Travel Tips January 22, 2018
Here’s How You Can Actually Sleep Well On Your Next Long Flight
No one is arguing that airplanes are ideal places to get some shut-eye. Between the stress of getting to the airport, your cramped plane seat and your chatty neighbor, it can be hard to rest up on long-haul flights. However, there are some ways you can maximize your chances of turning a red-eye flight into a nap in the sky.
Here’s our guide to getting the best possible sleep on long plane trips.
1. Book a red-eye flight on purpose.
Most people tend to avoid booking late night flights, but if you’re looking to maximize the chances of falling asleep, opting for a night journey might be a good idea. Depending on when your flight leaves, you could encounter a less hectic airport and even an emptier plane. Plus, you’ll be nice and sleepy by the time you finally get on board.
2. Where you sit matters depending on who you are.
If you have a bladder of steel and don’t mind less legroom, opting for a window seat will keep your row-mates from disturbing you with their bathroom trips. You’ll also have the cabin wall to lean on while you doze. However, if you have long legs or need frequent trips to the restroom, it might be worth trying for an aisle seat in order to stay as comfortable as possible.
3. Use the air vent to help your body cool down.
The human body naturally loses heat when it’s time to fall asleep. This means that an overly warm and stuffy plane cabin can hinder your ability to drift off. Use the air vent above your seat to cool off and ease yourself into restful sleep.
4. Consider skipping that pre-flight latte.
Getting to the airport and through security can be half the travel battle, but don’t knock back coffee in an effort to power through. Once you’re on the plane, that earlier cappuccino could keep you from sleeping soundly in transit. Caffeine stays in the body much longer than you might realize, so a dose cup of coffee or soda in the morning could still prevent you dozing off in the afternoon or evening, even if the buzz is long gone. Opt for herbal tea or plain water to keep yourself primed for sleep.
5. But that (small) glass of wine might not be a bad idea.
First of all, we’re not advocating getting drunk and passing out as the answer to your sleep woes. Alcohol has a different effect on your body at high altitudes than it does on land, and it can even mess up your body’s natural sleep rhythm. So why the glass of wine or beer? If you struggle with pre-flight nerves or just need a bit of help relaxing in the cramped cabin, there’s nothing wrong with ordering a small adult beverage early on in the flight. Just be sure to limit yourself to one and pay extra attention to your hydration.
6. Consider noise-cancelling headphones.
Honestly, any headphones you might have will be better at drowning out the noise of the plane than the cheap ones you’ll find at your seat. But if you truly want to create a peaceful audio environment, some decent noise-cancelling buds or over-the-ear headphones will do wonders for your ability to drift off. Add some recorded nature noises like ocean waves or bird song for extra serenity.
7. Wear comfy layers.
You’re not going to get quality sleep in uncomfortable clothes. Similarly, you won’t be able to truly relax if you’re sweating or shivering. Since our bodies need to be able to cool down in order to drift off, make sure you’re wearing sensible clothing that can be removed or layered up as needed. No, don’t show up in pajamas, but consider stretchy pants. And don’t be shy about asking for an extra blanket if you need it.
8. Let your neighbor know you’re trying to rest.
Politely telling your voluble seat mate that you’re looking to sleep on the flight can be the difference between arriving rested and arriving annoyed. Ideally, let them know as soon as possible to minimize awkwardness.
Sleeping on long flights is challenging, but following these tips will help you arrive rested and refreshed. If you’re serious about getting comfy on your next flight, you might want to check out
this secret button that will give you more room at your seat.