Travel Tips

How to Sleep on an Airplane: 5 Unique Tips

Are you preparing for a long flight or maybe just one that’s early in the morning? Sleeping on an airplane is something that comes naturally for some people (LUCKY THEM!) but impossible for others. Check out these 6 unique tips on how to sleep on an airplane. I’ve always had trouble sleeping on planes, and these are the ones that actually help me.

Wine Down

While this has been argued by scientists for years, I’ve always found that drinking wine is a great way to WINE-D down. Sorry, was that too cheesy?

This works because alcohol is a sedative and can bring on sleep more quickly. This is not something you should do often but it can do the trick if you’re not a lightweight. There are downsides of course, like not getting good quality sleep, but you won’t get that on a plane anyway.

Cowin E7 Headphones
$50 and effective!

Bring Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Bringing headphones that actually cancel out noise can help you sleep on a plane in two ways.

  1. The people around you understand that you do not want to be disturbed and prefer to be in your own little world. This includes your friends and family, flight attendants, and chatty seatmates.
  2. It cancels out noise around you by adding white noise. You can even just put the headphones on without music.

Make sure you buy real headphones that cover your ears, earbuds just don’t work the same. Here are my favorites from Cowin.

Take Some CBD

CBD is a controversial ingredient, extracted from the marijuana plant, which is legal in many parts of the USA. Most people will tell you to take sleeping pills or something lighter like ZZZQuil or Melatonin, those can work too!

CBD is an ingredient that helps people relax and can help with a bevy of issues such as muscle pain. It can also help you fall asleep, and is available in many different forms such as gummy bears. Of course, check the legality of your origin and destination cities for CBD first!

Pick A Window Seat

Pick a seat where you can lean your head into the window indent about 1-2 inches above the seat. You can snuggle in with your neck pillow, eye mask, and headphones. On some flights, you may even get extra room to put jackets, blankets, or other bulky items between the plane wall and seat!

Pro tip: pick the best seat ahead of time for free with SeatGuru!

Reset Your Body’s Clock

Similar to how babies do sleep training, you need to re-program your body to sleep at a certain time. This can be difficult when traveling great distances because the time zone switches so much. This is really only necessary if you are switching time zones by 3 hours or more, but can be useful for any duration. They say it’s harder to travel east because of the timezone switch up.

East is a beast, west is best

-Someone who traveled a lot

If you’re flying from NYC to L.A., you’re now three hours behind. So if it’s 3 a.m. in NYC (and to your body), it’s only midnight in California—an easier adjustment if you already like staying up late. You’ll also get to “sleep in” the next morning. So if you have an 8 a.m. meeting in California, it might feel more like 11 a.m. to your body. The reverse—traveling east—is typically harder: Arriving at 3 a.m. local time, your body thinks it should only be midnight, and getting up at 8 a.m. will feel like 5 a.m.

Learn more tips on how to re-program your clock here.

What Works For You?

There’s no shortage of travel tips on the internet, but these unique tips are harder to find and discover. I hope they help you sleep! Tell us in the comments below – do you have any other tips or tricks? What works for you? Check out our other travel tips here!

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