Saturday, February 04, 2012

Testing, Testing

I've probably remarked on it before, but the main tests of abstinence are not the big nights out; it's relatively easy to avoid going out for drinks if you're not drinking (surprise!). What are difficult are those nights after a long, cold, wet day when you could really do with a glass of red wine; or, like today, when I wandered around a cold, snowy London, and saw people huddled in gorgeous old pubs, and I experienced a serious yen for a whiskey mac, with its spice and warmth.*

But the biggest test in all four days was likely to be the biggest test of all this whole month: getting on a plane last night. TOH and I are now, for our sins and for a horrible carbon footprint, experienced overnight flyers, and one has to have a set routine to maximise sleep. One has to take it seriously and treat it like a military operation. The steps are simple:
  • Make sure carry on luggage contains a sleep mask, a neck pillow, noise-reducing headphones and a pre-arranged sleep inducing playlist.
  • Arrive at airport fairly early, early enough for a big, carbo-loaded dinner, such as burger and fries. Nothing light or energising - something heavy and greasy that will send me to sleep fairly promptly. Add a giant glass of red wine.
  • Once on plane put on that eye mask and use the neck pillow and just fall asleep. Seriously, I'm normally asleep by the end of take off.
  • Don't panic when waking up shortly thereafter. I usually wake up about 45-60 minutes into the flight. Don't be tempted by the food/movies available, as this is often the time the entertainment system kicks in. Make self comfy, get the blanket out, put on playlist/noise reducing headphones, go back to sleep.
And that's it. No big secrets, just try to fall asleep and don't get sidetracked by waiting for food or movies. This method doesn't guarantee a huge amount of sleep, but I usually get about 5 hours on a 6.5 hour flight, which is more than most people.

Except, of course, last night I didn't have any wine. I'm afraid I cheated somewhat, in that I took cold medicine that I specifically chose for its ability to cause drowsiness. And it worked. And, bonus, my sinuses feel not too bad today. But I really was worried that I would have to crack last night. Luckily, it worked and I got about 4.5 hours. Not perfect, but probably more than most people in economy.

God, this post is dull. I blame the tiredness and not drinking. Off to catch some more sleep.

* Whiskey and ginger wine, for those who don't know - an absolutely glorious winter warmer that was apparently, strangely enough, invented in the Raj - at least, it was if you believe wiki.

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