Let’s face it, there are some spots on the plane where sleeping is easier than others – even if you’ve followed all of the tips above.
If you’re in economy, in the middle seat, or right beside the toilets, you might have a tougher time getting to sleep than other passengers. So, here’s how to sleep on a plane comfortably, no matter what seat you’ve been allocated.
How to sleep on a plane in economy class
First-class seats are, of course, the best bet for getting to sleep. Premium economy passengers are also more likely to get a good night’s sleep, thanks to the extra leg room and more space to recline. But how to sleep on a plane in coach? And, more to the point, how to sleep sitting up on a plane?
Reclining your seat is a good bet for getting to sleep more comfortably – but good plane etiquette suggests that you check with the passenger behind you first.
It’s best to only recline your seat slightly as it puts less pressure on your hips than reclining all the way back. You can also pop a cushion at the base of your spine to support your lower back and pelvis.
If you’ve managed to snag a window seat, you can also rest your head against the window, ideally with a pillow in between you and the window. Window seats also have an added benefit: you won’t be woken up by other passengers in your row looking to get out into the aisle.
How to sleep on a plane aisle seat
Aisle seats can be beneficial if you have long legs and need space to stretch them out (just watch out for people walking by!). They also mean that you can get up and down as much as you like without bothering other passengers.
But they have one undeniable downside: you’re going to be asked to move by the other passengers in your row who need to get out to use the toilet, or want to walk up and down the aisle.
Recline your seat if you can, and make the most of the aisle space for your legs if you’re trying to sleep overnight. There’s unlikely to be any flight attendants passing by with carts during the night, and just the odd person walking around, so you should be safe to stretch your legs out.
There’s no getting around the fact that others in your row will want to get out at some point during the night. But hopefully, with sleep aids like the right earplugs and an eye mask, the distractions will be minimal and you’ll be able to get back to sleep faster.
How to sleep on a plane middle seat
In the middle seat, you don’t have the benefit of a window to rest your head against or an aisle to stretch your legs out.
So how do you get to sleep? Your best bet here is to use a neck pillow. This will stop you from falling asleep on your neighbor’s shoulder (awkward if you’re seated beside strangers!).
Also make sure to claim the armrests when you sit down. These will provide you with additional support when sleeping upright, helping to alleviate back pressure.
Alternatively, you might get a better sleep if you lean forward. Open your tray table and place a cushion on it. Then, armed with your eye mask and earplugs, pop your head down.
So, there you have it - how to sleep on a plane, or at least try to get a better night’s sleep! It’s important to be prepared, and that means taking your essentials with you including cozy clothes or a blanket, an eye mask and comfortable ear plugs. Whether you’re sitting in the window seat or stuck in the middle, you’ll have a much better chance of arriving at your destination refreshed when you follow these tips. Good luck - and enjoy your flight!