Whether it’s a long-haul or domestic flight it is recommended to attempt to get some sleep when you fly so you arrive well rested. But whether it's nerves or cramped seats, getting comfortable mid-flight can be tricky. To help you drift off, here are the best ways to fall asleep on a plane!
Explore the best ways to fall asleep on a plane
Getting sleep on a plane can be tricky, especially if you fly in space-challenged economy seating. Sitting in an upright chair is typically not the way that most of us are used to getting our best night’s sleep, so maximize your chances of getting some sleep on a plane by planning ahead and being prepared. Here are some of the best ways to fall asleep on a plane.
With ear plugs
Bring your own earplugs and put them in when you are ready to start winding down for some sleep. Ear plugs will block out all the background noise of other passengers and the engine itself if you are seated close to it, making this one of the best ways to fall asleep on a plane - and also the easiest! Earplugs are also a visible sign to the flight attendants that you do not want to be disturbed and they will likely pass you by for any refreshments or meals.
With a pillow
Ask for a pillow or pack a small neck pillow in your carry-on. If you are seated next to a window, then you can place the pillow on the wall of the plane and create a nice soft place for your head. The indent in the window as the best place to rest your head in the hopes to get some rest on the flight.
If you have a prescription for sleeping pills then it is a good idea to take your sleeping pill still. Just be sure to take it early in your flight so that you are not too groggy when you land and go through customs. If it helps take only half of your regular dose so that you get some of the effects of your sleeping aid without the downside. Make sure you bring your prescription for customs purposes for any medications you bring.
Bring a velvet eye mask from home or use the eye mask provided by the airline, if they still provide them. An eye mask will block out all of the ambient lighting on the plane and again is another visible sign to flight attendants and other passengers that you intend on sleeping for the flight. The Independent lists an eye mask on their list of in flight essentials to pack and it should be found in every carry-on!
Listen to Music
If you are someone who needs a little noise like music or the TV to fall asleep then, by all means, put your headphones on and listen to some music to lull you to sleep. Often times the airline will have some nice easy listening tunes that you can listen to that will help relax you. If you own expensive noise canceling headphones it would be wise to bring them as they will block out all the background noises that will keep you up.
Power off your devices
As with any sleep routine, it is best to avoid screen time before you want to fall asleep on a plane. The light from your devices sends a signal to your brain that it is still daytime and actually affects your circadian rhythms. According to Sleep.org you should power down any smartphones or tablets at least 30 minutes before bedtime as the blue light from these devices stimulates your mind and affects the quality not only of your sleep, but of your waking hours as you may wake up anxious and depressed.
Drinking alcohol and caffeine before attempting to sleep as they are counterproductive to good rest. Although alcohol may make you drift off quickly to sleep, the quality of your sleep will likely be poor as you will not achieve the deep restful sleep and this light sleep will also make you more prone to wake up early. Stop drinking caffeine at least 2 hours before you intend to sleep if not more.
We all know how cramped seating is in economy. If you are able to book a seat with more leg room then do so, such as the emergency row seating or business class, if you can afford it. Take the first opportunity, wherever you are sitting, however to recline your seat and get into a relaxing posture.
Close the window and turn off overhead light
Close the window shade as soon as you have the opportunity, if you are not seated next to the window then ask the person who is if they mind closing the shade. Turn off the overhead light also and you will create as dark an environment as you can.
Do your best to get nice and cozy as the air gets colder on the plane once you have reached your cruising altitude. Ask for a blanket or pack your own, and put on warmer clothes like a comfy sweater and crew socks. According to science journal Nature, warm hands and feet promote falling sleep.
Use a relaxing essential oil or scent like lavender, which promotes sleep. Either dab some of the essential oil on your temples or spray the scent on your clothing or pillow, if you are using your own. Studies show that smelling lavender before bedtime soothes anxiety and insomnia and the site Prevention refers to studies that show that lavender helps you to sleep more soundly. This is easily one of the best ways to fall asleep on a plane.