How To Prepare for Better Sleep on Planes

by Allie Moore

Apr 23, 2019

sleep mask © Milkovasa | Dreamstime

Tips / Travel

Unless you’re flying business or first class, trying to fall asleep in an upright position in a plane’s economy class is nothing short of challenging and often extremely uncomfortable. To ensure you have a restful flight and show up to your destination at least somewhat coherent, follow the tips below.


Choose medication wisely. If you’re considering taking a sleeping aid like melatonin, take it for a test run before you fly. Try it one night at home to see how it may affect you and how you feel the next day. If you do decide to take it in flight, stick to recommended dosages and no more.


Stick to small snacks. A heavy meal may be a way to guarantee you won’t be hungry on a long flight, but it can lead to abdominal discomfort and possibly frequent trips to the lavatory. Eat a decent meal a few hours before your flight, and, for the flight, pack smaller, smarter snacks like bananas, nuts or energy bars with oats.


Skip the airport cocktail. Although a pre-flight martini may help you fall asleep during take-off, alcohol can be disruptive to normal sleep patterns. It also will dehydrate you in an already dehydrating environment, which can possibly make you feel worse upon arrival.


Dress comfortably. You already know you’ll have to sleep sitting upright, so don’t make the situation more uncomfortable with tight jeans. Dress in loose clothing, such as sweatpants and t-shirts, and don’t forget a head/neck pillow, eye mask and earplugs.




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