How to Sleep on a Plane

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How to Sleep on a Plane

Did you spend 2020 fantasizing about travelling to far-off destinations? Then you’ll be happy to know that international travel is possible again. Yahoo! If you’re ready to itch that travel bug, you know how important sleep is for long distance flights. But planes aren’t exactly the best place to catch some shut eye. Tiny and cramped seats. Crying babies. Turbulence, bright screens, or your neighbor being a total nuisance, the list of disturbances goes on. But with a little preparation, you can catch some quality sleep while in the air. We’ve prepared some helpful tips to get you ready for some needed R & R on your next flight.


Plan ahead

Now’s not the time to sport your fanciest outfit. You’ll want to feel comfy and relaxed. Wear loose fitting clothes (not jeans!) that you can stretch out in. Planes are often chilly, so a long sleeved shirt and pants are always good to have. Dress in a few layers in case you get too warm.

Next you’ll want to think about your seat. Sleep experts The Sleep Judge surveyed over 900 people on the best place to sleep on a plane. The winner? A window seat at the front of the plane. The second best place? A middle seat in the middle of the plane. And the worst seats for sleeping were aisle seats in front and back of the plane. Another good option is a window seat so you can lean your head on the wall.

Don’t forget to pack some of your favorite comfort items in your carry on. Bring your favorite sweater, an eye mask, neck pillow, or ear plugs to ensure you doze off comfortably.

While in flight

Your posture and position during flight will affect your sleep. Avoid crossing your legs as it can restrict your blood flow and create strain on your back. Keep your legs straight with a slight bend in the knees. Next, do everything you can to reduce your eyes’ exposure to light. Dim the overhead lights, turn off your screens, wear an eye mask, and close the window shade. Help your body relax with a guided meditation or ambient music in your headphones. As tempting as it is – you’re on holiday right? – avoid drinking alcohol during the flight. It can disrupt your sleep and could cause you to wake up thirsty and with a headache. And that’s no fun on your vacation. Instead, stay hydrated by drinking extra water.

After landing

If you’re travelling to a different time zone, be sure to set your watch before getting off the plane. And be prepared to experience jet lag. This is when your body’s sleep cycle is disrupted because you ask it to sleep or eat at the wrong time. If you do experience jet lag after you arrive, here’s what to do:
– Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol. Drink plenty of water instead
– As soon as possible, take on the schedule of your new destination. If you arrive at supper time, eat dinner, not breakfast
– Set yourself an alarm for your first morning to avoid sleeping in
– Get outside and be in sunlight during the day. This will help your body’s clock adjust more easily

A few reminders

In general, expect the quality of your sleep to be lower – planes weren’t designed with sleep in mind! But with a little preparation and planning, you’ll be able to wind down in no time and drift off into a restful slumber! Also, don’t hesitate to bring your own pillow like the JUMP travel pillow ! 

Bon voyage and sweet dreams!