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November 3, 2020

Tips for Sleeping on a Plane

tips for sleeping on a plane

Traveling can really throw off your schedule. From waking up early to get to the airport, to entering new time zones, and even missed or delayed flights. Your whole schedule can get completely thrown off. Which is why it is no wonder that we all try and catch up on a bit of sleep during the flight. All strapped in for at least a few hours so you might as well sit back and relax. Unfortunately, with so many distractions and general discomfort, it can be difficult to get that rest you so desire. Which is why we brought together our Tips for Sleeping on a Plane: Tricks To Get Your Rest While Flying so that you can sleep well while traveling.

Taking a family vacation? Click the link for Family Vacation Sleep Tips

1) Check In Early For Seat Upgrades

airplane rest and relaxationThe seat you end up in will greatly determine your comfort level on a flight. Unless you always sit first class, knowing different airplanes and their best seats will serve you well. Some airplanes have extra foot space in the emergency exit row. Or less space near the wing. It is all about knowing what makes you comfortable on a flight and checking in early to ensure you get the best seat possible.

While some prefer the freedom of the aisle seat, others prefer the cozy corner of the window seat. It is also worth noting the extra control over the light coming in from the window in that seat as well. However, this can always be remedied with an eye mask. Which we will get into a bit more later.

Pro Travel Tip: Searching for the best seat? Build status with your airline. Frequent travelers can get priority boarding. For everyone else, try seatguru.com. This website provides you with color-coded seating charts for almost every airline.

2) Travel Light

baggage travel light on planesNot only is this a great travel tip in general, it can also make it easier to get comfortable and start sleeping. When you have multiple bags in different locations, you may not be able to get to the things you need in order to get comfortable.

Having to wait to reach your bags can be annoying. However, if you are on an exceptionally full flight your bag may be stuck in an overhead compartment that is nowhere near you. Making the entire process of getting something you want on hand a huge pain. Travelling especially light is always encouraged.

If you have anything you want to be able to access quickly and easily. Then be sure those items are in the bag you keep at your feet.

Click the link for our top tips on how to sleep away from home: 12 Ways To Sleep Better Away From Home

3) Be Mindful of Alcohol & Caffeine

beware of over drinking alcohol or caffeineWaking up especially early for a flight often means you are going to hit the caffeine early as well. When you start drinking coffee before 4am it is easy to continue drinking it throughout the morning. This can lead to your having far more caffeine than usual. Making it much harder to grab a quick nap on the plane. It can also lead to more frequent bathroom breaks as well.

Some rules don’t apply when you’re traveling. Especially if you’re going on vacation. Which often means socially acceptable drinking at… just about anytime of day or night. Be mindful of how much you are drinking. Not only could you end up with a hangover during the middle of the day. It can make it much more difficult to get a bit of shut eye on the plane as well.

Alcohol and caffeine are both incredibly dehydrating and cause frequent bathroom breaks. So unless you want to be walking to the airplane bathroom every couple of minutes and getting a headache due to dehydration. We suggest takin it easy on these.

4) Skip The In Flight Entertainment

turn off the in flight entertainmentThat movie everyone watched months ago in the theatres looks tempting. While it may be very entertaining, it very well could ruin your chances at grabbing that much needed nap before the flight ends.

This rule goes out the window if your flight is twice as long as the movie or show you are considering watching. In that case you have more than enough time to enjoy both.

However, if you only have a couple hours on your flight. Then it may be worth skipping the movie in order to get some sleep instead.

Jet lag can also ruin your sleep. Click the link for our tops tips on how to Get Over Jet Lag… Quickly

5) Create A Sleep Essentials Pack

get some sleep and cover your eyesIf you want to prioritize your sleep on an airplane, then you should absolutely get all the cozy gear.

If you travel often, it is absolutely worth investing in some gear to make your in flight naps the best possible. Eye masks, earplugs, travel pillows, headphones, travel blankets, hand lotion, anti-nausea medications.

