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8 Tips for Catching Some Sleep on a Plane

Believe it or not, it is possible to get some sleep on an airplane. Yep, even over the crying babies, talkative neighbors and noisy beverage carts. Try these tips to ensure you are well rested when you land after your next flight.

Book a red eye

Though a red eye might sound painful at first, your best bet for catching some ZZZZs on a flight is to fly when you are normally sleeping. If you can score a direct flight, definitely book it. Nothing interrupts your sleep more than having to get off one plane and on another.

Prepare ahead of time

Do what you can to tire yourself out before the flight. Try spending some time in the sun, working out during the day or eating a small meal in the airport before the flight.

Choose your seat carefully

At home, do you usually sleep on your right side or your left side? Whichever it is, reserve a seat on that side of the plane. Even if you usually prefer an aisle seat, try booking a window seat if you’re planning on sleeping. A window seat gives you a flat surface to rest on. You also won’t get woken up every time someone in your row needs to get up. Whatever you do, avoid the very last row of the airplane. The seats don’t always recline and are right by the bathrooms where everyone usually stands around. Check out Seat Guru, a website that tells you everything you need to know about each seat on your plane, before you book.

Pack right

Make sure you are packing the right sleeping gear. A pillow and blanket might be helpful (who knows where the ones they give you have been?!), an eye mask will keep the light out and prevent your neighbor from talking your ear off and noise cancelling headphones will allow you to listen to some soothing tunes as your drift off. Try to limit your carry-on items to one. If you have two, one may end up under your feet and will limit your leg room.

Buckle your seat belt over your blanket

If you choose to use a blanket, make sure you buckle your seatbelt over top of it. This will prevent the flight attendant from waking you up if there is turbulence.

Dress for (sleeping) success

Wear what you feel comfortable in. If you don’t feel right wearing sweats or pajamas in the airport, put a pair in your carry on and change after takeoff. Wear loose fitting shoes or bring slippers with you. Make sure you are wearing layers as cabin temperature can change drastically throughout the flight.

Try a sleep aid

If you need some help, try some tea or an over the counter medication such as ZzzQuil or Tylenol Simply Sleep.

Wake up slowly

Consider setting your phone alarm (on vibrate!) to wake you up 30-45 minutes before landing so you can go to the bathroom and get yourself ready to deplane.

What tips do you have for getting some shut eye on an airplane?

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