Ask anyone who has ever flown on a plane, and they’d all agree that decent sleep at 30,000 feet in the air is hard to come by.
Cramped seating. Little leg room. The constant traffic up and down the aisles.
It’s not exactly a great recipe for catching those much-needed z’s. And very few of us can afford to book first class or an entire aisle of seats.
But getting some shut-eye on an airplane isn’t impossible, either.
So, what’s the best way to sleep on a plane? Read on to find out!
Book a Window Seat
Scoring a window seat means you’ll get a little more variety with your sleeping positions. And believe it or not, getting to rest your head on the side of plane feels wonderful after you’ve sat in an aisle seat.
If you’ve built a good rapport with an airline through their loyalty program, you may be able to score a window seat. Or, if you book early enough, the airline may allow passengers to choose where they sit.
Reserving a window seat only comes in handy before booking a flight. But if you remember to book one, you could be thanking yourself later.
Prepare Before Arriving at the Airport
Do you have a red-eye flight booked and need to feel awake and refreshed by the time you land? Have a long journey ahead where you’ll be changing time zones? Do you simply want to pass the time by dreaming of anything but flying?
Whether or not you need to sleep on a flight, packing the essentials in your carry-on is a must. So, what should you pack to make sleeping on airplanes easier?
An eye-mask does wonders for anyone who’s looking to get a full 8 hours of REM sleep or a short 30-minute nap. Flights in the morning and at sundown can be extra bright and make it that much harder to sleep.
Earplugs also help block out the goings-on of a flight. The beverage cart. A screaming child. The talkative couple behind you.
Airplanes can get pretty cold. So, be sure to pack a sweater or wear long pants. A weighted mosaic blanket is also something you can consider bringing on board.
Studies show weighted blankets can reduce anxiety and insomnia. They could be just the thing to help you sleep on a plane. And don’t forget your travel neck pillow, either!
Practice Yoga Before Boarding
It’s true that stretching gets our blood flowing and energizes us. But slowing down and practicing breathing techniques with yoga can actually relieve insomnia.
By practicing easy yoga stretches before flying, you’ll not only avoid stiff muscles. You’ll also feel more relaxed and able to fall asleep.
Better yet – you can practice airplane yoga. Raising your arms over your head or your knees to your chest are some examples. Neck rolls, eagle arms, and cow pose are also easy to do in your seat.
You may be able to stand and practice some stretches outside a bathroom if there’s not a line. Just be sure to ask the flight attendant for permission before going ahead!
Skip the Alcohol
You may feel tempted to order a drink or two before or during a flight. Having the jitters before flying is common. And alcohol supposedly relaxes you and helps people fall asleep, right?
Alcohol may have a sleepy effect on some people. But it doesn’t promote high-quality sleep.
At the most, you may be able to get a couple of hours of sleep. And worst of all, once you wake up, you’ll likely have a hard time falling back asleep.
So, skip the alcohol. Instead, relax with a warming glass of herbal tea, like chamomile, which promotes sleep.
It also helps to have eaten a good meal before flying. Choose something that contains low sodium and low fat. That way, you avoid uncomfortable bloat for the flight.
How to Fall Asleep on a Plane
You’ve packed the sleeping essentials, eaten a good meal, and completed your stretches. When the time comes for sleeping on airplanes, what should you do to finally doze off?
First, recline your seat all the way and lean back. Doing so will alleviate some of the pressure on your neck and spine.
Depending on your abdominal strength, you may soon develop lower back pain. It helps to roll up a sweater or use your travel pillow for support.
It’s not uncommon to see passengers with their entire bodies hunched over. Chances are they’re not sleeping. And even if they are, it’s probably not great sleep.
So, don’t fall asleep leaning forward. Otherwise, you’re going to be feeling pretty stiff come landing time.
Those armrests may seem useless. But resting your forearms on them will actually give your upper body the support it needs.
The best way to sleep on a plane is with your legs straight and a slight bend at the knees. By uncrossing your legs, your circulation will improve and make it easier to relax.
Understanding the Best Way to Sleep on a Plane So You Can Rest on a Cloud
After traveling on a plane, the first thing most people want to do is lay in bed. But if you’re traveling for business, you may have to skip the hotel and go straight to work. And even if you can squeeze some sleep in, that’s precious exploring time you won’t be able to get back.
Understanding the best way to sleep on a plane can help you get the rest you need. That way, you’re ready to take on your destination as soon as you land.
Even if you’re skipping time zones, you can say goodbye to stiff necks, jet lag, and restlessness. And now, you can say hello to feeling refreshed right as you step off the plane.
But what if you’re someone who is downright terrified of flying? Never fear! With these 10 tips on how to get over flight anxiety, you’ll be able to relax and fall asleep more easily.