Let’s face it – airplanes aren’t exactly known for being comfortable places to doze off in. In fact, a lot of people have a hard time falling asleep while flying, whether it’s due to physical discomfort or anxiety caused by flying. That’s why we created an article that contains our 8 top tips for sleeping on an airplane that’ll hopefully help you sleep better while in the air. We’ll shed light on some of the most common causes of discomfort on airplanes and what steps you can take both during and before the flight to ensure that your sleep quality remains intact on your next journey.
Our guide also contains a FAQ section where we go over some common concerns and questions regarding sleeping on airplanes.
With that said, it’s time to start with our first tip for sleeping on an airplane.
1. Purchase a Quality Travel
One science-backed tip you can utilise to make sure you’re getting quality sleep on a plane is to invest in a travel pillow. One of the many reasons why people struggle to fall asleep on a plane is because we can’t find a good position for our heads to rest in.
Travel pillows come in many shapes and sizes, and you can choose where to put your
If, however, you’re unsure about what travel
The JetRest Deluxe Inflatable Travel
The Mercury Luxury Memory Foam Travel
Lastly, if you want your kids to get quality sleep on a plane, the Trunki Kids Travel Neck
2. Wear Comfortable Clothes and Shoes
Our next tip has to do with the clothes you wear on your flight. If you’re someone who loves traveling in high heels, jeans, and tight clothing, it might be time to rethink your decision. One of the reasons people struggle to get comfy and fall asleep on a flight is because they feel incredibly uncomfortable in what they’re wearing. Leggings, joggers, loose T-shirts, or, if the weather is cold, cosy jumpers are a few comfy clothing options that can be equally fashionable if styled correctly. After all, arriving at your destination well-rested is much more important than looking cute while being on a plane.
Not to mention, wearing extremely tight clothing might even be dangerous for your health; for instance, wearing tight socks can lead to deep vein thrombosis, which is a frequent problem among flyers.
If you feel comfortable doing so, you also might want to remove your shoes once you board your plane. Unless it makes you cold, sleeping without shoes is much more comfortable. Plus, it’s easier to get yourself in a comfortable sleeping position if you don’t have to worry about your shoes.
3. Try Listening to Music and Podcasts
If you find yourself unable to sleep while on a long haul flight, listening to some relaxing music, a podcast, or an audiobook can be of immense help. It’s an easy way to disconnect from the world around you, especially if you’re someone who gets distracted by your surroundings.
If you’re not in the mood to listen to music, or if you’re unable to fall asleep while listening to music, guided meditations can be an amazing way to both distress and get into sleeping mode.
4. Be Careful with Your Drink of Choice
Long haul flights typically require at least a meal or two and a couple of beverages. If you’re not a fan of drinking water and decaf tea, you might be tempted to order a coffee or an alcoholic beverage. However, if your goal is to get quality sleep during your flight, ordering coffee and alcohol is never a good idea.
Even though alcohol can initially help you fall asleep, there are many studies that support the claim that alcohol can cause disturbances in your deep sleep and make you more prone to waking up multiple times while you’re dozing off. If you’d like to know more about the connection between alcohol and sleep, check out our article on the subject.
In terms of caffeine, chances are you’re already aware of its effect on sleep and how having caffeinated beverages a couple of hours before you’re planning to sleep can keep you up. Caffeine stays in our system for much longer than we think, so try to avoid caffeinated beverages during the flight to your best ability. Instead, you can opt for a relaxing cup of decaf tea, such as camomile, or something else like fresh juice or water.
5. Avoid Light
This won’t come as a surprise to you, but light hinders our ability to fall and stay asleep. Whether it’s natural light or artificial light from our screens, light exposure can keep us awake. One of the easiest ways to avoid natural lighting is to close the window shade or use a sleeping mask.
Controlling artificial light is a trickier task, but it can be done. If you can’t stay away from your screen for a long time, then try putting your phone in night mode and reducing the lighting. This will significantly impact your ability to fall asleep.
6. Pack Some Sleeping Accessories
Apart from bringing a comfy travel
If you own a sleeping mask, make sure to bring it with you in case the sun is out or the passengers around you have their overhead lights turned on. Wearing sleeping masks is a great way to prepare your body for sleeping and to prevent any outside light from disrupting your sleep.
Another sleep accessory we recommend bringing with you on your flight is a cosy blanket. Granted, covering yourself with a blanket won’t be possible if you don’t have plenty of space between you and the neighbouring passengers, so this tip pertains to long haul flights and those who prefer traveling in business or first class. Blankets will make you feel extra cosy and safe (which will be especially helpful if there’s any turbulence or if you’re an anxious flyer), which will definitely make you fall asleep faster.
Bringing ear buds is another way you can prevent outside stimuli from disrupting your sleep. Whether you love listening to podcasts, watching movies, or listening to music on your flight, they will help you feel more comfortable and stay asleep longer in case there’s any loud engine noise or if there’s a baby on the plane.
7. Consider Taking a Sleeping Aid
There are many supplements designed to help us fall asleep and get better quality of sleep such as melatonin. If you’re someone who has flying anxiety, or you simply find it hard to fall asleep on a plane, OTC sleeping aids can be of immense help. However, it’s important to consult your doctor before you take them to ensure that there won’t be any diverse reactions in the air.
8. Bring a Book
As much as we love our electronic devices, they can hinder quality sleep. They emit blue light, which confuses our brains into thinking it’s daytime instead of time to sleep. A much better option is to choose a book or a magazine that will keep you entertained while you’re bored on your flight. Not to mention, reading can actually make you fall sleep faster. It’s a double win – not only will you sleep for longer, but you’ll also get better quality sleep.
Things to Do Before Your Flight
Now that we shared our top 8 top tips for sleeping on an airplane, let’s delve into some of the things you can do before your flight to ensure that you get a good rest once you board the plane.
Keep Your Exercise Regime in Check
The days before departure are usually packed with activities and errands, so it’s completely normal to fall off your workout schedule. Whether you exercise regularly or not, doing a couple of light workouts the days leading up to your flight can be of immense help if you want to fall asleep faster and prevent waking up in the middle of your sleep. You don’t have to do any rigorous, high-intensity workouts, doing light yoga and walking should also do the trick.
Pay Attention to the Timing of Your Flight
If your flight is going to last longer than five hours, or even cross different time zones, you should plan accordingly and adjust your sleeping schedule prior to your flight. You don’t have to make an abrupt change in your sleeping schedule, but waking up an hour earlier/later every day should do the trick in a matter of days. Not only will this help you adjust to the time zone of the place you’re currently traveling toin and avoid jet lag, but it will also help you get a good rest while you’re flying so that you can land feeling refreshed and full of energy.
Needless to say, you might feel more tired at first for the first couple of days of your new schedule, but it’s worth sticking to it because it will result in more sleep overall.
Try Booking Direct Flights Whenever Possible
We know – direct flights can be incredibly expensive, and direct routes aren’t always available depending on the destination we’ve chosen. Not to mention, they are much more expensive than non-direct flights. However, if you have the option to, book direct flights when your destination (and wallet) allows for it so that you can get multiple hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Having to switch between planes can make it harder for you to get comfortable and fall asleep because you know you’ll have to get off the plane in a couple of hours. While you can easily sneak in a power nap on short flights, they’re not an ideal option if you’re flying to a distant destination. On the other hand, if you know you have one long flight, you’re more likely to get cosy and sleep for a couple of hours without any disruptions.
Be Careful When Choosing a Seat
We don’t always have the option to choose which airplane seat we get. Financial restrictions and booking the flight last minute later than the recommended period are some of the reasons why we often end up with undesirable seating choices.
However, if you do have control over which seat you’re going to get, there are several ways to ensure that you pick the ideal seat for comfortable sleep. Some prefer window seats due to the gorgeous views or for having somewhere to rest your head in, whereas others feel more comfortable in the middle seats.
One factor to consider when choosing a seat is the proximity of your seat to the restrooms. If you sit right next to the restroom, then you will have to contend with people constantly walking past you, which could easily disturb your sleep. If you’re a light sleeper, we recommend choosing a seat that’s as far away from the restrooms or galley as possible.
If you have the option, pick the seats with extra legroom – you’ll be a lot more likely to find a comfortable sleeping position with more space to work with.
Complete All Tasks and Work Obligations Prior to Your Flight
If you’re going on a vacation, the last thing you want to be doing is thinking about work obligations or any errands you might have left undone at home. To prevent any stress caused by work tasks or errands in general, make sure you tie any loose ends and finish all your work before the departure date.
Take Supplements if Necessary
Sleep supplements such as melatonin are regularly prescribed to patients who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, so visit your doctor if you think you would benefit from such supplements.
Keep in mind that certain sleep medications might cause some health problems in the long run, which is why self-medication isn’t a great idea.
A Few Extra Tips to Keep in Mind When Travelling
In addition to our eight main tips, here are a few small suggestions and tweaks that can improve your quality of sleep when flying.
Fasten your seatbelt before you fall asleep. Seatbelts are mandatory during takeoff, landing, and turbulence, and flight attendants won’t hesitate to wake you up if you’ve fallen asleep without your seatbelt on and the plane is undergoing turbulence. Therefore, we recommend buckling up before you doze off.
Take advantage of empty seats. We know that empty seats on a plane are a luxury, but it often happens that the seat next to you is unoccupied and up for grabs. If there’s an empty seat next to you, don’t be afraid to spread out and utilise the extra space when you’re trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
Drink up. The air in planes is notorious for being dry, so drinking water during your flight is a great idea to combat the dryness and make yourself a lot more comfortable. With that said, try not to go overboard with the water (or any drink for that matter) so that you don’t have to get up every half an hour to use the restroom – something that will undoubtedly disturb your sleep.
How to Sleep on a Plane if I Snore?
If you’re someone who is prone to snoring, then the prospect of sleeping on an airplane might terrify you. But don’t despair, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your chances of snoring are minimised. These steps include sitting in an upright position and keeping yourself hydrated.
How to Fall Asleep on a Plane Fast?
To fall asleep as fast as possible, it’s best to avoid caffeine and alcohol. Get ready for sleeping by putting on your eye mask and getting in a comfortable sleeping position. If possible, put on relaxing music or read a book. The seat of your choice and the timing of your flight also play a role in how fast you’ll be able to fall (and how long you’ll remain) asleep, so make sure you choose wisely.
Best Products for Sleeping on a Plane
Several products can help you fall asleep and stay asleep without any disruptions during your flight such as eye masks, travel pillows, and blankets.
Sleeping on an airplane is by no means comfortable, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you’re getting quality sleep even while flying. Some of these steps include purchasing a nice travel
We hope you found our article on our 8 top tips for sleeping on an airplane useful and that our tips will help you get a good rest during your next flight.