5 Great Ways to Actually Get Some Sleep on Your Next Flight

Anyone that travels on a regular basis knows the struggle of having to feel like a canned tuna in economy class, listening to the noise of your fellow passengers, getting your elbow banged by the beverage cart, and being faced with coming up with ways to spend that eight-hour flight, since everyone knows that you can’t actually sleep on a plane, right?

Not anymore! Take advantage of these 5 insider tips from veteran travelers to help you actually get some sleep on your next flight, and arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to go.

Aim for an early evening arrival to avoid having to worry about not being able to sleep on the flight at all. Avoiding the temptation of booking your seat the day before your flight to try and cash in on the best deals is the smart way to go. Just ask anyone that travels regularly for business. They know that airlines offer customers those deals so they can maximize their profits by filling up every available seat. You may find that avoiding jetlag and being able to get some sleep in order to enjoy your trip and be at your best is well worth losing out on saving a little bit of money!

Melatonin supplements have also been found to be helpful for travelers looking to catch some Zs on a long flight. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. If your body isn’t able to create enough of it, you may find yourself having trouble getting to sleep, which is why sleep experts and health professionals have recommended adding a melatonin supplement to your healthcare regimen for times when you just can’t seem to fall asleep. You can find over-the-counter melatonin pills in many drugstores, but be sure to look for the 1 mg strength, as taking more than that has been found to cause drowsiness the next day.

Choose your seat wisely, whenever possible! Most airplanes aren’t exactly renowned for offering a ton of legroom, and that is especially true in the cheaper seats. Not being able to stretch out and get comfortable can easily lead to having trouble getting some in-flight rest, so try and book a seat that is near the exit row to grab some extra room to increase your comfort level. Just be aware that these seats don’t provide the ability to recline, so come prepared by adding a vibrating neck pillow and sleep mask to your carry-on in order to help take full advantage of that extra room for you to spread out in.

Notify the flight attendant that you plan to sleep in order to avoid interruptions when snacks and beverages are being served. If you let the flight staff know that you want to get some beauty rest while traveling, they will make sure not to wake you up when they make their rounds, and as an added bonus, they just might bring you an extra blanket and pillow, as well!

Grab a meal before takeoff to help stabilize your digestive system and induce sleep while flying. Just be sure to pass on the alcohol or caffeine, as both have been shown to be disruptive to sleep. Having a full stomach is a great way to make sure that you can take advantage of the soothing white noise of the engines, and slip off into Dream Land, arriving refreshed and ready to go at your destination.

Following these tips for getting some sleep on your next flight just might mean the difference between misery or enjoyment on your family vacation or all-important business trip. Happy travels!