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Sleeping On A Plane 101

Sleeping On A Plane 101

Thank you so much to Stephanie James for this freelance collaboration to the blog! Find her Bio down below!

Sleeping On A Plane 101 - Tips & Tricks to sleeping on an airplane

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The excitement of booking an overseas trip is often overshadowed by the long-haul flight needed to get there. Spending hours on a plane can result in dehydration, jet lag and lost days once you reach your destination. Getting enough sleep while you fly to your long-awaited vacation destination is key to making the most of your time once you arrive. Sleeping on a plane needn’t be impossible, with a little preparation and thought, your time in the sky can prepare you for setting your feet on the ground and getting on with your holiday.

Before you board

What you choose to wear on board when you fly will impact your comfort and relaxation strategy. Dress in layers so you can add or remove clothing and regulate your body temperature while in the air. Wear shoes that are easy to get on and off and remove them when you get seated. Keeping cool (but not cold) makes it easier to sleep and removing shoes lets your body know it’s time to relax.

Choose your position wisely

Most advice you find suggests you try to nab a window seat. If you do manage to score this coveted position, you’ll have control of the window shutter, the side of the plane to lean on when you want to rest and at least one side free from a pesky passenger. If you’re prone to restlessness, tall or likely to need the toilet regularly, a window seat isn’t your best option. Elect to go for an aisle seat if this is the case – you’ll be able to stretch out your legs and won’t need to disturb anyone to wander about the plane or use the loo.

Bring your own headphones

Airplane headphones are notoriously poor. Either they don’t fit well, don’t work well or they have questionable stains that make actually putting them on a less than restful experience. You’ll want to be able to listen to some relaxing tunes, and incorporate mindfulness meditation to help you sleep or make use of the seat-back entertainment system while you get ready for slumber. Airlines are beginning to include packages in on-board entertainment systems that are designed to take the stress out of flying and make it easier to rest and sleep on their flights.


Hopefully, you’re breathing already. Focusing on your breath however, has been proven to create a relaxation response in the body, making it easier to fall, and stay, asleep. You can further enhance this with the use of essential oils such as lavender, applied to your pulse points (insides of wrists and behind your ear). Alternately, you could invest in a sleep spray that can be applied to the airplane pillow, your shawl or headrest. These are designed to help you relax and further improve your chances of getting some shut-eye on a long flight.

Try natural supplements

While many people rely on sleeping pills to get through a long flight, they can leave you feeling groggy when you land and shouldn’t be taken on a flight unless you’ve tried them before and know what effect they’ll have on your body. A healthier alternative to sleeping pills are melatonin and magnesium supplements. Helpful for relaxation and combating muscle stiffness, they’ll help you sleep and won’t leave you feeling foggy when you land.

What tips do you have for sleeping on a plane?
Is it easy for you to sleep on a plane or difficult? I can never sleep on a plane!

Tips To Sleep On A Plane 101

Author’s Bio: Stephanie James is freelance writer, and travel enthusiast. As someone who spends more time in a plane than in a car, she has mastered the art of sleep & comfort from any time zone! In addition to answering the questions of travelers, she covers all things wellness and fitness. 

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Brooklyn standing in front of the pyramids of Giza

Brooklyn Murtaugh

travel blogger

Hi! I’m Brooklyn. Like many, I thought my purpose in life was to go to university, settle down and have kids. But that is not me. 

My aim is to inspire you to travel as much as you can while you can, whether that be through au pair work, or on your limited vacation days. It CAN be done. This world is incredible, let’s explore it!

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