Tips for Getting Quality Sleep on Long-Haul Flights

Long-haul flights are a necessary part of modern travel, but getting quality sleep on a plane can be a challenge. From cramped seats to noisy cabins, many factors can disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling exhausted upon arrival. In this article, we’ll explore 15 top tips for getting quality sleep on long-haul flights, so you can arrive at your destination feeling rested and refreshed.

While jet airliners have revolutionized the way we travel, getting quality sleep on a long-haul flight remains a challenge for many passengers. With low cabin humidity, cramped seating, and constant noise, it’s no wonder that sleep quality often suffers during long journeys. However, with the right strategies and preparation, it’s possible to enjoy a restful night’s sleep even at 30,000 feet.

1) Prepare Yourself Pre-flight

Start preparing for sleep before you even board the plane by getting plenty of exercise and fresh air. A morning workout and exposure to natural light can help regulate your body’s internal clock and prepare you for restful sleep during the flight.

2) Drink Water

Stay hydrated before and during the flight by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can worsen the effects of jet lag and make it harder to fall asleep, so be sure to drink enough water throughout the journey.

3) Stay Caffeine-Free

Avoid caffeinated drinks before and during the flight, as caffeine can disrupt your sleep cycle and contribute to dehydration. Opt for caffeine-free alternatives like herbal tea or water to stay hydrated and relaxed during the flight.

4) Don’t Drink Alcohol

While a glass of wine or whiskey may seem like a tempting way to relax on a flight, alcohol can worsen the quality of your sleep and leave you feeling groggy upon arrival. Stick to non-alcoholic beverages to ensure a restful night’s sleep.

5) Buy In-flight Accessories

Invest in high-quality eye masks, earplugs, and travel pillows to create a comfortable sleeping environment on the plane. Blocking out noise and light can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer during the flight.

6) Use Airline Accessories

Take advantage of any complimentary amenities offered by the airline, such as blankets and socks, to stay warm and comfortable during the flight. Some airlines also offer extra legroom seats for a small fee, which can make a big difference in your comfort level during the journey.

7) Don’t Be Afraid to Recline Your Seat

Make use of your seat’s reclining function to find a comfortable sleeping position during the flight. While you should be considerate of the passengers behind you, reclining your seat slightly can help you relax and get better quality sleep.

8) Pre-Select a Seat

Choose a window seat for better control over light and privacy, and avoid seats near the back of the plane, which tend to be noisier and have less legroom. Consider upgrading to premium economy or business class for extra comfort during long-haul flights.

9) Wear Comfortable Clothing

Dress in loose, comfortable clothing that you can easily sleep in during the flight. Avoid tight-fitting clothes and opt for layers to stay warm in chilly cabin temperatures.

10) Tire Yourself Out Before the Flight

Get plenty of exercise before the flight to help you feel tired and ready for sleep once onboard. Avoid napping too much before the flight to ensure you’re tired enough to fall asleep easily during the journey.

11) Don’t Bring a Personal Item

Minimize clutter around your seat by avoiding bringing a personal item onboard the plane. This will give you more legroom and make it easier to relax and sleep during the flight.

12) Stay Away from Electronic Devices

Avoid using electronic devices before bed, as the blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your sleep cycle and make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, bring a book or magazine to read before bed to help you relax and unwind.

13) Download a Sleeping App

Pre-download a sleep-aid app to your smartphone or tablet to help you relax and fall asleep during the flight. Choose from a variety of white noise, meditation, and relaxation apps to find one that works best for you.

14) Recreate Your Bedtime Routine

Stick to your normal bedtime routine as much as possible to signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. Brush your teeth, change into comfortable clothing, and enjoy a soothing herbal tea to help you relax and unwind before bed.

15) Book a Lounge

If possible, book access to an airport lounge before your flight to enjoy amenities like showers, comfortable seating, and complimentary food and drinks. Relaxing in a lounge before your flight can help you feel more refreshed and ready for sleep once onboard.


With the right strategies and preparation, it’s possible to enjoy quality sleep on even the longest of flights. By following these 16 tips, you can create a comfortable sleeping environment and arrive at your destination feeling rested and rejuvenated, ready to start your adventure. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, a good night’s sleep can make all the difference in how you experience your journey.

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