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Tips for How to Sleep Peacefully on a Plane

Taking a nap during your short or long-haul flight trip is a great way to relax and let the time pass until you arrive at the airport. Sleeping on flights is also seen as a significant advantage to prevent or overcome jet lag, which most travellers often experience.

However, aircraft have very limited space and so, getting a comfortable sleep, especially on longer journeys, can become a challenge. This should not, however, stop you from taking a rest.

With a few travel hacks and the right decisions, anything can be possible.

In this travel guide, we will share with you a couple of helpful tips on how to sleep on a plane and other things to know.

Best Tips to Have a Good Sleep During a Flight

Here are some best tips for travellers that want to know about sleeping on flights.

Book a Night Flight

If you are travelling a long-distance journey, it should be good to book a flight that is scheduled for departure at night. This is generally the case if you just want to sleep the entire journey and wake up only when your flight arrives at your destination airport. Many travellers find this a comfortable way to spend their trips. In aviation terms, night flights are often referred to as “red-eye” flights, so does the logic.

Bear in mind that if you are taking a night flight, you do not miss the flight, else you may have to spend the entire night sleeping at the airport. Night flights are usually the last flights scheduled for the day. There is none until the following day.

Choose a Comfortable Seat During Booking

When booking a flight to your favourite destination, it is important that you also choose your seat wisely. Reclining seats are ideal for both short and long-distance journeys. Even if you do not plan on sleeping during your flight, the comfort that you get in reclining seats is just enough for relaxation.

Many airline carriers allow customers to select their preferred seats at the time of booking flights. Business and First class seats are usually more comfortable than Economy class seats. So, if you do not mind paying for a premium class ticket, you can get yourself a reclining seat that is also more flexible compared to seats in the Economy class. This is perhaps, a good choice if you are travelling on a long-haul flight and need comfort and relaxation.

Look for Seats with Legroom

Seats that can recline, armrest raised, and more legroom space offer more comfort than those that do not have these features. In other words, no person would like to fly on flights that do not have flexible seats and which could make you feel cramped. Thus, window seats on flights generally provide legroom space, so you can stretch your legs and relax during your journey.

However, window seats could sometimes be a problem. For instance, the changes in weather, night and day, etc. may affect your sleep and relaxation. But, as long as you are not bothered by this, having a window seat should be just fine.

Avoid Aisle, Bulkhead and Exit Row Seats

The design and layout of the aircraft is such that most seats are located near the exit rows and bulkhead (front row of dividing cabins). However, these are not ideal if you want to have a peaceful sleep during your flight. Count the aisle seats on that, too.

Since passengers would frequently get off of their seats to use the lavatory, noise from the galley and the noise of footsteps in the aisles will certainly disturb your sleep. So, it is better to avoid seats in these areas.

Wear Comfortable Clothes

Planning your trip well in advance is the key to how your overall experience will be. Similarly, gearing up yourself with comfortable clothes and shoes are important, too. If your flight trip is going to be several hours long, it’s a good idea to put on pyjamas, compression socks, and comfortable shoes.

Compression socks are generally very useful for flying. This type of socks helps reduce your risk of travel-related deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In medical terms, it is a condition that can lead to blood clots. If you are at risk of developing DVT, you should purchase compression socks at your local pharmacy. These socks are also referred to as “flight socks”.

Wear comfortable shoes that you can take on and off easily as needed. Taking your shoes off during the flight will improve blood circulation and thus, can help you fall asleep. If your feet tend to get cold on the plane, you should wear socks with your shoes or bring an extra pair of socks in your carry on.

Carry Eye Mask, Ear Plugs and Neck Pillow

If you are travelling in Economy class, some low cost airline carriers may not provide amenity kits to you. The amenity kits provided in-flight usually include items, such as earplugs, headphones, eye mask, neck pillow, blanket, compression socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, perfume, shave, etc. Most of these items in the amenity kit are provided to premium class passengers. However, a few airline carriers are generous enough to provide some items in the amenity kits to Economy class passengers.

However, it is also a good idea to carry your own essential items, especially if you are not flying premium class. An eye mask, earplugs, and a neck pillow should be just enough to keep you comfortable and have a peaceful sleep during your journey.

Music for Sleep

If you are among those people that like to listen to soothing music to get peaceful sleep, then you should also carry a pocket media player. Also, do not forget to create one or more playlists of songs, instrumentals, or soothing sounds that can help you sleep on the flight.

Listening to music while sleeping can also help by suppressing other noises and sounds on the plane. The most common ones are sounds of other passengers chatting, babies/children crying, flight attendants walking up and down the path, and outside noise, etc. Bringing a pair of noise-cancelling headphones will also help.

Avoid Sleeping Pills, Caffeine, Alcohol, and Heavy Meals

In order to get good sleep when travelling in flights, it is usually advised that you avoid beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol, eating heavy meals, and taking in sleeping pills. Consuming too much of these will instead, keep you awake and running frequently for the lavatory. As such, you will feel uneasy during your flight. Instead of sleeping pills, alcohol or caffeine drinks, prefer having fruit beverages, smoothie or water. Perhaps, a glass of champagne or alcohol should be just fine, but avoid more than one glass of alcohol beverage.

Also, it is suggested that you eat light before boarding your flight. Since you will be served with snacks and meals in-flight, take a limited amount so you don’t feel hungry in the middle of your sleep.

Do a Quick Stretch and Walk Before Sleep

Sitting constantly for hours on the flight can affect your body and mind. To cope with this, you can get off your seat, do a little stretching or walk up and down a couple of times (without bothering other passengers), either before or after the meal.

This exercise should then allow you to get proper sleep for the rest of your journey.


Sleeping on flights is needed for the body and mind. A major advantage of getting proper rest during a flight is that you can prevent experiencing jet lag.

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