, itís not habit forming or anything is it? How much / when do you take it to avoid drowsiness?
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Old 06-23-2021, 06:04 PM
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I assume youíre talking about a red ey at the end of your flight. If so, wake up at normal time or slightly early. Get out and site see is applicable, get a work out in. Maybe have a beer at lunch assuming you comply with FARs and airline policy. Use towels, ironing board, extra pillows, etc to black out the curtains, get the room as cool as possible, and trick ******* your mind into thinking itís evening. I shoot for a 6 hour nap. I donít worry about it though, because worrying will cause you to stay awake. Iím definitely in the minority, I think most get a 1 hour nap or donít even try.

leading red eye, ie first leg of the trip. I sleep in as much as possible. Commute in slightly early and get a crew room nap, or nap at home after dinner, if you live in base.
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Old 06-23-2021, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyPurdue View Post
This is great info re:melatonin. I have never taken it, itís not habit forming or anything is it? How much / when do you take it to avoid drowsiness?
I use 3mg at home, if you use too much, your body can get used to it and stop producing it naturally. I take it 30 minutes to 1 hour before I want to sleep.
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Old 06-23-2021, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyPurdue View Post
This is great info re:melatonin. I have never taken it, itís not habit forming or anything is it? How much / when do you take it to avoid drowsiness?
Nope. Itís a natural hormone your body secretes anyway. I do 3mg about 20-30 mins before I sleep. in my experience it lasts about 4 hours and no drowsiness afterwards. If you only have time for a 2-3 hour nap I would avoid it.
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Old 06-23-2021, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Halon1211 View Post
Before I do a red-eye I stop somewhere at the airport and grab a big cup of coffee.

as far as a nap. Try taking a melatonin or something strong before you nap but make sure it has worn off well before your flight.
Yes, IIRC the FAA has guidelines on melotonin use. Personally I only use it to go to bed early for an early show in the wrong time zone. I give myself at least 8 hours before show time, that stuff will leave you groggy... I'd be afraid to use it for a nap. Best to do your own trial and error.

My pre-redeye routine is usually not to work out the day of, that will make me really sleepy later on (I can get away with some weights, but not cardio). I definitely plan on a good nap in the afternoon, but not into early evening... if I nap late, it will be hard to get up and I'll feel like I should be back in bed.

Cup of Joe at show time, and usually another approaching TOD to be alert on arrival. Don't overdo the Joe, better to be a little mellow than all spun up because you'll come down off that eventually. And hydrate too.

Eat healthy the day of, and go easy the night before too... crap food and alcohol will take the edge off.
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