Sleeping on a long or even short flight isn’t always easy. And sometimes, it’s damn near impossible. Working out an on-plane sleeping strategy usually requires a bit of individualized experimentation: “Does eating disrupt my sleeping? Or how about electronics?” Some tips, however, are pretty universal and can probably work in nearly everyone’s favor. Below, a few tactics for getting shuteye (assuming you want some) on those uncomfortable and stuffy hours in air.
1. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead requires coinciding your sleep schedule to the destination you’re traveling to. Now, this won’t necessary help you sleep better on a plane per se, but it will definitely help you avoid jetlag and thus, enable you to get proper sleep once landed. The main thing to do here is: Sleep on the plane at the same time you would be asleep at the destination you’re traveling to. For instance, if a flight arrives in a city in the morning, you should sleep as much as you can before landing. Seemingly, if the flight arrives in the late evening, you should avoid sleep completely till you arrive at wherever it is you’re going.
Of course, things can get complicated depending on where in the world you’re situated and where it is that you’re traveling. But still, try to plan accordingly as much as the situation allows.
Pick the right seat. What’s more frustrating than finally falling into a sleep Sleeping Beauty-like slumber only to be awaken by someone who needs to use the bathroom? Aim for a window seat or one of the two middle seats in a chunk of four, since these don’t require anyone else to climb over you when personal duty calls.
Stow any carry-on luggage overhead, so that you have maximum space below to comfortably stretch out – feels good, doesn’t it? Sleep comes easier when one is relaxed and cozy, rather than awkwardly bended and cramped.
Get rid of any disruptive sounds and lights that aren’t helping the zzz’s wash over you. For noise, try noise-eliminating headphones: Turn them on but don’t plug them in to a source, so that they reduce the engine drone. Good old ear-plugs work as well. In terms of light, try a sleeping mask – they’re relatively inexpensive and shut out everything.
5. Still Can’t Sleep?
When you’ve tried it all and still can’t sleep, there’s still the option to rest: Lay back in the seat (as long as the person behind you doesn’t groan), stretch your legs, and shut close your tired eyes. As often as not, a bit of sleep will usually come to you on its accord.