There are a few essentials that a persons needs to be able to sleep: little light or sound and comfort. Achieving all of these things on an airplane can be difficult, especially in economy. I know people who will happily pay the upgrade just for a better night’s sleep but you don’t have to do that to get some well earned shut eye. After many long haul flights in the last two years I think I’m on to a few key ingredients for getting some sleep in economy.
How to sleep on a long haul flight in economy
I find one thing that will instantly wake me up or keep me from getting to sleep is light. Be that the lights inside a plane or the light outside the window. If I’m lucky enough to be sat in the window seat then I make sure I pull the window blind down. The other quick and easy fix for getting rid of the light is to wear a blind fold. Planes used to give them out for free so I actually have quite a collection but you can pick them up in so many different shops in far better styles than my freebies.
I’ve been one of these weird people who needs music to fall asleep. I remember being a teenager and my parents bought me a pillow that had a speaker in it to stop me sleeping with headphones. That being said when I’m on a plane I revert back to wear headphones to help me drift off to sleep and stay asleep. Admittedly I now have wireless ones so they are slightly safer. The light sound of music helps me to block out any sounds of other passengers and stay asleep for that little be longer
If music isn’t your thing then grab yourself a pair of earplugs that you can wear for the flight and help to block out any noise that could disturb that precious sleep.
Finding comfort in economy can be tricky, especially if you are 6ft plus like my fiancé. I won’t pretend like it is possible for you guys, sorry. However, for us shorter people it is possible to at least achieve some kind of comfort especially with the follow…
Memory foam neck pillow
I literally have the most expensive and luxurious neck pillow in the world. I was sent it last year when I worked with Go Travel but it is the only kind of neck pillow I would now buy. A memory foam one is so much comfier, you can mould it to the shape you want and it doesn’t sag like those cheapie ones you can pick up in W H Smiths. A neck pillow also saves your head from practically falling off your shoulders while sleeping. If you don’t use a neck pillow for sleeping on a plane then you are seriously missing out! Trust me, I used to be one of those people who thought they didn’t need one.
Top with hood
This may sound like a silly one but seriously a hoodie is a game changer in being comfy on a plane. I pull the hood up and the drawstring in close. This helps to keep any excess noise out, keeps those head phones in my ears and just gives me that illusion of having a duvet pulled up to my face. It also helps me to keep warm on those planes that insist changing temperature half way through the flight.
This one I feel is kinda of given but I’m gonna say it anyway… take your shoes off. It’s crazy the amount of people I see with not even trainers on but smart business shoes on whilst trying to sleep. Man, that cannot be comfy. Instead pop your shoes off as soon as your get on board (unless you have stinky feet then maybe don’t) and add an extra pair of socks to ensure your feet are warm for the whole flight. I also find taking my shoes off helps with circulation one super long flights.
This goes back to my above point again, those people with business suits on are you really going to get any sleep wearing that? I always opt for loose fitting clothes and if it’s a night flight then I definitely have trackies or pjs in my bag to put on once on board (or sometimes in the airport).
Do you do any of the above to help sleep in economy? Or do you have any more tips?
Leave them in the comments below.
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Most on the images for this most are from Unsplash, I didn’t think groggy pictures of me flying would quite cut it.