>  Advice   >  How to sleep on a plane

Who hasn’t arrived at their destination feeling like the walking dead due to lack of sleep? Learning how to sleep on a plane can be easier said than done sometimes but it is well worth having even a few hours shut eye if you can.

The following tips will increase your chances of getting some rest on your next long-haul flight.

Skip the in-flight entertainment

If it’s getting late and you have been trying to fall asleep for a while with little success, it’s easy to think ‘Well, I can’t sleep so I might as well watch a movie’. Don’t do it! If you keep your eyes closed and persevere you will eventually fall asleep (as a result of sheer boredom if nothing else).

Skip the caffeine

Don’t drink anything caffeinated before you get on the flight, say no to the offer of a coffee or tea after your in-flight meal and you should find it much easier to fall asleep.

How to use a blanket to sleep

Draping yourself with a sarong, pashmina, or even a jumper can help you fall asleep and keep you cosy in a chilly aircraft cabin. You can buy a blanket on budget carriers like Jetstar and Scoot Airlines but it’s cheaper to make your own.

Wear socks (or bring a pair)

If you aren’t going to be wearing socks on the flight, bring a pair with you in your carry-on. Having cold feet makes it very difficult to fall asleep.

Keep your seat belt on top

In the event of turbulence, the crew need to ensure that everyone has their seatbelt done up. If they can’t tell, they will have to wake you up to check so keep your seatbelt fastened on top of your blanket where they can see it.

Avoid certain economy seats

Up the front is where the bassinets are which means there could be babies seated nearby. While they are usually better behaved than most adults, one day your luck will run out. Down the back can be noisy due to the toilet queue and work being done in the galley.

Bring ear plugs and an eye mask

I’m pretty good at falling asleep on planes but find it hard without something to block out the noise and the light. Pack a pair of ear plugs and an eye mask in your carry on. You’ll be glad you did.

Disclosure: If sleeping on planes was an Olympic sport, the writer would win Gold.

Want to save time, money and your sanity at the airport? Check out our suggestions for how to access airline lounges (even if you’re not a member), how to make the most of a stopover, and tips for flying a low cost airline.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.