First of all you, you have to be a passenger to take advantage of these five tricks for catching up on sleep when flying. It can be hard for many people, sleeping on an airplane. However, it is necessary in some cases. If you find yourself on a long flight to the west coast, overseas or a so-called red eye (overnight), sleep is essential to be your best when you hit the ground.

Flights are commonly oversold this summer meaning you might have less room to stretch out and get comfortable. That middle seat is almost always full and even worse, you might just get stuck in one. Apparently, it is not impossible to get sleep even in those God-awful seats. At least that’s what the folks at Bed Kingdom say. They have all kinds of tips to help you grab a few winks at altitude. That includes the kids.

Catching Up On Sleep When Flying

woman sleeping on a plane

Not all seats are this comfortable on a plane. And if they are, they can be costly. Here are tips to make the most of your flight and get some sleep.

A little advanced planning can help. For instance, put a sleep kit in your carry on. This kit should contain all the things that can help boost the chances of falling asleep. A soft eye mask blocks out light. You know there is always someone who keeps opening their window shade or turning on their reading lights.

Noise cancelling headphones or earbuds are an excellent way to block that person behind you who just can’t stop talking. They also help when listening to calming music or meditation. If you don’t have headphones, pick up some soft earplugs. Travel pillows can also be helpful. Don’t have a pillow, find a hack here. Finally, a soft blank to keep you warm and cozy.

Here are five tricks for catching up on sleep when flying this summer.

  • Seat Selection

    This key but you don’t always have a choice. Try to avoid sitting next to the toilets. It might be convenient if you have to go, but so does everyone else on the plane. It gets busy.

    crowded aisle in a plane

    Aisle seating is convenient but tricky for sleeping

    Window seat is best. You have something to lean on and have control of the window shade to keep it dark.

    Middle seat is a challenge. Put as much as you can overhead so at least you have room to stretch your legs. Neck pillows are good for head support since you have nowhere to lean.

    Aisle seat. Use the armrest for additional support. However, be careful not to stretch too much into the aisle to avoid people bumping you and disturbing your slumber

  • Carefully choose beverages

    wine glass at airport bar

    Avoiding alcohol before you board and on the plane is a good idea for sleep

    Many people like to celebrate the beginning of vacation with an adult beverage before boarding. However, try to avoid  alcohol as well as caffeine. They can lower the quality of sleep and leave you dehydrated on top of it.

  • Loosen your shoes

    Tight shoes and laces can restrict blood flow to the feet, causing them to fall asleep instead of you. Consider wearing slip on shoes or using travel socks for ease and comfort.

    Feet on top of luggage

    Tight shoes and laces are not good for nerve compression of the feet, uncomfortable for flying.

  • Uncross your legs

    It may seem more comfy and a good way to stay in your space. However, this position limits blood flow during long flights. It puts stress on your lower spine as well. Knees slightly bent is optimal for comfort, circulation and to help reduce the occurrence of swelling.

  • Getting kids to sleep

    This can be a challenge. Getting kids to sleep helps them, you and fellow passengers.

    empty airport terminal

    Let the kids run where it is not crowded so they can burn off some energy before boarding.

    Pack their favorite sleep aid such as a blanket, stuffed animal or toy. Something familiar. Allow them to burn some energy in the terminal so they will look forward to resting. Finally, feed them within the first hour of the flight but try to avoid sugary foods and drinks.

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