How To Sleep Better On Long Flights

There are some lucky souls who can sleep just about anywhere, including on planes. And then there are the rest of us.

When you’re on a long haul flight, having a first- or business-class seat to actually lie flat (or sorta flat) in is REALLY helpful with getting to sleep. But again, most of us are not that lucky, at least a whole lot of the time. So for the rest of us, here are some things and ways to help bring that sleep on when on long plane journeys:

SLEEP MASK

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 8.43.09 PM.png

In general, it’s harder to get to sleep when it’s light outside, probably because ours bodies are usually naturally programmed to sleep when it’s dark. A sleep mask can bring the dark to you, and an added bonus is that it’s easy to slip into your small personal bag.

EAR PLUGS

EarPlugs.jpg

This one kind of depends on the flight. Some flights are generally quiet, others include the screaming baby section(s) and/or the couple behind you who are playing “Heads Up.” If you need to drown all of that out, ear plugs are a cheap and convenient option.

NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES

head

If you’re not an ear plug sort of person, noise cancelling headphones, albeit larger and more expensive, can work wonders. White noise is always fine to listen to, but other people like “sleepy music” (like what they play in spas). Also keep in mind there are audio files of relaxation techniques (breath focus, guided imagery, body scan, etc.) and they might help you get to la la land faster, as well.

GET ONE OF THE GOOD SEATS

CP.jpg

Business- or  first-class would be nice, but depending on the airline, you may still have an option for a more comfortable seat – Delta offers Comfort+, Spirit has The Big Front Seats, and other airlines offer their respective versions of more comfortable seats, if you’re willing to pay for it.

If you’re not willing to pay that much, you might want to consider an over-the-wing Economy seat (there’s less turbulence felt in those seats) or at least avoid the bulkhead (where families with young kids sometimes pick), or near the lavatory (lots of hustle and bustle there).

Personally, I prefer a window seat if I’m going to sleep, because I have someplace to rest my head, and no one has to bother me if they have to leave their seat. Other people still prefer to have an aisle seat. Your Mileage May Vary.

GET COMFORTABLE

neck1
If you know you’re going to want to sleep on the plane, dress for it. Pajamas aren’t the most appropriate, but try for loose fitting, stretchy and comfortable clothing. Natural fibers like cotton are more breathable than polyester and may make it easier to sleep.

Cooler temperatures allow you to sleep better, which is why they keep cabin a little chilly on those longer flights. I strongly don’t suggest using the airlines’ blankets because they’re not cleaned nearly as much as anyone would like. Instead, bring a sweater or your own portable blanket.

If you’re lucky enough to fall asleep, you’re going to want to stop your head from bobbing. Besides looking silly ;-), the movement might be enough to wake you up. Neck pillows are a great way to keep your head aligned – there are a bajillion different designs on the market nowadays.

SLEEP AIDS

Z

There are plenty of sleep medications out there, from stuff your doctor can prescribe, to over the counter meds like Tylenol Simply Sleep, Unisom, Zzzquil, Sominex, Dramamine, Benadryl, etc.

There are also more natural sleep enhancers, such as lavender oil, kava or melatonin, that you can also consider.

Any sleeping aid that you decide to use, make sure to not take it until you’re on the plane and have taken off – the last thing you’ll want is to be fuzzy headed if the plane turns around for mechanical difficulties and you have to make decisions about getting onto another plane while doped up on something. And, of course, it goes without saying that before you start using anything to help you sleep, check with your personal physician.

ONE FINAL THOUGHT

Don’t forget that if you do decide to snooze on the plane but still want meal/snack/drink service, either let the person next to you know, or maybe do a set-up like this…

XXX PleaseWakeMeFor

Sweet dreams, travel friends!

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel  articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “How To Sleep Better On Long Flights”

Leave a Reply