6 Tips for Sleeping on Planes

I can sleep anywhere and I excel at sleeping on planes.

I’m sorry for those of you cannot, like my brother. He was headed to Dublin for the weekend and he was like “Chel, I can never sleep on planes. You do it all the time. Give me some tips. THANKS”. So I starting thinking, how exactly should you attempt to sleep on planes? My go to method is drugz (aka Advil PM) but since everyone isn’t ready to be deliriously tired for 3 more hours after their flight, I thought of some other tips to help get you that much needed beauty sleep.

Tip #1: Try to snag the window seat so you have something to rest your head on. I always bring my own pillow and some sort of blanket because the germs on planes make me cringe so I just bring my own stuff. If you’re not lucky enough to get the window seat I learned this great (but weird) trick for keeping your head up. Take a scarf or long piece of clothing and legit tie your head to the seat. You look like an idiot but WHO CARES because your neck will be happy.

Tip #2: Headphones. I prefer noise canceling headphones because I swear to you there is a screaming child on every single flight I take and they cry the whole damn time. So I repeat, headphones. Drown out the crying, coughing and random conversations. I’m weird and enjoy listening to white noise like birds or waterfalls. 

Tip #3: Honestly this one kind of sucks but drinking on the plane will not put you to sleep. You’d think that a nice glass of red would relax you enough to go to sleep, but, you wrong. Flying dehydrates you from the start and so does the booze. It’s hard for your body to rest comfortably when you’re very dehydrated. Stick to H2O. 

Tip #4: Recline your seat as far as it’ll go. Some people feel bad about the person behind them, but you shouldn’t. Just do it.

Tip #5: I’m going to be super obvious here but wear comfortable clothes. I don’t enjoy sleeping in real people clothes unless I’m coming home from the bar at 5am and I don’t have the energy to change, then I really enjoy sleeping in my clothes. But other than that, leggings, sweatshirts, socks, scarves are all better options for plane comfort. Planes are really freaking cold too so dress warm so you can fall asleep. 

Tip #6: Advil PM

or you can just splurge for that first class ticket and you’ll most likely have a bed with clean pillows and blankets. #yassss #$$$$$$



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Tips for Sleeping on planes

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    1. You make a good point, traveling with kids is a whole different story. I don’t know if it’s possible to sleep in that situation!

  1. LMAO Rachel, I absolutely love your humor. So similar to mine too! These are all great tips 🙂 I’m really not mindful of all the possible germs, although I guess I should be now. But when I’m traveling 8+ hours on a plane, I bring down that food tray and put my head down, elementary school style! I can’t seem to fall asleep any other way… Maybe using a scarf will do the trick next time lol.

    Lorella x

    1. haha thank you! I used to do the tray table but my flight attendant friends say they never clean them! So now I refuse lol

  2. These are great tips! I have such a hard time sleeping on planes too. I always advocate comfort when traveling, and I love having my headphones with me! My hubby recommends benadryl 🙂

  3. I am not a great plane sleeper at all, even though I would like to be! I may have to purchase one of those neck pillows for my next long flight, because I am legit afraid that I’ll wake up with my head on a stranger’s shoulder.

  4. These are all great tips. Although I never put my seat back….I have been squished too many times, so I just don’t do it, I feel too guilty!

    1. I totally understand, I’ve been squished too and it’s so annoying but sometimes you just have to on those long long flights.

    1. It works so well. Someone just told me they actually make an eye cover with a strap on the back to secure around your seat!

  5. I love these tips! I used to have to fly frequently for work (like 4 times a week) and I always flew in my pajamas and packed my work clothes in a carry on. I’ve been on red-eye flights where I was asleep before takeoff and didn’t wake up until touchdown. I always get the window seat, but I’ll have to remember the tying my head to the seat trick just in case.

    1. That’s such a good idea for when you’re traveling for work. Bringing your nice clothes and changing into them.. no one wants to be wrinkly and smelly!

  6. These are great tips. I just got back from Bali and I slept literally the entire way home which was so nice. If I can’t do business class where the seats usually recline into “beds,” I always try to get a window seat.