10 Tips for Sleeping on a Plane (Comfortably)
Plane travel can often feel like a bit of a hindrance. Although a vital part of your travels (as without it you wouldn’t be going anywhere), it can often cause you to feel exhausted and pretty dazed as soon as you step foot off the plane.
Plane journeys can either be a smooth experience with very few blips, or they can be hellish with screaming children, overbearing grown ups, turbulence and other out-of-your-control disturbances.
There’s little you can do about many of the disturbances experienced on a plane, but what you can do, however, is focus on improving your experience when it comes to sleeping amongst the clouds.
Throughout this article, we’ll explore the top tips for banking a good amount of quality sleep in the skies and uncover how to sleep on a plane, without having to throttle anyone else on board in the process.
How to sleep on a plane
- Wear loose-fitting clothing
- Wear noise-blocking headphones
- Upgrade your seat
- Avoid noisy seat positioning
- Avoid caffeine
- Listen to relaxing audio
- Take less luggage
- Take your own travel pillow
- Wear a light-blocking eye mask
- Exercise before take off
1. Wear loose-fitting clothing
Loose-fitting clothing can mean the difference between a very uncomfortable flight and a super-relaxed flight. Tight jeans that dig in and restrict blood flow are a huge no-go on long haul flights. Circulation is vital when up in the air and so too is comfort. A pair of tracksuit bottoms or loose workout leggings are ideal. Grab a loose-fitting tee and a warm hoodie or jumper to keep you warm when the temperature cools and you try to fall asleep. A pair of circulation socks are a great idea for not only warmth but to help you also avoid DVT.
2. Wear noise-blocking headphones
Noise-blocking headphones are ideal on a noisy flight. With the constant hum of the engine, chatter of fellow passengers and the clattering of toilet doors, headphones that block these sounds are a bit of a blessing.
3. Upgrade your seat
Whether it’s a rumour/wishful thinking or not, being upgraded out-of-the-blue can apparently happen. Or you can ask for an upgrade and pay the difference. Either way, upgrading your seat to somewhere with more space, leg room and peace and quiet can work wonders. First and Business Class often have seats that turn into beds, so you can mimic being at home in your own bed as closely as possible. If you can’t upgrade, then the next step is for you.
4. Avoid noisy seat positioning
Seating positions on a plane can be tricky to choose from when you’re picking them from a laptop screen. However, it’s a good trick to avoid seats near a toilet, as that sort of commotion can keep you awake when you’re trying to drift off. An aisle seat can often beckon a few nudges from your fellow passengers, as they wade past you to get to the loo or elsewhere. A window seat, although a little more claustrophobic, can be quieter and you'll be less likely to be disturbed.
5. Avoid caffeine
Sometimes caffeine has got a lot to answer for. Popping on a flight high on caffeine isn’t the best idea, as it will keep you up during a long haul flight and mess with your jet lag adjustments. For a short haul flight (1 - 2 hours), however, it may be just the ticket to keep you energised and ready to begin your travel in style.
6. Listen to relaxing audio
Listening to soothing audio through your Nightbuds can create a feeling of relaxation whilst flying. You can listen to meditation, natural sounds and music to unwind and block out external noise. Our app, Kokoon, has an array of CBT-based content you can tune into when you're onboard your flight. Zoning out from the noise around you will help you drift off to sleep in no time.
7. Take less luggage
Having a couple of holdalls can mean that you’ll need to put one under your feet if the overhead luggage rack is full. Having less foot room on a long and short haul flight can be uncomfortable and hinder you from stretching and relaxing. By taking less luggage, or condensing it into just one bag for the overhead luggage rack, you’ll save on leg space and have a much more enjoyable experience - with plenty of room for stretching.
8. Take your own travel pillow
For some, the thought of sleeping in a plane or a car seems impossible, especially if you haven’t got the window seat to rest your head against. However, a neck pillow or a small travel pillow can be a great addition to anyone’s journey - on land and in the sky. They don’t cost a lot but can make a real difference to your head and neck’s comfort as you nod off. They also limit the chance of accidentally snoozing and dribbling on that stranger’s shoulder.
9. Wear a light-blocking eye mask
Blocking the natural light from the sky or the LEDs inside the plane is important if you want your body to naturally adjust to day and night and begin to prepare for a night of sleep. Wearing a light-blocking mask like the Kokoon NightMask can help your body adjust and drift off more easily.
10. Exercise before take off
Doing a quick exercise session sometime before a flight can help you nod off more easily. Wearing yourself out with a good exercise session can help your body relax and also help your mind to switch off. A good stretch before a flight can reboot your body and make you feel less uncomfortable and achy during your flight.
Sleep soundly on your next flight
Getting a good night’s (or day’s) sleep can be tricky when flying 33,000+ feet above the ground. The constant rumble of the engine, noisy people and unpredictable turbulence can be distracting and endless. Using these 10 top tips will help you not only sleep as soundly as possible in the sky, but also relax and mellow into your flight ahead. Whether you’re off on a long haul or short haul flight, these tips can be effortlessly applied to both.
Start by checking out our tiny, in-ear Nightbuds, perfect for keeping you undisturbed throughout your journey.