July 17, 2018 2 min read

Sleeping on a flight is one of the easiest ways to pass the time. However, it can be a struggle to snag some extra z’s when you’re packed in with so many other people and expected to stay in your seat most of the journey. Try these simple tips to see if you can rest easier on your next flight.

Get a window seat.Reserve yourself a window seat so you can rest your head against the wall of the plane. You’ll also be able to control the level of light exposure in this spot. And it’s just easier to rest and relax away from the aisle as people and carts pass by.

Pick a seat with adequate legroom.Check your airline’s website to choose a seat that offers enough space so you can stretch out your legs. It’s better for your circulation to extend your legs every so often and also enables you to find a more comfortable position to rest in.

Take your favorite comfort items with you.Bring your favorite music, a blanket or sweater, pair of socks, eye mask, and travel pillow. Having these items with you will psychologically help you to relax and increase your chance of falling asleep during your flight.

Tilt your chair back.Reclining your chair reduces pressure on your lumbar spine and makes you more comfortable. You can also try getting comfortable enough to sleep by sitting straight up while using a lumbar pillow, travel pillow or propping blanket behind you to support your lower spine. Using the armrests is another way to reduce pressure on your back.

Turn off the electronics.Light exposure is not going to help you sleep. Try turning off all your mobile devices and wearing an eye mask to block light from the seatback TV screens, tablets and other devices around you.

Take melatonin.Studies show melatonin can help to shift your circadian rhythm. Some research has suggested that it may be useful to take melatonin before flights that depart in the early evening. However, over-the-counter sleep aids should not be taken before flights since they can leave you feeling even more groggy after travelling.

Avoid alcohol on your flight.You may be tempted to drink if you are heading off on a vacation. But it’s not a good idea! The alcohol may encourage you to sleep for a few hours, but after that it’s going to keep you awake. You may also wake up feeling thirsty which may cause you to drink more and then have to make frequent trips to the bathroom. You’re certainly not going to sleep when you have to keep getting up.

Try out these tips on your next flight if you want to get some rest before you reach your destination. Don’t forget to plan ahead and bring what you need to get comfortable on your flight.

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