How to Catch Some Sleep on a Plane

sleeping on a plane


Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, overnight or during the day, continentally or transcontinentally, chances are at some point during your flight you’re going to want to try to catch some Z’s. Check out a list of our top 5 tips on how to fall asleep on a plane to discover some helpful tricks you may not have thought of.

  1. Choose Your Seat Wisely

When it comes to getting restful sleep on a plane, where you sit might be the most important factor, which is why if you are planning on sleeping during your flight you may want to pre-book a certain seat. We suggest the window seat, especially if you’re traveling alone, so that you can rest your head up against the side of the plane to sleep.

If you’re looking to sleep during your flight, it’s not a good idea to book the last row of the airplane or the row in front of any emergency exits, as these seats generally do not recline. And if you have the extra money to upgrade your seating choice to one with a bit more leg room, you may find it easier to fall asleep on a plane.

  1. Dress Comfortably

Learning how to sleep while flying is all about learning the tricks and trades of the most experienced fliers, the business travelers. Sometimes when traveling, you don’t have time to get to a hotel and change before you have to head out, especially if you’re traveling for business.

But if your flight plans allow for a little extra time or you don’t need to show up to your destination dressed to the nines, then wearing comfortable clothes is a great choice. We don’t suggest showing up in full on pajamas for your flight, but dressing in breathable and stretchable fabrics is certainly the way to go to stay comfortable enough to snooze.

  1. Bring Your Own Snacks

On most flights the meal or snack service doesn’t come around until several minutes into the flight, by which time you could already be far away in dreamland. But if you fall asleep before the cart comes around, you risk getting nothing and waking up hungry or thirsty with nothing to eat or drink.

Avoid this problem altogether by bringing your own snacks and beverages, and go ahead and fall asleep before the pilot even taxis away from the gate. Now when you wake up, you’ll be set with all the food and drinks you could need, and you get to enjoy a refreshing nap on your own time.

  1. Do Not Take Sleep Aids

Knowing how to fall asleep on a plane is especially important for overnight and transcontinental flights so that you can help avoid, or at the very least limit, jet lag. One of the most important things to remember, though, is to avoid prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids that will cause more drowsiness once you awaken, as this only prolongs and worsens jet lag. Instead, opt for the natural option of melatonin, which will help you fall asleep and stay asleep but will allow you to wake up feeling refreshed instead of groggy.

  1. Set the Mood

Before you fall asleep at home, you probably have a routine that involves making sure your room is dark and quiet and that you are comfortable. Sleeping on a plane should be no different. If you are lucky enough to have scored a window seat and it’s light outside, go ahead and close that window shade to allow your body to begin its natural production of melatonin. To reduce noise interruptions, consider investing in a pair of earplugs or simply put on headphones and turn on light music or white noise to lull yourself into a peaceful sleep.

If you follow these tips, you’ll have no problem getting some shut-eye on your next flight.