Surviving a Long-Haul Flight – How to Sleep & Stay Comfortable


Welcome to the final addition to the long-haul flight series! So far, we’ve covered what to bring along with you, as well as what to wear, which now brings us to going over how to stay comfortable and get a great sleep.

When switching time zones, sleeping during your flight can aid you so much to fight off jet-lag! Also, if you’re travelling solo and have layovers ahead, it’s a much better idea to get your sleeping done on the plane, as opposed to at the gate where you can risk missing your connecting flight because you’re snoozing. I have definitely had my fair share of close calls all because of exhaustion!

To combat jet-lag, try to sleep during your destinations night time. Switching the time on your phone to the time of your destination after boarding really helps your brain make that switch as well.

Typically, long-haul flights dim the lights and have windows shut, so it’s nice and cozy for sleeping no matter what time of day it actually is. It may not be your Pinterest inspired bedroom with plush pillows and twinkle lights, but it’ll do, right?

Many travellers swear by the system of popping a sleeping pill, and then crashing for the duration of the flight, but personally I’m someone who finds the motion of flying extremely sleep inducing, so I’m in sleepy daze for the majority of the flight anyways. If you can go au natural and avoid pills, that would be the best way to go in my opinion.

Noise is a given, so comfortable headphones are your life. I like to listen to soothing music, or audio books.

On a recent flight, I downloaded a short stories playlist off of Spotify to try to keep me awake and amused since it was only a short day time flight. Turns out, it did the opposite for me. I was completely zonked until touchdown, but now it’s one of my go-to methods if I’m having trouble turning off my brain before snoozing. Try it out for yourself, the readers often have soft voices that practically rock you to sleep!

As for adding some comfort, recline your seat if you need to, especially if the person in front of you already has.  I always feel a little guilty doing so,  but I’ve found it helps to ask/let the person behind you know beforehand, instead of randomly launching your seat into their already-squished knees. Keep in mind, you will be woken up by the flight attendants during meal-times to ensure those behind you can easily access their tray-tables.

Now, I’m a little strange in that I like to bring my pillow from home on board with me. Not only will it make your hotel room feel a little bit more like home upon arrival, but having a pillowcase is handy if you need to toss layers off after landing in a hot or tropical destination. Travel pillows that wrap around your neck work as well, but hey, I like what I like!

I always aim to get a window seat, so I can then put my pillow against the wall and fall asleep that way. I often find I don’t even need to recline back while doing this! Window seats are also ideal as they keep you from being woken up by your neighbours needing to use the bathroom.

There you have it! A series of great tips and tricks for making the most of hours stuck in an airplane.


Let us know what you’ve found helpful, or any of your own advice you have to offer in the comments below.

Originally Published: Evelina Photography

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