How to Sleep on a Plane

BY Travel Writer

Sleeping on board an aircraft is tough but following the advice of seasoned travelers on how to sleep on a plane is a good start to getting the rest you crave. Selecting the right seat can make a difference, some seats are better than others if you want to sleep.  Read on to learn how to avoid noisy passengers and other annoyances of a red-eye flight. These are the top hints we found to ensure you get rest while en route.

1. Booking your flight. Pick a nonstop and if you must have a connection try to break it up into a long and short leg rather than two legs of the same length. You’ll have more time for uninterrupted sleep on the longer leg.

2. Selecting your seat. Choose a window seat for less interruption from seat-mates who need to pass in front of you as they make their way to the aisle.  If you sleep on your right side choose a seat on the right side of the plane. That way when you turn you’ll be facing the window not the traveler in the seat next to you.  Same idea if you sleep on your left side, select a seat on the left side of the plane to maximize privacy. Back sleepers, either side of the aircraft is fine.  For all try to select a seat not directly across from the galley or near the lavatories for maximum quiet.



3.  Dress for the occasion. Wear loose clothing for comfort.  If you have to arrive wearing business attire, pack it in your carry-on and change just prior to arrival, you’ll look freshener.

4.  Bring your own pillow. Airlines don’t have enough pillows on board for everyone, and the style they offer is not necessarily the best for sleeping while sitting upright.  Fortunately, there are several styles of travel pillows,  designed especially for sleeping on board so you’re sure to find one that’ll give you the support and comfort you need for sleeping in an airplane seat. If you’re concerned about the bulkiness of bringing your own pillow, select an inflatable one you only blow up when flying and then deflate to store in your carry on bag.

5.  Stay warm. Cabin temps can fluctuate and you won’t be able to sleep if you’re cold, so bring your own blanket. The blankets on-board have usually been used by previous passengers and may be of questionable cleanliness. If you board late you may miss out on finding one altogether. This clever blanket rolls up to about the size of a soda can and can be stowed in your carry-on bag.  

6. Use an anti-jet lag remedy.  A homeopathic version (non-drug) is safe and yes, it really works. Avoid alcohol. Even if wine can make you sleepy while you’re earth-bound, in an aircraft it accelerates dehydration.

7. Block-out noise. There are several alternatives for getting for blocking out sound. Earplugs are a good way to block-out unwanted noise, they’re small and inexpensive.  If you like soothing music, make sure you to pack your earbuds and phone/iPod.  Noise-canceling headphones are a great investment for quiet on board too. The idea is to re-create the sleeping environment you enjoy when not flying. If you get ear aches while flying due to the change in cabin pressure, you will need pressure reducing ear filters, they are different from noise blocking earplugs!

8. Buckle up.  To avoid being disturbed by the flight attendants during their safety checks make sure your seat belt is secured and visible (over the blanket.) That way the cabin attendants will pass you by.   This supplement could save your life on your next flightWhat Frequent Flyers know