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9 Little-Known Tips for Perfect Airplane Sleep

People who can fall asleep on a plane are lucky. Most of us aren’t even able to doze in such an uncomfortable position and among strangers.

We at Bright Side learned some tricks from experienced travelers and will tell you how to arrive well rested.

Night is the best time for a flight

It’s great if you can pick a flight for the time you usually sleep at. Wake up 2-3 hours earlier the night before the flight to fall asleep faster onboard.

The best days are Tuesday and Wednesday

If you want fewer passengers and more space, pick unpopular days: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as a rule. Fridays and any days before holidays are the most loaded.

The perfect seat is at the window

Try to always pick a window seat to rest your head on the wall and not be bothered by your neighbor who wants to use the bathroom.

Avoid seats near the compartment wall. There’s plenty of leg space there, but such seats are commonly reserved by families with infants. A bathroom seat is also not a good option.

Tilt the back of your seat to the max

If you want to have a good rest, tilt the back of your seat as much as you can — just make sure the person behind you doesn’t mind. Hours of sitting at a right angle may result in waist pains, while sleeping with your head resting on the table or the back of the seat in front is bad for your neck and spine.

Clothes should be warm and comfortable

To have a sound nap onboard, you should wear loose clothes that don’t hamper your movements. If your airline doesn’t provide blankets, take a jacket and warm socks too. It’s quite cool during the flight, and that makes it hard to fall asleep.

Fasten your seat belt over your clothes

A seat belt fastened over your clothes or blanket won’t make your sleep more comfortable, but it will prevent flight attendants from waking you up if the plane experiences turbulence.

Sleep accessories

Light and noise are the main factors that prevent you from falling asleep. Therefore, use a sleep mask and earmuffs.

To rest your head and neck comfortably, take a special cushion with you. If you don’t have one, use a rolled-up scarf or a sweatshirt.

Put your gadgets away

Don’t watch movies on your phone, tablet, or laptop because the blue light from their screens wakes your brain. Take a paper book instead, and a boring one at that — it’ll help you fall asleep faster. It won’t hurt to also listen to calming sounds like birds singing or rain falling.

Food and drinks

If you want to be fast asleep, don’t overeat onboard. The food should be light and healthy, while the best drink option is tea (herbal is perfect) or plain water. Forget about coffee or alcohol: the latter might calm you down, but it ruins the quality of sleep.

Please note: This article was updated in May 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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