Top tips to help you fall asleep on a plane

Top tips to help you fall asleep on a plane

Oh my goodness!  Do you also suffer from the unbearable truth that you just can’t sleep on a plane?  Do you envy those who are able to drop off at a moment’s notice (or even just as the doors shut), ready to slumber through the whole flight – even if it is for just an hour?  Well, I know many people who just can’t seem to get any shut eye at all and spend whole journeys just willing their body to relax and sleep.

So how do we solve this?  Well, with some inspiration from the Australian Traveller Magazine’s article (via The Telegraph, London)  “Ten top tips to help you fall asleep on the plane”, here is our version with our own tips as well…

Can you afford an upgrade?

By upgrading from economy to premium economy, business or even first class, this could be your ticket to a restful flight!  For international travellers especially, just one level up can be the difference between sleep and the feeling (at your journey’s end) of being hit by the travel “bus”!  Particularly once you get to business and first class, many airlines offer ‘flat” beds which are you best chance yet of getting that full lie-down experience.  So if you can, think about it – and don’t forget those frequent flyer points you have had stored may be your entry into the world of slumber.

Seat Selection

Do your research.  I used to love the aisle seat for a quick getaway but have recently reconverted back to the less “bumpy” window seat.  Not only do you avoid the inevitable trolley “hip and shoulder” (those aisles really do seem to be getting smaller), but there is the added benefit of having somewhere to rest your head against.

I used to think that extra legroom was a real bonus until I realised that (particularly on international flights) these are often right next to the toilets.  Bad idea.  People often stand in that space for the queue, often disturbing whatever peace you may have had.

Travel Fashion

Ok, so I stole this idea from seeing all those lucky business and first class passengers in their airline pyjamas.  Now, I take my own tracksuit on the plane, change as soon as I can after take off and change back into my normal clothes (after a quick freshen up) just before we land.  Warm socks are always good, and I have lately started taking my own blanket.  A little bit of comfort goes a long way.


People I know swear by the “tray table slumber” with heads rested on the tray table to get some sleep.  This can put extra pressure on your neck, so maybe try to recline your seat and relax back as much as you can.  There is much controversy about that these days with the seats being moved by airlines closer together creating real problems between travellers, but most long haul travellers would be expecting a reclining seat.

The Seat Belt Dilemma

I love to undo my seat belt as soon as possible on any flight, but if planning not to be disturbed (and in case of turbulence), keep your seat belt buckled and visible so that there is no need to be disturbed by the flight attendants doing their belt checks.

Zone Out

I have had some fantastic conversations and a real giggle with friendly seat neighbours, but if you really want to sleep, put on some meditation music on your ipod (or smartphone), lock in your noise cancelling headphones and be ready to relax into the land of slumber.  You are really not being unsociable.  It is all about the sleep!

Just one little glass..

I do enjoy that glass of wine with my meal but if you really want to sleep, think about abstaining.  It is also best to keep up your water intake on long haul flights (although be careful of too much and the endless dashes to the bathroom!).  On a recent Qantas flight, they were handing out “sleepy tea”.  That worked for me! (just in case bring your own tea bags – available at many health food stores).

Turn off the screens

There is lots of research around at the moment that suggests watching screens just before bedtime is the worst thing you can do when trying to get to sleep.  Consider instead the meditation music, a book or other activity that is sure to send you to sleep.  Will save you hours of trying!

Pillow Talk

This is about the pillow, not chatting with your neighbours!  Test out a few travel pillows to see what works best for you and take your favourite with you.

Your last resort

Will be the sleeping tablet.  Whilst they can be extremely effective, it can have lasting side effects so should only be taken in consultation with your general practitioner.  This does not mean I have not used them in the past, but honestly, they haven’t worked all that well for me.


Ah, the dreaded jetlag.  We have our own tips in a previous blog “Top tips to beat jetlag“, but in essence, the sooner you get onto your new timezone the less likelihood you will have jetlag.  Also, think about your arrival time.  I find morning arrival flights are best for me.  I can then wear myself out during the day and have an early night, ready to start the following day.

So, these are our top tips to help you fall asleep on the plane.  Whilst international-travel focussed, there are certainly still some tips which will enable you to get some rest even on short haul flights.

…and while you are at it, are you ready to plan your next holiday?  If so, we have the perfect destination for you!

The Northern Rivers/Tweed Coast area of NSW is the perfect location for your holiday – be it you are a local or visiting from afar…

….Your Casuarina NSW holiday could be your best holiday ever at any time of the year?  All you have to do now is book!  Northern Rivers area NSW (including Kingscliff, Casuarina, Pottsville and Cabarita Beach) is the perfect spot – and its location is ideal – 1/2 way between the Gold Coast and Byron BayPatrolled beaches line the coast.  We even have CarlaLisa, Pete and Spida’s top tips on things to do in Kingscliff! You can even book a picnic or high tea with Teaspoon High Tea Events!  Check out our blog and news, location and attractions and what’s on and markets for more great tips and things to do on your Northern Rivers holidays!

Happy holidays – dream about what is possible; believe you can do it; make the most of your leave; plan, book and enjoy your holiday; then dream about where you will go next!  It is your turn!

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Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast QLD and Byron Bay NSW, Australia.

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