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5 Tips for Sleeping on a Plane

5 Tips for Sleeping on a Plane


If you are facing a long flight and want to arrive refreshed and ready to see the sights or get down to business with your colleagues, getting quality sleep on a plane is a great first step. Here are five tips to help you get the rest you need on your next flight.

Choose Your Seat Wisely

Seats that are near the galley and restroom are known to be noisy and can often smell after a long flight. Stay away from seats near these areas. Choosing a window seat will limit the amount of bumping you get from food carts and other passengers moving in the aisles. Middle seats can be a challenge, because you get jostled from people on two sides, instead of one. Therefore, a centrally-located window seat is a good choice if you want to sleep on the plane.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Clothing choice will play directly into your comfort level during your flight. Tight, binding, and non-breathable clothing will make you hot and uncomfortable. Choose clothes that do not bind and that you can layer to adjust to the changing cabin temperature. For women, easy choices include leggings, wide-leg knit pants, or a skirt. Elastic waist bottoms will give you the most comfort. Pair any of those bottoms with a tee shirt, light cardigan and simple scarf. It is best to keep jewelry to a minimum for both comfort and security reasons. Shoes that slip on and off are easy to get through security and will also make it easy to remove them on the plane while you sleep.

Have Some Head or Neck Support

Sleeping in a seated position usually means your head will flop to one side or down on to your chest and all that flopping can result in neck and upper shoulder strain. Having a good head or neck support is essential if you want to sleep on a flight. There are several choices when it comes to sleeping aids, including inflatable neck pillows and flexible padded head rests. Look for a style that is lightweight and compact so you don’t add a lot of bulk and weight to your carry-on bag.

Block Out Distractions

High quality noise-canceling headphones and an eye mask are essential for blocking out distractions and sleeping on a plane. Noise-canceling headphones work by reducing unwanted ambient noise, such as engine noise and talkative passengers.  Most noise-canceling headphones will also double as an audio output device, so you can plug them into your portable music player or the in-plane music system to enjoy your favorite music or podcast. An eye mask is essential if you want to sleep on day flights. Eye masks are available in a range of fabrics, from soft fleece to luxurious silk. For the benefit they can provide to keep you comfortable on the flight, they are worth packing.

Try Travel Slippers or Compression Socks

Many people experience swollen feet with they travel due to being seated for a long time and also from wearing constraining shoes during flight. It is always a good idea to get up and walk up and down the aisle each hour you are in flight. Also, taking off your shoes and putting on a pair of travel slippers is a nice way to treat your feet. Compression socks are preferred by some to aid blood circulation in the legs and keep swelling down in the legs.