How To Get the Best Sleep Possible on an Airplane

published Dec 9, 2017
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Happy hectic travel season, y’all! If you’ve booked a red eye home for the holidays or are flying internationally to see your friends or family, you may be all too familiar with the in-flight sleep struggle. We’ve covered some of the best products to stick in your carry-on to help you drift off, and maybe you like to use it as TV catch up time, but winding down after a high-stress couple of hours is no easy task. As Travel + Leisure reports, though, there’s an on-plane art to getting as much sleep as possible.

They talked to aircraft interior designer Adam White about getting the best possible sleep on flights. Clearly the lie-flat in pure luxury options in First Class are optimal for sleeping, but as our dreams often extend beyond our budgets, we figured sleeping tips for the back of the plane will come in handy.

White identifies a few key things flyers can do to help themselves fall asleep. You should focus on “light, noise and temperature.”

If you run cold, don’t be afraid to ask for a blanket and make the most of it: “That may mean standing up with your blanket and wrapping it around you and then put on your seat belt so that the crew can see that you’re strapped in.”

Plug in your headphones to cancel out the plane noise, and if your flight offers a white noise or sleep channel, tune into it to help tune out.

He also suggests waiting until the cabin staff is ready for you to fall asleep. If you try and zonk out immediately while beverages are being served and people are chatting and settling in, you’re not setting yourself up for a restful night. If you wait, run to the washroom, settle in with whatever keeps you comfortable, put on your eye mask and wait for the middle of a long haul flight, chances are, you’ll be catching zzzs in no time.

Also, choosing a window seat away from high traffic areas is advised. And if you know you favor one side over the other, pick the side of the plane where you can rest on your most comfortable side. And don’t be afraid to investigate your headrest—some seats are designed to give you more control over the position and shape of your headrest.

What are your go to routines? Do you have a fave brand of travel pillow? Carry essential oils? Let us know!

More travel tips: