How to Sleep in an Airplane: Easy Tips for a Peaceful Flight


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Air travel can be an exciting and efficient way to reach your destination, but getting quality sleep on a plane can be a challenge for many travellers. Whether you’re preparing for a quick jaunt across the country or settling in for a long-haul flight, it’s important to know the tricks to help you get some shut-eye in the sky. In this article, we’ll explore the various tips and strategies you can use to catch those much-needed Zs and arrive at your destination refreshed.

Sleeping on a plane successfully can be considered an art form.



Understanding your needs and preferences is essential for a restful flight experience.

Choosing the right seat, flight time, and packing sleep essentials can help make your flight more comfortable and conducive to sleep.

Preparing your body with relaxation techniques or adjusting your sleep schedule will also improve the likelihood of drifting off.

Beyond these practices, it is important to learn to cope with noise and other disturbances in the personalized space of your airplane seat.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the right seat and flight time for a comfortable sleep experience.
  • Pack sleep essentials and prepare your body for relaxation.
  • Learn to cope with noise and other disturbances for uninterrupted rest.

Choosing the Right Flight and Seat

When planning your trip, there are a few factors to consider to increase your chances of having a good sleep on the plane. In a casual tone, let’s go through some tips that could help you catch some quality Z’s while in the air.

Firstly, try booking a red-eye flight or a flight that departs during your normal bedtime. This way, your body’s natural sleep cycle will kick in, and you’re more likely to drift off to sleep effortlessly.

Next, think about your seat selection. If you’re a frequent flyer, you might already have a favourite spot on the plane. For those who aren’t as familiar, here are some suggestions:

  • Window seats provide a nice surface to lean against, and you won’t be disturbed by neighbours needing to access the aisle.
  • Bulkhead or exit row seats often have extra legroom, which can make it easier to find a comfortable sleeping position. Just keep in mind that exit row seats may have certain restrictions and responsibilities.
  • If you can afford it, consider upgrading to business or first class, where you could have more space, privacy, and luxurious seats that recline into beds.

Remember to avoid seats near high-traffic areas like galleys, lavatories, and exit rows if you can- they tend to be noisier and have frequent disturbances. Use seat maps available on airlines’ websites or on seat-selection platforms like SeatGuru to help you make an informed decision.

One more thing: always reserve your seat in advance. This way, you’ll have the best chance of picking a seat that suits your sleep preferences, and you won’t be left with limited options during the check-in process.

Overall, by carefully selecting your flight times and seat location, you’ll be setting yourself up for a restful trip—ready to arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and well-rested.

Packing Essentials for Comfort

Comfortable Clothes

When preparing for a long flight, it’s essential to dress comfortably. Choose loose-fitting clothes made from soft, breathable materials like cotton or jersey. Layer your clothing to easily adjust to changing cabin temperatures. For instance, wear a light t-shirt, a jumper, and a pair of comfy joggers.

  • Top: Go for a light t-shirt or a long-sleeve top made from moisture-wicking materials.
  • Jumper: Bring a light jumper or a cardigan to layer on in case you get cold.
  • Bottoms: Opt for soft, stretchy joggers or leggings that give you freedom of movement.
  • Socks: Pack a pair of warm, soft socks to keep your feet warm and cosy during the flight.
  • Shoes: Choose slip-on shoes or trainers for easy removal during the flight, ensuring better comfort.

Necessary Accessories

Equipping yourself with the right accessories can make a significant difference in your comfort level while trying to sleep on a plane. Don’t forget to pack these items:

  1. Travel Pillow: Consider trying different types of neck pillows, such as memory foam or adjustable ones, to find the best fit for your sleep needs. There are three very good options below.
  2. Eye Mask: A comfortable eye mask can block out light and help you drift off to sleep more quickly.
  3. Earplugs or Noise-Cancelling Headphones: Block out unwanted noise from the plane or fellow passengers with earplugs or invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
  4. Blanket or Large Scarf: Airlines may not provide blankets, or the quality may not be adequate. Bring your own lightweight blanket or a large scarf to keep you warm.
  5. Sleep Aids: If you struggle to sleep on planes, consider packing lavender essential oil, melatonin, or any other over-the-counter sleep aid that works for you.

