Sleep on a plane: Tips and Hints

When you travel far and wide, you need to rest on the plane as much as you can. Sometimes excitement gets in the way, sometimes nerves get in the way, and sometimes….travel neighbors get in the way. Here are some tips on getting some much needed rest on the plane.

Sleep on a plane: Tips and Hints

Sleep on a plane:  Choose the best time

Ideally, every flight would leave right at bedtime and arrive at waking up time and we would all slumber peacefully in between.  Trying to time flights with natural resting times is great if you can manage it.


Non stop flights are the best for getting some rest. Getting off the plane…hanging around in an airport and then getting back on the plane and trying to get settled again…is a recipe for exhaustion. Get a non-stop flight if at all possible.


Sleep on a plane:  Choose clothing wisely

Sometimes airplane cabins are FREEZING cold and sometimes they are BLAZING hot. It is super rare that they are a nice medium temperature. The problem is…like a box of never know what you are going to get.


So, the answer to the mystery temperature is to layer. This gives you the most flexibility in temperature control. Be sure the kiddos are layered, too. Sweating or shivering would keep anyone from having a good flight!

Sleep on a plane: Choose shoes wisely

Feet swell on planes so be careful wearing shoes that are too tight. Laces make the most sense because you can loosen or tighten for comfort.

Another reason to wear closed toed sturdy shoes is safety. In the unlikely event of an emergency, do you really want to be in a pair of flip flops?

Sleep on a plane: Remember socks

When you wear closed toed shoes then you’ll be wearing socks. Socks keep feet warm and toasty. Please do NOT walk around the plane in just your socks. Ask any flight attendant about the cleanliness of airplane carpet and they will tell you the grossest stories. Put those shoes back on before walking to the bathroom.

Sleep on a plane: Be aware of the light

Some people are more sensitive to light than others. Dracula and I both tolerate light at night about the same. I LOVE darkness for sleeping!


For overnight flights, the cabin lights will be dimmed and all windows shut but it is not really ‘dark’. Consider an eye mask to keep out the annoying light.

Sleep on a plane: Whatever works

One flight I had kiddo curled up in my lap and I built a ‘tent’ over our heads by tucking in a blanket behind my headrest and on the one in front of me. If people giggled on the way by, we were snoozing too soundly to know or care. 😉

Some people have their own methods like this guy. A little unorthodox, but whatever works, right?


Sleep on a plane: Keep in quiet

Thankfully, with so much technology these days most people on long flights are plugged in and very quiet. In flight movies, music, and so on..even the little ones have games and ear phones.

But, always, always carry earplugs or noise canceling earphones with you in case because you might encounter:

someone snoring

unhappy baby

couple arguing




These are supposed to let you feel like you are ‘in a cocoon’ for peaceful slumber. It has a clever name Hybermate (Like hibernate…love clever names!).


Sleep on a plane: Keep your head from bobbing

For me, this is the worst part of trying to sleep on a plane. What do you rest your head upon?


If you are seated next to kiddo who lays in your lap anyway, lean back your seat but not theirs. Then lean your head upon the edge of their seat. Even movie stars have sleepy kiddos on planes.


The neck pillow turned around….


This interesting gadget makes my back hurt just looking at it, but surely works for some!


The Head Holder!



Strapped in and ready for take off…


Unibomber hoodie/pillow combo


The Ostrich pillow…I love this one so much that I wrote an entire post about it.


Cloud nine pillow – It is supposed to shout, “I’m a smart traveler.” I’m not sure if that is what is being shouted….but if you get to your destination well rested it doesn’t matter, right?


The pillow wig….No, I am not making this up! The look on the model’s face really sums it all up, doesn’t it? And they are paying her to wear it!


Sleep on a plane: Helping the kids

You really don’t have to worry much about kids sleeping. If they are tired, they will sleep….




You on the other hand, need to make sure you are rested to keep up with them! Good luck!

Happy and restful travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo, Sleep on a plane,


You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Kristi Hynes says:

    Once again you have given brilliant advice and found products and ideas that have me laughing out loud! The pillow wig has been added to my list but until I find one I will just tie my head to the seatback with a scarf! LOL

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Ha! Ha! I want to travel with you! We would be laughing too much to sleep!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! 🙂

  1. February 13, 2017

    […] How to Sleep on a Plane for more ideas for arriving well […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: