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How to Actually Sleep on a Plane: 5 Tips That Make It Easy

By July 7, 2017 No Comments

Believe it: It is possible to catch some ZZZs in flight. Try these handy tips and tricks the next time you want to arrive at your destination feeling refreshed, rested, and ready to go.

By: Melanie Rud Chadwick

1. Dress the Part

We’re all about cute travel outfits, but the last thing you want is those slightly snug skinny jeans digging into your waist all flight long, especially if you’re trying to snooze. Wear a comfy ensemble on the plane—may we suggest some new Fly gear, perhaps? —and pack a clean outfit to change into once you land.  Some cozy socks are also key (no one wants to sleep in shoes), as is a lightweight, oversized cotton or cashmere scarf that can double as a blanket…planes get cold!

2. Sleep a Little Less the Night Before

It doesn’t have to be anything super drastic, but consider setting your alarm for an hour or two earlier the morning of the flight. It’s not enough of a change to totally throw off your schedule, but enough that your body will naturally be a bit more tired and more easily able to doze off. Exercising the day of a long flight is also helpful, so why not consider this the perfect opportunity to book a Dawn Patrol class?

 3. Stick to a Routine

You may be on a plane and not in the comfort of your own home, but if you’re going to be on an overnight flight, maintain your pre-bedtime rituals as much as possible, think brushing your teeth, washing your face, and reading a book or watching a little TV. It’s an easy way to keep your body in the ‘I’m now going to fall asleep’ mindset. Before you do so, set your watch to your destination’s time zone, another helpful trick.

4. Find a Comfortable Position

Yes, it may sound like an oxymoron when you’re sitting on a plane, but it is—somewhat—possible. A U-shaped travel pillow is priceless. If you have a window seat, lean it against the window and rest your head on it. If you’re in the aisle or middle, you can either put your tray table down, put the pillow on it, and lean forward, or, sit straight up and turn the neck pillow around (so that the opening is in the back). This keeps your neck from jerking and waking you up as you start to fall asleep. Either way, make sure your seatbelt is fastened over your blanket or clothes so that the flight attendants can see it and won’t have to wake you up.

5. Avoid Booze

That extra glass of in-flight vino can be oh-so tempting, but alcohol isn’t going to help you sleep any better, not to mention that it can also leave you dehydrated and looking (and feeling) puffy and bloated upon landing. Bring a water bottle with you and chug extra H20, before, during, and after the flight.