Remember that every traveller is unique, and it might take some trial and error to find the perfect combination of items to help you sleep on a plane. Stick to these essentials, and you’ll be well on your way to a more comfortable, restful flight experience.

Preparing Your Body

Pre-flight Sleep Routine

Before you embark on a long journey, it’s essential to establish a good sleep routine that you can stick to while on the plane. Get yourself prepared for sleep by following your usual bedtime routine as closely as possible when you’re on the plane. By doing so, you give your body a signal that it’s time to wind down and rest. Some pre-flight sleep habits that can help are:

  • Wearing comfortable clothes suitable for snoozing
  • Using a sleep mask to block out light
  • Investing in noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs
  • Limiting your screen time, as using your phone, laptop or tablet can delay sleep

Hydration and Nutrition

Hydration plays a critical role in getting a good rest on a flight. Staying hydrated on the plane helps avoid uncomfortable symptoms of dehydration that could keep you awake. However, be careful not to overdo it, or you may find yourself getting up to use the bathroom too often.

On the other hand, be mindful of your food intake, as the kind of meals you consume can impact your ability to sleep. Avoid heavy foods, as digesting a big meal can make it difficult for your body to drift off into a quality sleep. Instead, opt for lighter, healthier options to prevent any disturbances to your slumber.

By following these simple tips and adjusting your pre-flight routines, you’ll be setting yourself up for a more restful and relaxing flight experience. Remember, good preparation can make the difference between an enjoyable journey and a sleepless night on the plane.

What to Do If My Head Falls Forward Sleeping on a Plane

It’s not uncommon for your head to fall forward while sleeping on a plane. This can lead to a stiff neck, discomfort, and frequent waking up due to the head jolt. In this section, we will provide you with some tips to prevent your head from falling forward and ensure a comfortable flight experience.

Firstly, consider investing in a head support device that’s specifically designed for napping in an upright position. One popular option is the Trtl support pillow, which sits under your chin to support the neck. Such devices can help keep your head in a stable position and prevent it from falling forward.

Another clever trick is to use your window seat to your advantage. For instance, you could lean against the window for mild head support and avoid drooping. However, take care not to drool on the window – that’s easily avoidable by placing a soft cloth or travel pillow between your face and the window.

What Is The Best Airplane Sleep Pillow?

Top-Rated Airplane Sleep Pillows

When it comes to getting some shut-eye on a long flight, having a comfortable and supportive pillow can make all the difference. Here are a few top-rated airplane sleep pillows that have received rave reviews from travellers:

When choosing the best airplane sleep pillow, consider factors such as comfort, portability, and support.

The Extra-Compact Inflatable Travel Pillow is a great option for those who want a pillow that’s easy to pack and inflate. It’s made from soft velvet material and comes with a 3D eye mask and earplugs, creating the perfect sleep environment for you during your travels.

Another popular choice and my favorite is the trtl Travel Pillow. Its unique design provides neck support and shoulder support with cosy cushioning, making it both lightweight and easy to carry. Plus, it’s machine washable – a convenient feature for frequent flyers.

If you’re looking for a pillow that offers double support for your head, neck, and chin, the BCOZZY Neck Pillow might be the perfect match. This comfortable pillow adapts to any sleeping position, making it suitable for any travel situation, be it on flights, car rides, or even at home.

With these top-rated airplane sleep pillows, you can catch some much-needed rest during your journeys and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to explore.


Coping with Noise and Disturbance

It’s no secret that one of the biggest challenges when trying to sleep on a plane is blocking out noise and disturbances. So, let’s talk about some strategies to help you cope with these pesky interruptions.

Firstly, consider investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones or some quality earplugs. These can be a game-changer when it comes to blocking out the sounds of chatty passengers, snoring neighbours, or even the hum of the aircraft itself. Plus, if you prefer listening to music or calming sounds before bed, they can come in handy for that as well.

Another thing that can help you create a more peaceful environment is using a sleep mask. This can block out any unwanted light, such as cabin lights and sunlight streaming through the windows, allowing you to create your own little oasis of darkness.

Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes when you travel. Swap out your tight jeans and stiff shirts for something a bit looser and more breathable. Trust us, it’ll make a difference when it comes to snuggling down for a snooze in your seat.

