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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

How to Sleep on a Plane (sort of)

in: Travel and Hospitality

plane-sleeperThere is no way around it. Unless you are on an overseas flight and in ultra first-class seats that swivel every which way and are more sleeping pods than seat, it is practically impossible to accomplish restful shuteye on a plane.

Either way, there are days when you must throw sleepy cautions to the wind and catch some zzzzzzs. Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Choose your seat wisely:  Your best bet for sleep is a window seat. This way you can prop up your pillow on the window and get some rest.

  2. Induce it: Bring a tea bag of chamomile with you and have the flight attendant bring you some hot water; sip then sleep. You may also try melatonin. There are, of course, other sleeping aids out there, just make sure you know how your body responds to any sleep aid ahead of time.  Don’t try it out for the first time on your flight; you don’t want to be all wonky for your trip.

  3. Bring along the following: A neck pillow (yes, you will look sort of dorky), an eye mask (ditto on dork look), and ear plugs.

  4. Alert the staff:  The flight attendant may think he or she is doing you a favor by waking you up to bring you food and beverage. Just let them know you plan on sleeping and will not require anything for the flight.

  5. Make a bed: This only works if no one sits next to you. On mostly empty flights, where there is a chance this might happen, appear to look surly – this may increase your chances of no one sitting next to you.

  6. Tray pillow: Maybe, this might work, put the pillow on your tray, put your head on top.  Warning, you may wake up a little crooked, schedule a yoga session upon arrival.

  7. There is always recline: This is a tough one, sometimes I wonder why we allow for recline when leg room is practically nil at this point.  If the person behind you is particularly small and quiet, this may be a good option for you.

If anyone out there has some spectacular sleeping advice while traveling the friendly skies, please do share it with me.  I came back from my last trip quite tired and spent days recovering!  Believe me, I really want to know!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

Shelley Maher October 9, 2013, 10:22 am

I am suffering from jetlag right now as I recently returned from a ten day trip to Ireland, London and Paris! The flight over to Ireland was horrible as it was a much older plane and the seats were extremely uncomfortable. It was an overnight flight and our plan was to sleep during the flight so that we were refreshed for our journey through the Ireland countryside. Well, even with Melatonin and a neck pillow (which I have never used before this trip), I was unable to sleep. Our flight back, however was much more comfortable as the plane was much newer and the seats were much more comfortable. Unfortunately I am not sure we have this information when booking, but would be nice info to have!! I would definitely be willing to pay more money for a larger, newer plane for a trip overseas where comfort is key.