Posted: September 14, 2015

From a chorus of crying babies to the occasional turbulence, there are plenty of distractions and unavoidable obstacles that can get in the way of catching a few z’s during your flight. Nothing can get in the way of kicking off a business trip or vacation like not resting up on the flight beforehand, but despite all the in-flight hurdles getting between you and sleep, there are a few ways you can improve your odds of getting a solid nap in prior to your arrival. From strategically choosing your seating location to bringing along some essential resting accessories, here are five tips that may help you sleep better during your next flight:

Tips for sleeping on airplanes

All About Location

Out of the three airplane seating options available in every row, there’s only one that’s far superior when it comes to accommodating for sleep. The window seat provides you with everything from having a stable backdrop to lean your pillow against to controlling how much sunlight gets let in through the window. When compared to seating in the aisle spot and having to get up every time someone needs out or being crammed in the middle, there’s no competition when it comes to securing a seat that allows for optimal napping. Be sure to reserve a window seat when booking a flight with your airline. Even if it costs you a bit extra, it’s probably worth getting the extra rest in during a long plane ride.

Dress Comfortably

If you’ll have plenty of time to change and prepare for whatever it is you’re doing once you arrive at your final destination, it’s definitely a good idea to dress as comfortably as possible for your flight. Whether it’s throwing together that ultimate relaxation combination of sweatpants and a soft hoodie or keeping it slightly more formal with loose-fitting cotton pants and a comfy sweater, sporting attire that’s as close to sleeping wear as possible can help ease your body into a long flight. Even a more comfortable pair of shoes can be just enough to assist you with counting more sheep up in the sky.

Essential Accessories

For the lighter sleepers, you probably need plenty of accessory assistance when it comes to napping onboard an airplane. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of devices and adornments that are aimed to help you sleep better in even the most uncomfortable scenarios. A decent pair of headphones can go along way in terms of blocking out the excess sounds you’ll hear during a plane ride. Shop for headphones that specifically state they’re a noise-cancelling pair, which will vastly reduce the amount of sound decibels entering your ears and keeping you up. Even simple ear plugs or sleeping masks can improve your rest, and try ditching the bulky pillows for a smaller and more adjustable neck roll, which can also free up a lot more space within your seating area.

Cancel the Caffeine and Sugar

If you’re trying to catch some much-needed sleep before a flight, obviously forgoing the morning coffee or doughnut is an absolute must. Putting your body at ease before take off means that you’ll have to avoid caffeine and sugar at all costs, otherwise you’ll most likely be subjected to fidgeting around and trying to shake off your energy buzz. Instead of tea or coffee, try switching over to more relaxing beverages such as cherry juice, lemon balm tea or even an old fashioned glass of milk. The National Sleep Foundation also suggests eating foods that are heavy in carbohydrates can also make sleeping easier. Snacks such as cheese and crackers or milk and cereal before a flight might be able to evoke drowsiness once you’re seated on the plane.

Fantastic Fragrance

Whether you’re trying to take your shoes off to get more comfortable or you simply want to smell your freshest, keeping some scented fragrances handy with you on the flight can not only help you relax, but also accommodate everyone’s noses around you. There are plenty of essential oils and lotions that are known to help induce relaxation and sleepiness, and even spraying a little lavender oil on your pillow may provide the pleasantness necessary for a quality napping session on your flight.


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