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My Top 3 Secrets to Successfully Sleep on a Plane

Air travel has become so cheap and accessible now that taking your seat on a plane has become normal. No different to catching a bus.My Top 3 Secrets to Successfully Sleep on a Plane to be ready for your adventures.This is a list of travel tips sleep on a plane.

Sleep on a Plane

In fact many even view flying as a chore. Something they have to endure to get to their destination. How crazy is that? The fact that flying 35,000 feet up in the air has become something simply to tolerate!

The next time you are about to take off take a look at the wonder in the eyes of any children on board – this is not normal, it’s amazing. Human beings are not designed to fly – if we were we would have wings! Flight is a genuine bona-fide miracle.

That said, just because we should continue to appreciate just how wondrous flying is, doesn’t mean we have to enjoy every single aspect. Some flights are long and while planes are miraculous machines they are pretty terrible when it comes to getting a bit of rest.

In fact, let’s be honest planes are a nightmare when it comes to getting to sleep. This often means we arrive at our destinations exhausted.

As a frequent traveler I’ve developed a few tried and tested methods to getting as much sleep as possible on planes. Read on below to find out my top three tips.

Always ask at check-in if there are empty seats

Airlines have become a lot better at ensuring that their planes leave with as few empty seats as possible. Do you think they have all those flash sales simply because they are being generous?

But it’s still possible on many long haul flights to find a somewhere to sit with an empty seat next to you, or even a row of empty seats. Empty rows make the perfect beds.

One way is to simply put on your slimiest most cheerful face at check-in and ask the person at the desk to sort you out. This works a surprisingly high percentage of the time. I think the individual behind the desk is often just delighted they are not being complained at about something or other.

Another way is to wait in your assigned seat on board, then as soon as the plane doors close, jump up and go for a walk and see if there any any empty rows. If so, claim it.

If you get to select your seat online, always select a seat at the back of the plane. Airline automatic seat booking systems are often quite basic and they will often just fill from the front backwards. So if there are going to be empty seat they are likely to be found near the the back.

Avoid the drinks cart

Sacrilege! I hear you cry. Many of you out there probably see the drinks cart as the single best thing about long haul flight. I too used to be like you. I loved having a miniature bottle (or three) with my meal. But air travel, drinking alcohol and sleep simply do not mix.

We have been conditioned to view alcohol as something of a sleep aid. In fact the term ‘a night cap’ must be one of the worst misnomers of all time. Sleep and alcohol are terrible bedfellows. The experts at the Sleep Advisor talk about this misconception all the time.  

A drink may help you nod off initially but alcohol in your bloodstream is proven to block your ability to enter deep wave sleep. The result of this is that sleep after drink is fractured and of incredible poor quality.

Not only that, but plane cabins are also highly pressurized, the result of this is that the air is dry, something that leads to dehydration. A factor that is compounded by alcohol. This combination is often part of the reason we feel so wiped out when we arrive at our destination.


Plane seats seem to be designed primarily to fit as many people in as uncomfortably as possible. They are certainly not designed for sleep. It’s up to you, dear traveler, to take control and bring with you as many sleep aids as you can fit into your carry on luggage.

I suggest at the very least you bring with you a good eye mask, one that you’ve used before and are familiar with will increase your odds of blocking out the glare of fellow travelers TV screens and those pesky overhead lights. The airline may provide one but in my opinion they are often so thin as to be next to useless.

The same goes for the threadbare blankets they hand out. I have no idea who these sorry excuses for cover are designed for, but it’s definitely not a full-sized human being looking to stay warm. Bring with you your own shawl or blanket and get yourself all snuggled up.

Thirdly and finally, invest in a neck pillow. A good one. I know they look a bit silly when you see people in the check-in queue already wearing them but they really are very useful when it comes to catching some zzzs on a long flight. My advice, pick one up online and not at the airport – you’ll save a small fortune.

Well, there you have it – the three secrets to successfully sleeping on an airplane. Give them a whirl the next time you take to the skies. Go on, what’s the worst thing that can happen? It’s not like you are going to sleep any less. Good luck and safe travels!

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