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Learning How To Sleep On An Plane Is The Most Important Travel Hack I’ve Ever Mastered

Airplane travel is no joke, especially if you’re traveling on a long-haul flight. Cramping onto a plane and getting comfortable is one thing, but hoping to catch some zzzs can feel nearly impossible.

As a frequent flier, I’ve come to know this feeling all too well. After traveling hours to get to your destination, there’s nothing worse than touching down feeling jetlagged, worn out, and tired, which is why it’s important to figure out how to sleep on a plane.

Sleeping on a plane is one travel hack that everyone should try to master. Resting as you travel gives you a jump start on your vacation, helping you feel rejuvenated and refreshed when you touch down at your destination.

That said, learning how to sleep on a plane can be tricky, even for the most seasoned travelers. Things can feel much more difficult when you factor in poor seating assignments, turbulence, and crying babies.

I’ve been through enough sleepless flights to know just how much jet lag can have a negative impact on your vacation. I’ve lost so much precious vacation time trying to catch up on sleep instead of exploring and enjoying the locale, and honestly, it sucks.

Through trial and error, as well as some tips from my former flight attendant husband, I eventually figured out the best way to sleep on a plane, no matter the conditions.

Overall, sleeping on a plane is about comfort. Implementing products that help you feel cozy will make sleeping so much easier. Blocking out light with the best eye masks, blocking out noise with noise-canceling headphones or ear plugs, keeping warm with a travel blanket, and wearing comfortable clothing like oversized hoodies and joggers will make all the difference in the world when it comes to creating a comfortable environment to sleep in — even if you’re in the dreaded middle seat.

While they’re not groundbreaking in any sense of the imagination, these simple tips, which are now part of my packing routine, have, honestly, been life-changing. I always have them packed in my travel backpack or carry-on, so they’re ready to go when I am. Instead of feeling exhausted when I arrive at my destination, I now land ready to enjoy my vacation, and it’s made all the difference in the world.

With just a few minor adjustments, I’ve officially mastered sleeping on a plane comfortably. My only regret is wishing that I’d done it sooner.

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A light-blocking 3D eye mask, like this one from LKY Digital, is a must-have when traveling on a long-haul flight. While traditional eye masks help block out some light, a 3D eye mask is contoured to help you achieve total blackout darkness.

The lifted design also relieves pressure on the eyes so you can blink freely and rest comfortably in any position.

With this order, you’ll receive three masks, making it a great value that you can share with family and friends or keep in your bag for another trip.

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The best travel neck pillow will help you sleep comfortably in any position, even if you’re in the undesired middle seal.

This one from BCOZZY provides plush support, which allows you to sleep with your head tilted to the back, front, or side. The accompanying carry case features a loop to clip onto your luggage easily.

Sleeping with socks on is certainly a matter of preference when you’re in your bed at home, but I’ve found it necessary when flying on a plane. It has been a game changer for me as it allows me to remove my shoes while keeping my feet comfortable and warm.

I also wear compression socks to prevent swelling if I’m traveling on a flight for more than 2 hours. Compression socks keep blood circulating which helps you sleep, ultimately reducing the occurrence of jet lag.

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I have difficulty sleeping without a blanket or sheet, so I always travel with a blanket when I’m flung and plan to sleep. Not only that, airplanes tend to get cold at times, so having a blanket will also keep you warm throughout your travels.

This plush option is designed as a blanket poncho that is wearable and cozy and features a front pocket to hold items such as your phone. It folds compactly and has a carrying case for convenience.

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Noise-canceling headphones are a must-have on any flight. They allow you to listen to your favorite music, podcasts, or white noise as you drift off to sleep. They also effectively block outside distractions like other people talking or crying babies.

The industry-leading Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones are our absolute favorite option for 2023. They offer a 30-hour battery life with rapid charging that can give you 3 hours of playback time with just 3 minutes of charging. The noise cancellation capabilities block out unwanted background noise, so you can rest comfortably.