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Tips for sleeping on long haul flights

Tips for sleeping on long haul flights

Sleeping on long haul flights can be a nightmare, early flights, uncomfortable seats and noisy passengers all contribute to less than ideal sleeping conditions whilst travelling. But there are small changes that you can make that will make a big difference to helping you fall sleep on planes and be wonderfully rested for when you arrive at your destination. Here are my tips for helping you get some decent z’s on your next flight.

Book night flights

It’s going to be far easier to fall asleep on a night flight because you’re already tired and your natural body clock will kick in to help you fall asleep.

Pick your seat strategically

Don’t worry I’m not going to say, “just upgrade to business class”, it’s certainly not an option for me and probably not an option for most people travelling! The best seats for optimal sleeping conditions are the front row of economy with all the foot room and aisle seats so you’re not squashed up against the window. Also, avoid choosing seats where flight staff will be preparing food and drinks and seats near the toilet, there will always be people queueing and waking you up whilst they’re brushing past.

Block out the noise

Earplugs and noise cancelling head phones are your new best friends! There is so much noise on planes, trolley’s rattling, the sound of the engines, staff announcements…I could go on. Block out the noise and you’re half way to falling asleep.

Play relaxing music

Some relaxing music to fall asleep to will block out any noise and help you knod off. I find that podcasts work really well too, just listening to people talking will stop you overthinking and focus your mind on what you’re listening to.

Dress comfortably

Avoid jeans and uncomfortable shoes. Be sure to wear layers too so you can put a jumper on if you get cold on the plane or take off a layer if you’re too warm. It’s not always the most stylish way to travel but I’d rather be comfortable and actually sleep on a long haul flight then be shuffling around in my seat trying to get comfortable enough to sleep! Leggings and converse are the way forward.

Bring a travel pillow

I’m not a big fan of the travel neck pillow because they can be quite bulky to travel with and I don’t generally find them comfortable to have around my neck. Usually when I’m going on a long haul flight I take my own mini pillow that I can squash into the bottom of my backpack and take out when I’m ready to sleep.

Wear an eye mask

A big problem with falling asleep on flights is the light. Cabin lights on night flights will generally stay off most of the time but you won’t be disturbed when they’re turned on during meal times if you’re wearing an eye mask, so make sure to pack one in your hand luggage.

Stay clear of stimulants

Try and avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks and sugar a few hours before and during your flight. Stick to water and healthy snacks that won’t spike your blood sugar and keep you awake.

I hope these tips will be helpful for your next trip, if you have any tricks that help you fall asleep on long haul flights please comment below :)

Mel x

About the author

Hi, I’m Mel! The adventure-seeking vegan travel blogger behind Footsteps on the Globe. On this blog you'll find my latest adventures, travel inspiration as well as tips and tricks on how to be vegan around the world. You don’t have to give up being vegan to follow your travel dreams and I’m here to show you how!