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We seem to spend most of the year dreaming of our next amazing holiday, but when it comes to our actual holiday we spend the first day or so utterly exhausted because we couldn’t get to sleep on the plane.

True, for some, getting to sleep on a plane is easy and they’ll be fast asleep before the plane takes off. For the majority of us though, the screeching children, cramped conditions and dreaded ‘lads’ on holiday are more than enough to keep us awake.

But fear not, with just a few small tricks, you too could be fast asleep on your plane journey ready to relax away from the real world:

Airplane1: Get a Window Seat

A window seat is essential for getting a good sleep on a plane. You can control the blind, lean against the window with your neck pillow and you won’t have anyone tapping you awake to get to the loo. Some airlines will allow you to reserve your seats before you board so if you can, bag that spot. If not, try to be early for your flight so you can beat the queues.

2: Avoid the In-Flight Movies

Just like our phones and tablets interrupt our melatonin levels, as do the TV screens in the back of plane seats. Instead of getting engrossed in a film, put on an eye mask and listen to some relaxing music. This will not only shut out light but also drown out distracting noises too.

3: Wear Something Comfortable

We all want to walk off the plane looking like a superstar, but these types of outfits are far from sleep friendly. Instead bring your most comfortable hoody to wear. This will keep you warm and comfort you like a duvet would in your bed, making it easier for you to get to sleep.

4: Watch What You Eat or Drink

Just like a regular night, drinking alcohol and eating too much fatty food before bed is liable to stop you getting that sought after sleep. Especially alcohol, which will have you wanting to go to the bathroom frequently – the last thing you want on a flight. Instead opt for a light meal before your plane and avoid caffeinated drinks too.

5: Plan Ahead

If you know you’re going to a destination that has a very different time zone, then it’s ideal that you try to train your body beforehand by either going to bed earlier or later depending on where you’re going. Do this in 30 minute blocks both morning and night and this will reduce the jet lag when you arrive. You should also set your watch to your new time zone on the plane as this will help your mind adjust.

6: Avoid Sleep Medication

Although it may be tempting to make yourself sleep with some sleep medication, this can be worse than not sleeping in the long run. True, you will get to sleep but you’re also likely to be left groggy and confused long after you wake-up, which could eat into your holiday time. 

Image courtesy of nitinut at