Falling asleep on a plane is not an easy feat for everyone. It's something that seems like it would be easy enough given that flights are relatively boring, but the combination of pre-flight jitters, anticipation of things to come, and general excitement of going someplace new can often hinder the sleeping process.
Thus, we've found ten ways that are practically foolproof (with many backed by science) to help passengers get some much-needed shut-eye after takeoff.
10 Grab The Seat Next To The Window
Not only is the window seat highly-coveted by those who want a good view of the landscape below, but it's also the perfect seat for sleeping on a flight. Being in the middle or on the end automatically means moving if someone needs to get out of their seat, which can mean constant disruptions. Therefore, it only makes sense to grab the window seat so that a passenger can count on staying firmly in their seat for the duration.
9 Consider Booking A Red Eye Flight
Another way to practically ensure some sleep on a long-haul flight is to book a red eye. This might be a huge turn-off to those who don't want to sleep on the plane, but it's a great way to fall asleep during a time when one's body is already naturally programmed to fall asleep. Additionally, the melatonin in one's body is less likely to be disturbed since it will be dark out, as opposed to traveling during the daytime when natural light fills the plane cabin.
8 Utilize Sleep Apps Or Put Together A Specific Sleep Playlist
Rather than using white noise to fall asleep (i.e. a fan or mellow music), it's recommended by Casper to listen to 'pink noise' instead. Pink noise includes anything where the sound ebbs and flows, gradually getting quieter as opposed to remaining at the same volume. This includes sounds such as waves crashing on a beach and thunderstorms with varying rain levels.
7 Read A Book To Calm Your Nerves And Exhaust Your Eyes
Those who are familiar with reading before bed or just at the end of the day can attest to the fact that sleep eyes are, indeed, a very real thing. Reading naturally tires out our minds and, as an added perk for those trying to sleep, our eyes. Therefore, reading on a flight can also be a great way to tune everything else out, focus on one thing, and allow the mind to naturally, gradually, fall asleep.
6 Invest In Noise-Cancelling Headphones
This might go hand-in-hand with reading a book on a plane, but noise-cancelling headphones can truly be a Godsend. These are especially helpful for those who are traveling during the day and might need to deal with loud talkers or a generally busy flight. Rather than just using earplugs, headphones can also be useful in playing that pink noise playlist that we recommended earlier.
5 Start The Internal Clock Reset Days In Advance
If the problem is more the time difference rather than the actual act of falling asleep on a plane, then starting a new routine several days in advance can also be helpful. To adjust to the time difference, it can be helpful to go to bed a few hours earlier or later in order to prep one's body for the soon-to-be time change. Even if it's only by an hour or two, it will likely ease the process when it comes time to sleep in a new place.
4 Swap Out Caffeine And Sugary Drinks For Water And Herbal Tea
Avoiding caffeine and sugary drinks will help significantly when it comes to falling asleep. Just as one would not drink a cup of coffee right before going to bed, it helps to avoid the same before getting on a plane. Even if passengers had to wake up at an ungodly hour in the morning, sugary drinks or coffee will only provide a temporary alertness before the eventual crash happens.
3 Pack Comforting Essentials That Will Help You Fall Asleep
This could include anything from a neck pillow to aromatics, such as roll-on essential oils, to soothe both the mind and the body. Additionally, this could include a cozy blanket or a small pillow to provide lumbar support while sitting in a plane seat. Whatever those comforting objects might bem, it's a good idea to have them in one's carry-on for easy access .
2 Dress Comfortably And Stretch Prior To, And During, The Flight
We're not saying that sweatpants are necessary, but something non-restrictive and breathable is always a good idea. This could include anything from joggers to yoga pants, and tanks to comfortable sweatshirts or pullovers. Dressing comfortably is half the battle when it comes to falling asleep on an airplane - the other half is avoiding the eventual muscle cramping. Stretching prior to getting on a flight is a great way to get the kinks out, and taking a bathroom break in the middle of one to stand and stretch what one can is another good idea.
1 Use A Combination Of Meditation, An Eye Mask, And Comfy Socks
Meditation is more helpful than one might think, especially when it comes to a flight environment. Practicing breathing, thinking calm thoughts, and learning how to slow one's heart rate down are all conducive not only to sleeping, but to calming the nerves, as well. An eye mask will help by decreasing stress levels via blocking out light and allowing one to focus inward on their meditation or just relaxing, in general. And, finally, comfy socks are just cozy - they'll help to provide a bit of comfort and attention to feet that are inevitably sore from running around the airport.