You can sleep on long haul flights

11 tips for better sleep on long-haul flights

By Annette Schimanski | November 06, 2018, 4:46 p.m.

In an airplane you sit in an upright position for hours, it's tight and the air is cool and dry. No wonder many travelers find it difficult to sleep on long-haul flights. With a few tips and tricks, however, you can still find sleep on the plane.

You want to start your vacation as rested as possible, or fly back home well rested. Often, however, the lack of comfort in an airplane seat throws a spanner in the works. TRAVELBOOK shows 11 tips and tricks that will make it easier to fall asleep on the plane in the future!

Read the best travel stories in advance for free! Register now for the TRAVELBOOK newsletter!

1. Book according to the sleep rhythm

If possible, you should try to book your flight so that the flight time roughly coincides with the regular night's sleep. This is not always feasible, but it is beneficial for tiredness in order to fall asleep as quickly as possible on the plane.

2. Make preparations

If the flight does fall at an inconvenient time, certain precautions can be taken in advance. Many travelers set their watch to the local time of the destination a few days before departure and try to adapt their activities to this time zone. So you can sleep a few hours less the night before the flight, so that you are already tired after the journey to the airport and the security check at take-off.

3. Schedule the flight

Ten hours of flight time seem very long at first. In order to avoid the illusion that time goes by far too slowly, you can divide the time from the outset. You can devote two hours to a book, half an hour to food, two more hours possibly to a movie and three hours to sleep - and the flight is almost over.

4. Choose the right place

It is best to sleep in a window seat where the panel can be closed and you can lean in at least one direction. The seats at the emergency exit or behind partition walls usually offer more legroom, which can make sleeping more comfortable. If you have a preferred side that you like to sleep on, you should make sure to book your window seat accordingly. At this place you will not be disturbed by other travelers who want to leave their seat.

5. Maintain routine

Just because you are in a tight space at great heights doesn't mean you should give up all your habits. The evening routine that you follow at home can also be implemented on the plane with some cutbacks - brushing your teeth, taking care of your skin or drinking another tea. That brings the necessary calm to be able to switch off.

6. Choose suitable clothing

The clothes you choose for a long-haul flight should be loose and comfortable - but of course you shouldn't show up in your pajamas either. In this case, sports clothes can be used for other purposes because they are comfortable and stretchy. For more comfort you can combine a warm sweater and thick sock with it, because it can get quite cold on the plane.

7. Pack hand luggage carefully

The hand luggage is usually limited to a certain size, so you should think carefully about what to take with you. The following helpers should be with you on a long-haul flight: a neck pillow for a little more comfort when sleeping, a sleeping mask and earplugs if you are sensitive to light and noise.

8. No plane meals, lots of water instead

What can also be carried in hand luggage: easily digestible, stomach-friendly snacks such as bananas, berries, nuts and wholemeal bread. It is better to forego the food that is distributed to him on the plane. It's usually very salty to add flavor to high altitude, and full of carbohydrates. The stomach rumbles, then sleep does not want to come. Alcohol, tempting as it may be, is not a good option as a sleeping pill substitute because beer, wine and the like draw water from the body. Since the air in the aircraft is dry and attacks the skin and mucous membranes, it is better to add water to your body and drink a lot on long flights.

9. Music and (audio) books instead of films

The range of films and series on the long-haul flight is just as tempting. If you have planned a sleep on the flight, you shouldn't fall into binge-watching. The blue light of the screens, smartphones and tablets disrupts the sleep rhythm and prevents the release of the hormone melatonin required for sleep. For entertainment, it is better to use books and magazines. Another option is to listen to relaxing music, audio books and podcasts - ideally with noise-canceling headphones.

10. Try relaxation exercises

When the plane takes off, you may have already made a short journey to and through the airport. Then you have to come to rest before you even think about sleep. With meditation and relaxation exercises, for example repeated deep inhalations and exhalations, you can leave the stress behind and adjust to the long flight.

11. Ask for a free row of seats

If the plane is not fully booked, there is a possibility that complete rows of seats have remained vacant. In this case, don't be afraid to ask the flight attendants if you can sit in such a row. However, you should do this right at the start of your flight - because others will likely come up with the same idea.

Your data security when using the share function