9 Tips for Sleeping Comfortably

Now that you know how to protect yourself from catching a bug on a flight, you’ll want a good night’s sleep. It’s amazing how much better life seems when you sleep well. Here are our top 9 tips to help you sleep while flying.

1. Choose your seat in advance

Choosing the best seat is possibly the most important tip for a comfortable sleep on a flight.
There are advantages and disadvantages to all seats, so your choice will depend on personal preference:

  • The window seat—it can be quieter, and you can pull down the window shade and rest your head on the cabin wall. Unfortunately, you will need to disturb your fellow travellers if you wish to get up.
  • The middle seat—according to a Skyscanner study, less than 1% of passengers prefer the middle seat. And, quite frankly, I can’t think of any advantages to choosing this seat. Avoid it!
  • The aisle seat—this can provide extra leg room because you can take a stroll down the aisle without disturbing anyone. You will be disturbed by those in the window and middle seats trying to get past you, though, and watch out for clumsy passengers or wayward trolleys traveling up and down the aisle.

2. Travel light

Keep your on-board essentials in a small bag and stow the rest of your carry-on luggage in the overhead lockers. This will leave plenty of room for you to stretch your feet and legs to keep the blood circulating.


3. Keep warm

Don’t let the cabin temperature before take-off fool you. In most cases, it will plummet once you’re cruising at altitude—goose bumps aren’t really conducive to a comfortable sleep.
Bringing your own blanket/scarf/sarong and inflatable pillow can be a smart idea. Items that can be used for dual purposes are practical traveling companions.

4. Fasten your belt above your blanket

If you don’t want to be woken by the air crew every time the seat belt sign is on, just fasten your seat belt above your blanket and try to keep it uncovered and visible at all times.

5. Ask not be disturbed

Air crew make many trips up and down the aisle offering drinks, food or merchandise products. Kindly let them know you would like to be undisturbed.

6. Use earplugs or noise cancelling headphones

There’s no way to avoid noise on a plane, but noise cancelling headphones can block out most of it. Planes may differ between using a single or two-pronged headphones input. If you specifically want to use your headphones, make sure you have a two-pronged plane adaptor.

sleeping mask

7. Wear a sleep mask

You might be travelling through a different time zone and have to sleep while it is still bright outside, or maybe the lights on the plane keep you awake when you want to rest. In these situations, a sleep mask will filter out light and (perhaps) convince your brain it’s time to sleep.

8. Adjust your sleeping position

Research by the British Chiropractic Association found that sitting upright contributes to lower back pain. Try leaning slightly back in your seat, which will put the least amount of pressure on your spinal disks. You can also try placing a small pillow in the small of your back or a light inflatable pillow behind your neck.

9. Use essential oils

Do you become anxious when flying? A few drops of lavender on your wrists, forehead and neck can lead to better sleep by calming the nervous system and helping you relax. Eucalyptus oil, on the other hand, can give you an extra spring in your step upon arrival.

I’ll share some essential tips on preventing DVT in my next post.


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If you can’t wait each week feel free to view these tips online. A free e-book with this information can be downloaded from TXG’s website

About Heather Gatland

Heather Gatland
Like many other baby boomers, I have discovered that inevitably, with age, aches and pains become more frequent and injuries take longer to recover from. I discovered that TXG graduated compression socks could help me to reclaim my active lifestyle by preventing injury and aiding recovery and also help protect against swelling and potentially life threatening Deep Vein Thrombosis when travelling. After shopping around, I found that high quality graduated compression socks that are also affordable weren’t readily available in New Zealand. So, I decided to make TXG compression socks more accessible to other kiwis and to provide the kind of personalised customer service that I would like to receive myself. At TXG we help you, take care of you.