What is the Best Way to Sleep On a Plane?

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There is one thought that most travelers share which is that long-haul flights can be really exhausting. The idea is that once you arrive at the desired destination, you have loads of fun and experience new things, but how can you do that if you are dead tired once the plane lands?

As you might know, that is exactly what travel pillows were made to help with. They provide the ultimate neck comfort and support, allowing you to get some proper rest along the way. But apart from that, are there any other ways to ensure that you sleep comfortably during your journey?

To answer the question, “what is the best way to sleep on a plane?” we have prepared a few tips and tricks to help you. Let’s take a peek at some of these.

What to Consider When Buying a Neck Pillow

Starting with the travel pillow itself, it is essential to know the key features in order to make the best purchasing decision and not to buy a product that will not provide adequate head and neck support.

First, you need to decide on the type of travel pillow that will support your sleep during the flight. If you didn’t already know, there are three common types of neck pillows — inflatable, memory foam, and microbead pillows. Adjustable inflatable pillows are usually u-shaped, which means that you will only get support from an average neck and head position. On the other hand, memory foam and microbead pillows will adjust according to your sleep position and ensure the right pressure management based on your position.

Of course, the second most important thing is neck support. Look for pillows that will prevent your head from leaning sideways or forward and thus putting unnecessary stress on your neck and shoulders. When it comes to fabric, there is one big question that you need to answer before making your decision, and that is the temperature of where you are traveling to and the temperature inside the plane. For hotter temperatures, cotton is better; for cold temperatures, it is fleece that you want.

Don't forget, size and weight play quite a significant role in choosing the best neck pillow, which is why looking for a model that is lightweight and foldable or compressible is a smart thing to do. At the end of the day, be sure to check on the durability points and try to find a pillow that features some kind of warranty.

Tips for Sleeping on a Plane

Now that we have set things straight when it comes to how to choose the perfect neck pillow, it is time to consider a few tips on making your flight as comfortable as possible.

The first thing that you should do is to buckle your seatbelt. You want to get a few hours of undisturbed sleep. By buckling up your seatbelt, you are already prepared should there be any occurrences that warrant the use of the seatbelt, and the flight attendant won’t have to wake you up to get you buckled up.

Another important tip is to pack the right gear. We are talking about any essentials that you might need to fall asleep, including your neck pillow, sleep mask, earplugs, and of course, a nice, cozy blanket. Once you have all the essentials, find the perfect sleeping position and relax.

Something else that may help you fall asleep faster is to wear comfortable clothes while you traveling. Instead of dressing in a suit or jeans, go for a light t-shirt and loose bottoms, preferably track pants or flannels. 

Most airplanes have screens that will keep you occupied with movies and shows during the flight. You should avoid these if you want to get some good rest on your journey. Looking at electronics before sleeping can disturb your sleep pattern due to the blue waves that are given off in the process.

When it comes to good travel sleeping habits, ensure that you eat or drink something light and easy to digest about 45 minutes before you want to sleep. This will help settle your stomach. An upset stomach can be quite a problem, especially on planes.

At the end of the day catching the red-eye can be a great decision if you are not in a rush and you are on a tight budget. Red-eye flights are more comfortable, less costly, and can suit your regular sleeping patterns due to the fact that they fly overnight.


We are all aware that getting a good night’s rest on a plane can be quite difficult. As long as you follow the tips mentioned above and ensure that you have a proper travel pillow, you should be good to go. With a few habit changes and the right environment, you are bound to get the much-needed rest and be ready for the day as soon as you arrive. Bon voyage!

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