Travel Tips – How to Sleep on an Overnight Flight

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If I’m taking an international flight, I usually prefer to book an overnight flight so I don’t end up spending a full day of my vacation traveling. The only problem is I’m a super light sleeper and really struggle to fall asleep on planes! If you’re like me, here are a few tips that I’ve found most useful in getting to sleep and waking up (somewhat) refreshed so I can hit the ground running!

  1. DRINK A LOT OF WATER – I try to drink a lot of water throughout the day of my flight rather than actually on the flight.This helps so I don’t wake up in the middle of the flight needing the bathroom and I swear drinking a lot of water prior to flying helps with jet lag!
  2. DRESS COMFY – Wearing comfortable clothing is key to getting a good night’s sleep. Wearing something restrictive is going to end badly–trust me!;) And if you’re too hot or too cold you’ll never fall asleep. Be sure to wear layers and grab an airline blanket when you’re boarding. If your feet are prone to swelling, you may want to consider compression socks as well.
  3. PACK A BOOK – It’s so easy to get sucked into watching 5 movies and not sleeping the entire flight. Bring a book to help you get tired so you’ll fall asleep quicker. I usually try to bring a travel guidebook with so I can read up on the destination. This always help build the excitement before I land too!
  4. BE ORGANIZED – The more organized you are, the more relaxed you’ll be. Pack your tote so you know where everything is. If you plan to use earplugs, headphones, a book etc. make them easy to find. Also, the more organized you feel about the upcoming trip, the less your mind will wander or worry and the easier it will be to fall asleep. Printing out reservations and having a transportation plan when you land will help keep you relaxed.
  5. SHUT OUT THE WORLD – Be sure to bring earplugs or noise cancelling headphones. Being able to block out noises is key–especially if you are sitting near someone who talks loudly. A sleep mask can also help block out movement or bright lights.
  6. BRING TEA – Typically the tea on flights is caffeinated, so bring your own chamomile or peppermint tea and ask for hot water. A warm sleep inducing tea is perfect to get you in the mood for sleep. A glass of wine can help too, but too much will give you a hangover for arrival! Not fun!
  7. GET READY FOR BED – Doing your evening routines may also help get you in the sleeping mindset. If you wash your face and brush your teeth every night then you should go to the bathroom and do the same. I swear it helps!

What are your go-to tricks for sleeping on planes? I’d love to know!

Happy Travels!

xo, Jenny

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  1. 6.9.17
    Heidi said:

    These are some great tips! I have such a hard time sleeping on flights, and I never would’ve thought to keep up with my routine of washing up before bed on an airplane. I’ll for sure have to try that next time!

  2. 9.17.18
    Amerilis said:

    Valerian tea and lavender tea are also right up there with chamomile for sleep aids. I discovered it years ago when trying to help with my daughter’s insomnia when she was in college. It. Did. Wonders! And, every time I check lists of herbal teas to help with sleep…valerian is always on the list. (lemon balm is another one)