For many travelers, one of the hardest things to do is get good sleep on a plane. Small seats, the inability to lay down flat, turbulence, and a lot of ambient noise all make it difficult to get restful sleep while flying. But if you’re traveling across the world or taking a red eye, learning how to sleep on a plane will make your travels much more relaxing. If you have trouble sleeping on planes, here are a few tips to help make your next flying experience more restful.
- Come prepared.
There are a lot of things you can’t control on a plane, like your seat or turbulence. There are a few things, however, that you can control by packing appropriately for your flight. The next time you fly, consider bringing a face mask to block out ambient light. You can also pack ear plugs to help drown out the noise of other passengers on the plane. Pack small slippers or fuzzy socks as well to keep your feet both comfortable and warm. A travel blanket might also make it easier for you to sleep, or you can just remember to bring a warm jacket on the plane, as flights can get very cold.
- Bring natural sleep aid
Various types of teas have calming effects, which can make it easier for you to sleep. Bring your favorite tea on the plane and simply ask the flight attendant for hot water when the beverage cart comes around. Lavender essential oils can also reduce stress and make it easier to sleep. When worse comes to worst, there are also prescription sleep aids.
- Find the right pillow for you.
Some people just love those neck pillows they sell at airports. I’ve always found them uncomfortable. Whatever type of pillow works best for you, get a travel version and bring it on your next flight.
- Choose the right seat for sleep.
Ideally we’d all fly first class every time. Short of that, you can make sleep easier by choosing a window seat. That helps ensure that no one will need to step over you to get to the bathroom, and it gives you a nice wall to lean against. Having the window seat also ensures that you get control of the window shade so you can block out any unwanted light.
- Breath deep.
Studies have shown that taking slow, deep breaths helps slow down your heart rate, making it easier to fall asleep. If this method doesn’t seem to work for you, you could also try meditation. Put a meditation app on your phone and download a guided meditation for sleep before your flight to avoid costly plane Wi-Fi charges.
If you follow the tips above, you’re guaranteed to get some shut eye. Traveling to another country? Those long flights can be rough, but we have some great tips on how you can get comfortable during international flights straight from our blog.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.