sleep aid for plane travel

Best Sleep Aid for Airplane Travel is Doing THIS:

Looking for the best sleep aid for airplane travel?

Don’t we all sometimes. It gets really tiresome when you land at the destination, and the only thing you want to do is find a bed to fall into. For some, it’s just the fear of flying and you want to sleep through the scary part as much as possible.

Trust me, as I am a travel blogger, I have experienced it myself.

So, that is why I am making a list of the top sleep aids that you can use on airplanes:



#1 – Use Melatonin

Now, let’s get the drugs out of the way right now. I am actually not a big fan of all the pills that help you sleep. If the doctor prescribed something like Xanax for some of you, you should use it, but most should not worry about something as strong as that in order to sleep on an airplane.

Melatonin, however, is a natural hormone that your brain releases in order for you to sleep. All that melatonin supplements do is add more of that.

I am not a huge pill fan, but melatonin is something I have personally used and seen some success with.


#2 – Eat lots of carbs 3 hours before the flight

eating carbs before flight

Carbs naturally increase your blood glucose levels and then happens what you call a “food coma” when you just feel drowsy and sleepy.

If you time it right, the sleepiness hits exactly when the flight starts.

If you are on a low-carb diet, the protein can have the same effect as well.


#3 – Use a neck pillow

trtl pillow for sleep on planes

This is actually one of the tricky ones. I have tried many neck pillows, and most just did not work for me, until I found this one:

I’ve heard a great many things about this pillow and I decided to try it out. It took me a few tries to get the right wrap so it’s not too tight, and after I got used to it, it really grew on me.

I can’t say you will like it too as our body shape is different, but I really found it to be the most comfortable one.

Plus, it’s very easy to clean and take with you, as it’s easily fitted into a backpack.

All in all, it’s a very good sleep aid.


#4 – Small pillow alternative

It’s possible that you don’t like the neck pillows. It certainly took me a while to get used to them.

So why don’t you just take a small pillow with you?

Make sure that you have a seat next to the window and just pop it in place. Some airlines even provide them, should you wish. Leaning against a window might give you a slight next pain when you wake up, but you will find it a lot more familiar than neck pillows.


#5 – Try out a Footrest

Honestly, I haven’t even tried it out yet, but a lot of people are reporting that it’s a life-changer.

You hang it on the front seat, and your legs will have a place where they are elevated. It helps with the blood flow and that in turn helps you find sleep.

Just be careful not to kick the front seat too much while using it – we all know the annoying feeling when somebody constantly kicks the seat from behind in cinemas and buses.


#6 – Don’t forget a blanket

Blankets release serotonin, which is one of the ingredients for a goodnight’s sleep. It works best with weighted blankets, of course, but regular thin ones have a similar effect on us, especially when we are used to blankets hugging us for half of our lives.

Blankets create that cozy feeling as if you are back home, so it comforts you and relaxes your mind.

It does not matter what age you are, deep down we are all similar 😉


#7 – Do a strategic workout

workout before flight to be sleepy

We usually have the best sleep when we are tired. Our body knows that it needs to restore itself, so we get tired, and that leads to sleep.

I’d recommend working out 2 to 3 hours before the flight. The workout doesn’t have to be extremely intense, it just has to make the blood flow.

Once you’ve done that, put on your earphones and listen to some calm meditational sounds.

This combo works very well.


#8 – Earphones are a lifesaver

Doesn’t matter if you want to use earphones or headphones – they both are exactly what the body needs for a well-deserved rest.

The ones that block out sound, actively and passively, are the ones that will give the best results.

No one really wants to hear a child crying for 9 hours, or a constant blabbering about whether Kim and Kanye deserve each other in the seat behind.

That’s why blocking the hearing senses will be very rewarding in terms of relaxation.

Of course, to block all senses, one must also…


#9 – Block vision

eye mask for sleep on plane

As you might have guessed, an eye mask is best for this situation.

Even if all the lights were off on the plane, people would still be watching movies or surfing on the phone, which in turn will interrupt your pleasant sleep.

An eye mask is very common in planes, and it is very easy to carry it with you to aid in sleep.

You can try out this one if you’d like. This eye mask has no pressure on the eyes and the shape itself limits ruining the eyelash makeup for women.



#10 – Try entertainment

What if you still can’t sleep when all the senses are blocked?

If you are like me, then you find it easiest when there is some background noise like a movie going on.

Nothing makes me sleepier than when I try to concentrate on the plot. Suddenly, the picture just gets blurry and I fall asleep.

Many airlines like Delta or Jetblue offer displays on the back of the seat, so you just need earphones and you are good to go.

If the airline doesn’t have it, you can still watch movies through your phone or your laptop. Netflix, for example, has an offline viewing feature, where you can download any movie or TV show for offline viewing.

Try that, and the sleep might naturally come.


#11 – Read a physical book

Physical is for the blue light reasons. It actually applies to viewing movies as well.

Blue light has an effect on sleep.

If you watch movies, try to turn on the blue light filter, if you have.

But better yet, read a physical book. The plane does not shake as the buses and cars do, so you won’t have a headache from reading.

When reading a book, you still have to concentrate, and when you concentrate, you tire yourself out. When that happens, you get sleepy.


#12 – Have the flight as late as possible

By booking the flight at a time when it’s dark outside, you will naturally be sleepy.
It is hard to keep all the time zones in check, so if the destination is very far away, you will still have some jetlag in you.

However, if you time it right, you can sleep on the plane at night, and be fully rested at a new destination with the whole day ahead of you.


#13 – To drink – Water

drink water on plane

According to SleepFoundation “drinking water before bed might help ward off dehydration while you sleep, and it may also help you attain the drop in core body temperature that helps induce sleepiness.”

Just make sure you don’t drink too much water, or you’ll be visiting the toilet more frequently than you’d like. 50+ year-olds can attest to that.


#14 – NOT to drink – coffee and alcohol

Coffee is logical – it makes your heart beat faster through the release of noradrenaline and norepinephrine. Coffee is used if you want a fast ANTI-sleep pill.

But with alcohol, many think that it should encourage sleepiness. While it may be true, one has to be careful with the amount one drinks. One glass of wine (sparkling or not) is the maximum I would recommend.

Any more than that, and I’ve found myself that I may fall asleep, but the sleep quality is very bad compared to “non-alcohol” nights.


#15 – Get an empty row

empty airplane row

This tip belongs in one of those “easy to say, hard to do” categories.

However, if you do get lucky and the flight seems to be empty, pick a row that’s furthest away from other people. Other people create that small feeling of nervousness, so the further away you are, the bigger the chances that you’ll fall asleep on the plane.


#16 – Try out different sleep techniques

For some, it’s counting sheep in their heads, for some they are using breathing exercises.

I personally found a nice tip that works for me, and that’s focusing on keeping a tongue 100% still. I’ve done that before, and I surprised myself when I woke up at the end of the flight.

It might now be your cup of tea, but hey, don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself and see what works best as a sleep aid for airplane travel!

This is the end of the post! If you want more tips, consider subscribing to the newsletter.

SEE ALSO: How to Find Cheapest Travel Flights? Here is one for $9


Please consider sharing as well. It helps us out A LOT!

*This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on my product links, I may earn a commission.

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.