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How to Sleep on a Plane: Our Tips

We know all too well that it can be difficult to get those much-needed z’s on a plane what with crying babies, turbulence, and an AC system that never seems to work right. (It’s even more difficult if you get stuck in a middle seat!) If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, it’s even more crucial that you get a good rest on the plane because sleep deprivation can worsen your symptoms. Plus, a lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, which in turn can aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms. But don’t stress—we’ve gathered up some of the best tips on how to sleep on an airplane.

How to best sleep on a plane

Have a big trip coming up? Depending on your travel destination, you could be in for a long flight. So, you’ll definitely want to get some quality shut-eye so you’re well rested and ready to take on your destination as soon as you land.

1) Dress in Layers

Never count on the airplane cabin being the optimal temperature for comfort and sleep. More often than not, the plane is either uncomfortably hot to the point that you’re sweating or so cold you’re tempted to cuddle the stranger next to you. Since you never know what the temperature will be like ahead of time, dressing in layers is a good way to prepare for any scenario. A large scarf can double as a blanket, and a jacket can be easily removed if the cabin is a little toasty. Finding small ways to make yourself more comfortable on the plane is the first step for quality snooze time. Find other tips on what to wear on the plane.

2) Opt for a Window Seat

Most airlines allow you to choose a seat when booking your ticket. If possible, choose a window seat. Even with a neck pillow, it can be very difficult to get a good nap in when you’re sitting in the middle or the aisle seat. Sitting next to the window gives you a place to lean your head, allowing you a little more comfort. Grab your travel pillow, prop it up against the window, and doze off. The in-flight meal will be there before you know it!

man looking at the window on airplane

3) Complete Your Sleep-Time Routine

Many people have a nightly ritual to help them get to sleep each night. While you may not be able to do your customary yoga routine on the plane, you can find ways to bring the comfort of your nightly habits to your travel setup.

If you like to fall asleep to a movie or your favorite album, make sure you have your phone charged and your noise-canceling headphones ready to go. Or, download an app that plays white noise or the soothing sounds of a rainstorm if that’s more your style. Bring an eye mask in case your neighbor insists on keeping their above-seat light on the entire flight.

Spritz your travel pillow with lavender essential oil if that helps ease you into sleep. Finding ways to be a little more comfortable can help you sleep better and feel well rested when you land.

4) Skip the In-Flight Alcohol

Many people believe that drinking an alcoholic beverage before hitting the hay can help them sleep better, but the opposite is actually true. While alcohol is a sedative and may help you fall asleep quickly, it can actually take precious hours away from your REM cycle, and it can cause you to wake up frequently in later cycles—which is the last thing you want for a peaceful, restful sleep.

Additionally, WebMD says that people with obstructive sleep apnea should especially avoid drinking before going to sleep, as the alcohol can relax the muscles at the back of the throat and aggravate sleep apnea symptoms.

Just thinking about an upcoming long flight can be exhausting, but following these tips on how to sleep on an airplane can help you feel a little more rested when the plane touches down and help you feel ready to take on your travel destination!

Don’t let allergy struggles ruin your vacation! Check our tips to learn a few hypoallergenic travel necessities to help minimize your allergy symptoms. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more updates!

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