Whatever it is that you need in your travel kit to keep you comfortable. Make yourself an essentials travel kit for making your flight as comfortable as possible so you can get some ZZZs.

Top Rated Sleep Masks

6) Find Your Perfect Travel Pillow Shape

get your perfect travel pillowThe classic u-shaped pillow works for a lot of people, but not everyone.

There are loads of travel pillows coming out these days in loads of different shapes, sizes, materials and more.

This is not a one size fits all situation. If the u-shaped pillow doesn’t work for you, don’t give up. There is a perfect travel pillow out there for you. We just know it.

The Infinity Pillow is one of our must have travel items. Click the link for our full review: Infinity Travel Pillow Review

7) Dress For Comfort First – Looks Second

comfort and sleep while traveling Believe it or not the airport is not a runway. You don’t have to look like Paris Hilton every time you go on a flight. The great news is that you can be incredibly comfortable without wearing your pajamas onto a plane.

We suggest choosing clothes that are breathable, stretchy, and soft. Light layers are great for remaining comfortable in changing temperatures. Whether you go for a casual legging and a cozy cardigan, or stretchy trousers and a soft blazer it does not matter. As long as you are comfortable, it will make your whole travel experience better.

Pro Travel Tip: Compression socks are great for proper circulation, avoiding blood clots, as well as avoiding swollen feet.

JJWinks creates the best loungewear and pajamas. They also look stunning. Click the link to read our full review. JJWinks Sleepwear & Loungewear Review

8) Find A Comfortable Position

airplane comfort how to sleep on planesIf we could, none of us would sleep in the upright position. It simply is not the position of choice for a good nap, but there are ways to improve your comfort.

For instance, uncrossing your legs can greatly increase the longevity of your comfort. Crossing your legs is often a habit more than it is comfortable. It also increases your chances of getting a blood clot. So stop crossing your legs and stretch out as much as possible instead.

Lean back, try to avoid doing this during a meal or right after drinks have been handed out. Leaning back is vital for taking pressure off of your knees. It also keeps your head from falling forward during a nap as well. The window can sometimes provide a comfortable place to rest your head as well. Find a way to be comfortable in the allotted space you have.

9) Lights Out

turn out the lights on the planeLights are obviously a deterrent for getting rest. However, we don’t just mean the overhead lights. Close your laptop, turn off the movie, put your phone away, and close the window (if you can). All of your smart devices not onlyare distracting but the blue light they emit mimics daylight and can make it especially difficult to sleep.

Unfortunately, you may experience situations where someone near you just refuses to close the window. Or perhaps a neighbor who has their phone screen on as high brightness as possible. Well, for these situations and many more we suggest an eye mask.

Your safest bet to ensure you get darkness for your in-flight naps is by using an eye mask. It is the only way you can block out light and it is much easier than hoping that the people around you also want it to be dark in the cabin.

Learn more about the negative affects blue light has on your sleep in our post: Can Blue Light Blocking Glasses Help You Sleep?

10) Do Not Disturb

do not disturb taking naps on planesIf you are planning on passing out and do not want to be woken up for drinks, snacks, or dinner. Then let your flight attendant your person sitting next to you know. This way no one attempts to wake you up for your drink order.

Any disruption in sleep risks the possibility that you won’t be able to get back to sleep afterword. Which is why if you can avoid that from happening, we suggest doing so.

Pro Travel Tip: If you prefer to sleep with a blanket, make sure your seatbelt is on and visible. This will also help with avoiding being woken up to check on whether or not you are safely buckled in if turbulence hits.

If you have trouble falling back asleep if you are woken up, you should check out our blog post: Tips For Falling Back Asleep

Tips for Sleeping on a Plane – Final Thoughts:

While an airplane is not the most relaxing and comfortable place in the world. It is possible to squeeze in a few hours of sleep when you really need it. We hope this list of our top tips helps you to get the much needed rest and relaxation you need while traveling.

the best way to get to sleep

If you have any questions for us, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to answer any questions and help in anyway we can.