So, you’ve just booked your dream vacation and that’s great. But let’s not forget – you’ll have to make it through long flights, loud passengers and cramped seats to get there!
Although a few lucky people (including my girlfriend) can pass out about an hour into the flight, most of us, like me, struggle when it comes to getting quality sleep on a plane.
That not only leads to exhaustion, but also several nights of catching up on lost sleep once you have reached your final destination.
However, fret not! Here are 10 useful tips to help you get the perfect airplane sleep, which I have discovered from my experience on many flights around the world:
- Nighttime is the best time for flights
It’s a lot easier to fall asleep if you pick an overnight flight. You should wake up at least 2 to 3 hours earlier than usual the night prior to the flight, so you can fall asleep faster in-flight.
- Book flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
For those who want more space and fewer passengers, you can enjoy a quieter and spacious flight by booking flights on off-peak days such as Tuesday and Wednesday. The days before holidays and weekends are the most crowded and expensive.
- Get a window seat
Try picking a window seat so you can easily rest your head on the side of the plane, and avoid being interrupted by your neighbor who has to go to the bathroom. Bonus: you’ll also be able to control your exposure to light.
- Wear comfortable and warm clothes
To have a sweet and sound sleep on your flight, you must wear loose clothing that doesn’t obstruct your movements. Furthermore, since it’s quite cool on the plane, don’t forget to take a warm jacket and socks along with you.
- Bring sleep accessories
Noise and light make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. For this reason, make sure you bring sleep accessories like earmuffs and a sleep mask. A special cushion can help you rest your neck and head comfortably as you sleep.
- Tilt your seat back for comfort
Recline your seat as much as you possibly can (without bothering the person sitting behind you) to reduce some of the pressure on your lower spine. It will be easier to fall asleep with less pressure on your back.
- Watch what you eat and drink
If you want to fall asleep fast, avoid overeating during the flight. Eat something healthy and light, while plain water or herbal tea is the best drink option. Drinking alcohol or coffee will dehydrate you and also ruin sleep quality.
- Don’t use your gadgets
Watching TV shows or movies on your laptop, phone or tablet will make it harder to fall asleep. After all, the blue light from their screens will keep your brain in awake-mode. So, read a book instead, preferably a boring one as it will help you fall asleep faster.
- Fasten your seatbelt
While fastening the seatbelt over your blanket or clothes won’t make your sleep more restful and better, it will keep flight attendants from disturbing you while you sleep if there is turbulence during the flight.
- Pop a pill
Pop a sleeping pill, if all else fails but only if your doctor agrees to it! They can help reduce discomfort and noise, but keep in mind that they should only be used during flights that are long enough.