Travel Tip Tuesday – Tips For Restful Airplane Sleep

People who can easily fall asleep on a plane are among the lucky few. Most of us are unable to doze off in a cramped space, sitting in an uncomfortable position, while surrounded by total strangers. Fortunately though, we have a few tips to help fellow travelers catch some quality Z’s during your travels ahead.

Head To The Gate Early | Book Nighttime Flights When Possible
It’s a good idea to pick a flight near to a time when you’d normally be sleeping. Wake up 2-3 hours earlier the night before your flight to make it easier to fall asleep onboard. Use that extra time at the gate to brush your teeth in the bathroom, wash your face, or read some of the books that sit on your nightstand. Performing such ritual actions will help tell your body that it’s time to sleep.

Best Days To Fly: Tuesdays & Wednesdays | Window Seats Are Your Best Bet
If you want fewer passengers and more space, pick the most unpopular days for booking flights: Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Fridays and any days before holidays are the most loaded. Always try to pick a window seat to rest your head on the wall and not be bothered by your neighbor wanting to get up to go to the bathroom. If you normally sleep on your left side, aim for seat A. If your right side is your preferred sleeping position, pick the window seat on the opposite side of the plane. Opt for a seat as close to the nose of the aircraft as possible. Your ride will be both smoother and quieter due to the extra distance from the engines.

Pick Food And Drinks Wisely, Both Before & During Your Flight
The best drink option for restful sleep while on board is either herbal tea or plain water. A glass of red wine or two may help you doze off at altitude more quickly, though you’ll likely wake up groggy an hour or two later because alcohol reduces REM sleep, the most restorative phase of sleep. Avoid overeating as you fly, sticking to light, healthy food that’s just enough to keep you from feeling hungry.

Tilt Your Seat Back As Much As Possible | Uncross Your Legs
Hours of sitting at a right angle may lead to lower back pain, and attempting to sleep with your head resting on the table or the back of the seat in front is bad for your neck and spine. Leaning back to a 135-degree angle is a far preferable sleep position, as it places the least pressure on the spinal discs. Crossed legs has the effect of clamping down on one side, which restricts blood flow and can also torque your lower back. Because your lower half is slightly twisted either to the right or left, and your upper body is still facing straight ahead, a small amount of additional stress is added to your lumbar.

Put Your Gadgets Away | Bring Along Sleep Accessories
Don’t watch movies on your phone, tablet, or laptop because the blue light of the screen wakes your brain up. The screens are interpreted as sunlight in our brains, which suppresses melatonin release and prevents sleep. Ideally, you’ll want to put away all your electronics at least half an hour before you plan on getting needed shuteye. To add comfort to your travels, we recommend bringing along a few accessories such as: