How to sleep on a plane: Start your holiday refreshed!

How to sleep on a plane: Start your holiday refreshed!

Now that holidays and work trips are back on the agenda, how can you make sure that travelling to your destination doesn’t start you off feeling exhausted? Trying to sleep on an aeroplane can be a nightmare – a confined space with lots of strangers, noises, temperature changes and uncomfortable seats are just a few of the challenges.

But fear not, we have 5 travel hacks to help you snooze in the sky:

  • window out of a plane
  1. When booking

    Opt for a window seat so you have something to lean against and no risk of passengers climbing over you for the bathroom - you also have control of the window blind!
  1. What to wear

    Comfort and layering is the key to comfortable travel, choose loose, stretchy and naturally breathable fabrics such as bamboo. 16-18 degrees celsius is the ideal room temperature for sleep, however an aeroplane’s interior fluctuates massively, wear lots of fine layers so that so you can easily regulate your temperature.

  1. Sleep routine

    On the day you travel ensure that you start the day well, expose yourself to natural daylight first thing in the morning, exercise and drink plenty of water.
  1. Pack a personalised sleep kit

    Sleeping in an unusual environment is tricky, however with the right accessories you can create a more calming and natural setting. Here are our must haves:


    • All About Sleep Eye Mask – a complete blackout mask is essential; it will eliminate the artificial lighting in the cabin and signal to your brain that you are unwinding. An added advantage is that it is a subtle ‘do not disturb’ signal to fellow passengers and cabin crew!
      sleep mask

    • Compression socks – Swelling, particularly of legs and feet happens when fluids in the body pool in certain areas, causing them to become temporarily larger. This can be extremely uncomfortable and cause you difficulty sleeping.

    • Water bottle – Dehydration is a common travel side effect and can leave you feeling groggy. Regularly sip water and avoid alcohol, caffeine and fizzy beverages which can affect sleep and make you feel bloated. Pack a slumber inducing tea with valerian such as Sleeping Beautea to have before you drift off. 
      glass water

    • Healthy snacks - avoid heavy and highly processed foods that are high in fat and sugar. Fruit is an excellent alternative, bananas are great sources of magnesium and potassium which can improve sleep quality.

    • Ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones – To eliminate distracting engine sounds and other passenger’s conversations, pack reusable ear plugs. Alternatively go for noise cancelling headphones to listen to an audio book, sleep meditation or breathing exercises before sleep.
      ear phones

    • Blanket or scarf – As well as wearing layers, a blanket or scarf can add extra warmth and make your seat feel more cosy and bed-like.

    • Neck pillow – When sitting in a plane seat our heads aren’t properly supported, a U-shaped neck pillows supports the chin provided the least head movements, leading to less discomfort during sleep.

    • Sleep spray – Spritz your blanket and neck cushion with aromatherapeutic essential oils such as those found in Tropic’s So Sleepy Pillow Spray.

    1. Set an alarm

      To remove the stress of knowing when to wake up, set an alarm on your phone for 45 minutes before touchdown. You’ll also be fully alert when you land and not rushing to pack your items away.

    airport terminal

    Sleeping away from your own bed can be difficult, but with a little planning and preparation, sound sleep awaits! Find more sleep here...

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