Finally, try to mimic your bedtime routine as closely as possible when you’re on the plane. If you usually read a book, meditate, or do some deep breathing exercises before bed, don’t skip those steps. Creating a sense of normalcy can help your body and mind prepare for sleep, making it easier to drift off once you’ve settled into your seat.

While the plane environment might not be perfect for catching some Zs, these tips should help you cope with noise and disturbances and improve your chances of getting some rest during your flight.

How to Sleep on a Plane – Useful Tips and Tricks

How to Sleep on a Plane: Choose your seat carefully if you can.

When trying to catch some sleep on an aeroplane, you might want to follow these handy tips to improve your chances of getting proper rest.

  • Consider wearing comfortable clothes during your flight. Loose-fitting clothes made of soft fabrics can make a world of difference when you’re trying to relax and get some sleep.
  • To help you ease into sleep, try meditating or focusing on your breathing. This can help you clear your mind and create a sense of calm within the confined space of the aeroplane.
  • It’s essential to limit your screen time, as the blue light emitted by devices like phones and tablets can make falling asleep more difficult. Instead, you can try reading a book or listening to calming music or a podcast.
  • Don’t forget to layer up. Due to varying temperatures on flights, it’s a good idea to have light layers that can easily be removed or added to ensure you’re at a comfortable temperature.
  • Using a sleep mask and investing in noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs can make a significant difference in blocking out light and noise, creating a more peaceful environment for you.
How to Sleep on a Plane: Eye masks can be very effective.
  • Lastly, avoid consuming caffeinated beverages just before the flight, as they can keep you awake. It’s best to stick with water or herbal tea to keep yourself hydrated and calm.

Employ these strategies the next time you’re on a flight, and you should find it easier to get some rest and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed.

Extra – Stretching and Exercising on a Plane

If you’re having trouble relaxing on a plane, stretching and doing light exercises is a great way to stay calm, avoid cramps and keep the blood flowing.

Check out this video for some good simple stretches you can do while seated on a plane.

Tips for Sleeping in Different Seat Positions

The best seat positions for sleeping are the bulkhead, window, and aisle seats.

-The bulkhead is the most private and comfortable seat on the plane, but it’s often reserved for passengers with young children.

-The window seat is very good for sleeping because you can lean against the wall, and nobody is going to bother you.

-The aisle seat is good for sleeping because it allows you more opportunities to stretch your legs, but people may bump into you if they are walking up and down the aisle.

How to Reduce Jet Lag

Getting good, uninterrupted sleep while travelling is tricky but one of the best ways to reduce jet lag. However, it’s important to keep in mind that your biological clock is still running on home time.

To reduce jet lag, try resetting your biological clock before you travel, doing things like adjusting the time you eat breakfast lunch and dinner to be more in line with your destination will really help get your body clock used to your new location.

How to Sleep On A Plane FAQs

How to Sleep on a Plane: Sleeping in the middle seat is not easy.

Should I sleep on the plane to avoid jet lag?

Yes, you should, sleeping on a plane can be a great way to avoid jet lag. Ideally, you should try to get as much as possible to reduce the effects of jet lag. It’s not a cure all, but it helps a lot.

To make it easier to sleep on the plane, wear comfortable clothing, bring a neck pillow and a blanket or shawl, and use an eye mask and noise-cancelling headphones.

Additionally, try to drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and bring light snacks to keep you energized.

Is it safe to sleep on a plane?

Yes, it is generally safe to sleep on a plane. While it is important for you to be aware of your surroundings, there typically shouldn’t be cause for concern when it comes to sleeping on a plane.

If the worst were to happen, you can always call a flight attendant to deal with the situation.

How do you sleep on a plane with sleep apnea?

If you suffer from sleep apnea, it is important to take extra precautions when flying. Before the flight, make sure to discuss your travel plans with your doctor, as well as any special needs you may have.

You will need to bring your own CPAP machine and any necessary accessories, such as a battery pack or power adapter.

Additionally, it is important to choose a window seat with plenty of room for your CPAP machine.

Finally, remember to wear comfortable clothing and bring a neck pillow and a blanket or shawl to help you get comfortable.

How to sleep on a plane middle seat?

