5 Tips For Sleeping On A Red-Eye Flight

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Sleeping on a red-eye flight can be very difficult. You’re in a small seat, surrounded by strangers, and breathing in stale airplane air—not exactly the setup for an ideal night’s rest.

Nevertheless, sleeping on a red-eye is crucial if you want to prevent jet lag from ruining your vacation or business trip.

Luckily, there are a few strategies to make resting on the plane a little bit easier. Here’s how to make it happen.


Pick The Seat Strategically

Window seats are great because people can lean against them for a bit of support while they sleep. If possible, avoid sitting near the front of the cabin, where parents with infants and young kids often sit for the extra space. Also steer clear of the back of the cabin, where people may line up for the bathrooms or flight attendants may be moving around the galley as they prepare meals and drinks.

Don’t Overdo It On Drinks Or Caffeine

Even though a few glasses of wine might make people feel pleasantly sleepy, alcohol is known to interfere with sleep quality. It also has a dehydrating effect, which is bad news when people consider that it’s important to stay hydrated in-flight. When people are properly hydrated, they’re less likely to wake up feeling thirsty. Finally, stay away from stimulating caffeine (at least until breakfast is served).

Make The Most Of An Eye Mask And Earplugs

Many airlines will provide these accessories, or people can bring their own. The illusion of a dark, quiet space will make it much easier for someone to fall asleep.

RELATED: Do Eye Masks Really Help You Sleep Better?

Michael Brin/Shutterstock

Bring A Blanket

If people have space, they should pack a light blanket or shawl of their own. They’ll feel better wrapping themselves up in something familiar from home—plus, they won’t lie awake wondering whether or not they really wash those blankets between flights.

If You’re Desperate, Splurge On A Lie-Flat Seat

Yes, those incredible lie-flat seats that come with the really expensive tickets really do make it easier to sleep on a plane. As Telegraph travel expert Dr. Richard Dawood says, “Unfortunately, airlines recognise the high premium passengers place on being able to sleep in comfort while they travel.” If it’s absolutely critical that you arrive at your destination well-rested, consider upgrading with miles or paying cash to get a lie-flat of your own.

Featured image: kudla/Shutterstock

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Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.