The Best 15 Tricks for Sleeping on Planes from The Best 15 Tricks for Sleeping on Planes

The Best 15 Tricks for Sleeping on Planes

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The Best 15 Tricks for Sleeping on Planes

People have different priorities when they are in the air and they often depend on whether a passenger is traveling alone or with friends and family. Flying solo usually implies that the more sleep a person can get on the plane, the better. This goal can often be very difficult to reach because of whoever happens to be sitting next to you and where your seat is located. Still, you are not helpless. Certain tricks can do the job, in case you can’t afford to upgrade, and you can trick your body into sleeping and people into not disturbing you.

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Avoid alcohol

Alcohol is eliminated from the body rapidly and causes withdrawal symptoms two or three hours later, which have a negative reaction. You’ll wake up often, albeit briefly, and not even remember. But still, the quality if your sleep is low. Studies have shown that in healthy people, acute high alcohol doses disturb sleep. Alcohol disrupts your sleep patterns by compromising the body’s ability to return to homeostasis, its normal operating functions.

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No caffeine drinks

Coffee wakes you up, increases alertness, and helps you stay focused — all of which are obviously bad if you want to sleep. Also, caffeine is one of the most dangerous legal drugs on the market. The problem is when people drink too much of it (more than three or four cups a day). The safe amount for most healthy adults is 300 to 400 milligrams a day, which is equivalent to two 5-Hour Energy shots, one Starbucks Venti brewed coffee, or two and a half 16-fluid-ounce Monster energy drinks.

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Have some herbal tea

Herbal teas, as long as they are decaf, relax you and can make you sleepy. Green tea, for example, contains theanine, an amino acid that encourages sleep. Many people prefer valerian or chamomile tea. Valerian is a common ingredient in products promoted as mild sedatives and sleep aids for nervous tension and insomnia.

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Put your feet up

This is especially true for shorter people as your feet probably won’t rest firmly on the floor. Rest your legs on the bag that is supposed to be under the seat in front of you (after takeoff, of course). Taller people should try sitting on a pillow. If you can, curl up in your seat, just like you would on the couch at home. Take off your shoes for extra comfort, if you want.

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Have a sleep-inducing snack

Don’t eat too much. A bloated belly feels very uncomfortable and will only be in the way of falling asleep. Have a small snack of foods that contain natural substances that help bring on sleep. They include bananas, cherries, hummus, yogurt, walnuts, and honey.

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Don’t pick the front seats

Research by EasyJet shows that the most in-demand seat on a plane is 7F near the front of the plane. In general, people will always try to sit in the front because that means they’ll get off the plane faster. Avoid this area if you want to sleep. This is near the restrooms, where the crew prepares food and drinks, and where parents with small kids are likely to be seated. None is this means quiet time.

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Wear loose clothing

Dressing comfortable for your flight should be a no-brainer. Wear loose and stretchy clothing; try wearing a soft shirt and definitely wear comfortable undergarments. Loose outfits can also help against deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which occurs when your circulation is restricted. Keeping your blood flowing when you’re sedentary is important for your health and comfort.

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Recline as much as possible

Sleeping in a sitting position is not comfortable and puts a lot of pressure on your back. Lean back slightly if you can. This position puts the least amount of tension on the spinal discs. Leaning forward is not a very good idea because the neck is in a bad position. Also, the person in front of you can make abrupt movements, potentially causing you pain.

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Use headphones

Get some noise-canceling headphones and let them drown out the noise. Listen to relaxing music if that usually helps you fall asleep. An additional bonus is that no one will bother you or try to talk to you.

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Stay hydrated

Dehydration can make you sick in many ways. If you don’t want to wake up with a headache, dry mouth and bad breath, and digestive problems, drink some water. Also, when lacking water, the body will restrict airways as a self-defense mechanism to preserve whatever water it has left.

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Bring a pillow

Sleeping pillows specifically designed for traveling are sold everywhere. But put it on backward, Gizmodo suggests. “By placing the gap around the back of your neck, rather than the front, you can rest your chin comfortably on the pillow and catch some sleep without waking up on your neighbor’s shoulder.”

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Don’t watch TV

The small TV screens emit blue light, which affects the levels of the sleep-inducing melatonin more than any other wavelength. Another problem is what you’re watching. Chances are a movie or a late show that you find will be more stimulating than relaxing, which will only keep you awake.

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Consider a sleeping pill

If all else fails, consider taking a sleeping aid. Make sure you consult a professional in advance. Some pills can have dangerous side effects. Popping a pill is only justified if your trip is long enough and if you can sleep in a flat position. Otherwise, the risk for a blood clot increases.

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Cover your face

Light disrupts the pineal gland’s ability to produce melatonin. Your body needs darkness to produce melatonin, which puts you to sleep. The brightness even from the screen of your smart phone or tablet prevents that from happening. Bring a sleep mask or a hat to put on your face that won’t block your nose.

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Get a travel blanket

It’s often cold in planes. The air conditioning is going full blast. Bring your own blanket to avoid unnecessary contact with other people’s germs. Fasten the seatbelt over the travel blanket so the flight attendants won’t be tempted to wake you up to check if you are wearing your seatbelt.

The Best 15 Tricks for Sleeping on Planes