In the past, we’ve written about how to how to stay ahead of jet lag
. An important component of that effort is actually getting to sleep on a plane, and since it’s impossible to carry on your Regal mattress (sorry, we’re working on it), you probably need some help. Sleeping well on a plane is especially important on long-haul flights. Otherwise, you may find yourself a day behind on your sleep by the time you get to your destination! Here are our best tips for getting to sleep in the air.
Choose your seat wisely
First, in case you’re not already familiar with this gem, check out SeatGuru
, where you can look up the details of your seat on virtually any plane. If you can choose your seat ahead of time, use their guide to find the comfiest spot in your price range. When you do, consider whether you typically sleep on your right or left side and choose a corresponding window seat. Lastly, if you can afford it, it’s worth paying for a bit of extra leg room on long-haul flights.
Pack your sleep essentials
If your airline doesn’t provide these items (and an increasing number don’t), don’t forget to pack your earplugs, sleeping mask, and neck pillow. There’s a creative variety of airplane pillows on the market today, in case you’re not a fan of the typical U-shaped version. Other things you’ll be glad you packed are warm socks and slippers—no one will think less of you for getting a little cozy on a long flight!
Make sure you won’t be disturbed
There’s nothing worse than finally nodding off, only to be woken up by a well-meaning flight attendant asking if you’d prefer chicken or fish. If you don’t mind sleeping through mealtime, it’s worth warning your flight attendant and seat-mate when you’re about to doze off. In addition, be sure that your fastened seatbelt is clearly visible in case you hit any turbulence.
Eat & drink wisely
As counterintuitive as this is, it’s best to avoid alcohol—it doesn’t actually help you sleep better and can make motion sickness a lot worse. Skip coffee at the airport and stick to hydrating, non-caffeinated beverages (but not too many of them, or you’ll be too busy running to and from the tiny bathroom to sleep).