Sleeping in the middle seat on a plane can be tricky, but it can be done. To make it easier to sleep in the middle seat, recline if possible.

If reclining isn’t possible, you may be able to lean forward and rest your head on the flip-out tray and try to get some sleep that way.

There are neck pillows that keep your head a lot more upright than normal pillows which can be extremely helpful in this situation because the problem when sitting in the cramped seating is the lack of somewhere to lay your head. Some people even travel with a neck brace to allow them to sleep without straining their neck!

Failing that, you can try to look around the plane and if it’s possible to relocate to a spare seat that may have a bit more space.

Can you sleep on the floor of an airplane?

No, it is not recommended to sleep on the floor of an airplane as it is not safe in case of emergency. If you try this, an attendant will probably ask you to move.

It’s a good idea to try and find a seat that isn’t taken that may allow you to find a more comfortable position.

Are you allowed to lay down on a plane?

It depends on the airline, but generally, passengers are not allowed to lay down on a plane.

Some airlines may offer special beds or sleeping pods for passengers to sleep in, but these are typically only available in first or business class.

How to sleep on a plane when nervous?

If you are a nervous flyer, the first step is to plan ahead. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a neck pillow and a blanket or shawl to make yourself more comfortable.

Additionally, bring an eye mask and noise-cancelling headphones to help you sleep. If you are still feeling anxious, try to focus on your breathing and focus on relaxing your body.

Finally, remember to drink plenty of water and as tempting as it may be to try and use alcohol to calm you down, try not to use alcohol as it can leave you dehydrated after the flight and of course hungover.

How long can you sleep in an airport?

Sleeping in an airport is generally allowed, although the rules vary from airport to airport. Some airports may have designated sleeping areas, while others may not.

In general, most airports allow passengers to sleep in the terminal for up to 24 hours before they must move on.

Additionally, it is important to remember to be considerate of other passengers and staff when sleeping in an airport.

Can you take a sleeping bag on a plane?

Yes, you can usually take a sleeping bag on a plane. However, some airlines may have restrictions on the size and weight of the sleeping bag, so it is important that you check with the airline before travelling.

Additionally, some airlines may require that sleeping bags be packed in checked luggage.

How to sleep on a plane without snoring?

If you are prone to snoring, it is important to take extra precautions when sleeping on a plane. To help reduce snoring, try sleeping on your side instead of your back, and use a neck pillow to keep your head propped up.

Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine, which can make it harder to sleep and can contribute to snoring. Lastly, try to relax as much as possible and focus on breathing without restriction.

What are some useful accessories for airplane comfort?

Wear comfortable clothes to make it easier for you to relax. Noise-canceling headphones or earplugs can help block out unwanted noise.

Additionally, a sleep mask can help block out light and create a darker environment for better sleep.

How can I prevent my head from falling forward while sleeping on a plane?

Invest in a supportive neck pillow to help keep your head in a comfortable position while you sleep.

There are many types of neck pillows available, like memory foam or inflatable ones, so choose one that suits your preferences.

Which sleep pillow is the best for planes?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, as personal preference plays a significant role.

Look for a pillow with good neck support and one that can easily be packed away in your carry-on luggage.

Any tips for sleeping on international flights?

Try to adjust your sleep schedule to the new time zone a few days before your trip. On the flight, follow your usual bedtime routine as closely as possible.

Stay hydrated but avoid overdoing it, as frequent bathroom trips can disrupt your sleep. Limit screen time and avoid heavy meals before sleeping.

Is melatonin a good option to help sleep on a plane?

Melatonin can be useful for some people when trying to sleep on a plane, especially for adjusting to new time zones and combating jet lag.

However, it’s essential to consult your doctor before using melatonin, as it may not be suitable for everyone.

How can I sleep on a plane if I have anxiety?

Creating a relaxing environment is essential for managing anxiety while trying to sleep on a plane.

Wear comfortable clothes, use noise-canceling headphones or earplugs, and consider a sleep mask to block out light. Bring along a familiar item, like a blanket or small pillow from home, to help create a sense of comfort and familiarity.

Deep breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques can also help ease anxiety and promote relaxation.

how to sleep on a plane 5
How to Sleep on a Plane

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