Sleeping on a Plane: 9 Tips to Get a Good Night’s Rest
When you have to sleep on a plane, it can be difficult to find the right sleeping position, especially when there isn't enough room in your seat to stretch out and relax. But being comfortable while you sleep on a plane doesn't have to be impossible — here are 9 tips that will help you get a good night's rest even when you're thousands of feet in the air!
1. Sleep in your own clothes
You want to wear light clothes that are comfortable and easily removed. This way, you won't be kicking off your shoes and socks in order to get into your PJs, which means you won't have another item to lose. Wearing jeans can make it harder for you to move around if you have some leg cramps during your flight (and who doesn't?), so opt for something that makes sleeping easier.
2. Bring slippers
They say that there is nothing better than being in your own bed for a good night's rest. While you can't bring your bed into an airplane, you can still at least pretend with some fuzzy socks and cozy slippers. This will help make your time more comfortable until you do get back home.
3. Have some snacks
Keep a stash of healthy snacks with you, like granola bars or nuts, so you don't succumb to grazing. As tempting as it may be to pick up in-flight treats, remember that those often contain lots of sugar. Choose plain yogurt or fruit instead. Some airlines also offer free non-alcoholic beverages (or for purchase) before departure and during takeoff and landing. Just be careful about what kinds of drinks you choose—you don't want to undo your good work!
4. Use a neck pillow or earplugs
Once you settle into your seat, make sure your head gets adequate support. If it doesn't come from your airplane seat, then bring a neck pillow or earplugs for additional comfort. (It may help reduce snoring if one of you is a habitual snorer.)
5. Use melatonin or other supplements
There are many options available for travelers looking to sleep soundly on long flights. Melatonin, an over-the-counter supplement that boosts serotonin levels and encourages sleep, is one popular choice among frequent flyers. For those who prefer prescription drugs, certain sedatives can be prescribed by doctors for short term use when traveling by plane.
6. Stay hydrated
Dehydration contributes to jet lag, increases fatigue and decreases cognition—plus, dehydration makes you feel lousy. You don't have to guzzle bottles of water before you fly or chug every drink that passes your lips (not healthy!), but staying hydrated is important when flying. The average human body loses 2-3 liters of fluid each day through respiration, perspiration and elimination.
7. Look out the window, not at your phone
The only thing worse than being stuck in an uncomfortable seat is being stuck in an uncomfortable seat and staring at a bright screen. If you need to work, do it offline—you can catch up when you land. Your sleep cycle won't be disrupted by your phone alarm, and your neck will thank you for it. Plus, unlike your computer or tablet, smartphones are small enough that they don't need their own tray table.
8. Watch in-flight entertainment
While you're waiting for your plane to land, flip through an in-flight magazine or catch up on your favorite TV shows and movies. If you have headphones and noise-canceling earbuds, put them on and tune out everyone around you—it can be much easier than talking with a chatty stranger or listening to rowdy kids behind you. When it comes time for take off, try using noise canceling headphones so that you can sleep easier.
9. Stretch it out
Stretching is an important part of keeping blood flowing freely in your body and muscles loose. Even if you don't have plans for a pre-flight workout, taking time out of your layover to stretch can get you ready for your flight quickly and comfortably.