Sleeping on the Plane: Top Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep at 38,000 Feet

There is nothing more exciting than booking a long-haul flight ticket to somewhere warm and exotic, and if you are flying in first class with a full length bed, a super soft pillow, and a warm duvet wrapped in Egyptian cotton, a good night’s sleep is virtually guaranteed. But it’s a whole different story for those of us travelling in economy, where sleep is something of a luxury!

Long Haul Flights to Exotic DestinationsWith limited legroom, noisy neighbours, crying babies, and reclining seats taking up what little bit of space we have, finding a comfortable sleeping position is no easy task in economy, especially if you are over 1.5 metres tall, but according to a recent infographic by Work the World, there are certain things we can do to make our flights more peaceful, and it all starts with careful planning.

Top Tips for Sleeping on the Plane: Before you go

According to a recent Skycanner poll, the window seats on the left side of the plane (when facing the cockpit) are slightly bigger than those on the right, so make sure you choose the right seat (on the left!) when checking in online, and you’ll already have the sleep advantage.

Your hand luggage should be filled with items to help you sleep at 38,000 feet, and these include noise cancelling headphones, earplugs, a travel pillow, an eye mask, a blanket, and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated.

Plane Fashion: What not to wear

You may be tempted to glam up for your flight, you are going on holiday after all, but if you want to stay comfortable during a long-haul flight, comfort is key.  A jogging suit and warm socks will help you relax, and you can always change on board if you cannot bear the thought of walking through the airport terminal in your less than flattering sportswear.

Eat only if you are hungry, and avoid alcohol

Most of us will find this one a challenge, as there is nothing like a G&T to get you in the holiday mood, even if your flight does depart at 10am! But according to the professionals, we should only eat at regular mealtimes, avoid sugary snacks, and keep our alcohol intake to a complete minimum if we are to get any sleep on the plane.

Get into position

Once you have worked your way through the inflight magazine, and finished your ‘chicken or beef’ dinner, you should prepare yourself for sleep.  This includes brushing your teeth, positioning your seat in the most comfortable position, using your hand luggage as a foot rest, and inflating your travel pillow.  As our heads naturally roll forward when we sleep, we should use our pillow the ‘wrong way round’ to support our chin – rather than our necks.  Who knew – we’ve been doing it wrong for all these years!!

Finally, if there does happen to be an empty row of seats next to you – grab it the moment the flight attendants start closing the overhead cabins and place a personal item on every eat.  Selfish? Probably, but at least you’ll get a good night’s sleep!!




2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sarah M says:

    Travel business class is one way of getting some sleep, or just resign yourself to catching up once you get there.
    Didn’t know about the size difference on right and left side; that’s interesting.

    1. Equatours says:

      Hi Sarah!
      I agree, Business Class is great – if you have the budget! 🙂

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