6 Ways to Sleep on a Plane

6 ways

Travelling long distance is always exciting: you meet new people and learn about different cultures. However, most of these flights are overnight, and you have to find some way to sleep on the plane. Of course, scoring first or business class seats is preferred. Even a window seat in economy will do. But most of us aren’t even fortunate enough to have a travel partner to lean our heads on. I generally end up in a middle seat in economy class travelling alone. So how do I fall asleep? Well, aside from the few Benadryl I pop before the flight, there are a few positions that I have tried and found successful.

1. The Right Angle:
The Right Angle is the easiest position to accomplish. It doesn’t require bending your neck the perfect amount or making any limbs go numb. For this position you’ll need to pull out the tray and simply bend where your body was made to bend: the waist. With your head resting on the tray, your torso and calves should make somewhat of a right angle.

2.The Head Tilt:
This one requires hardly any effort and is suited for those who can fall asleep anywhere (I’m talking to you, Mom). This position requires just a travel pillow on your shoulder and making a slight inquisitive head tilt to set the position in place.

3. The Head Tilt, Part 2:
If you’re having trouble sleeping with the head tilt, try bending your body as well. You’ll need more support, so with your elbow on the arm rest place the pillow on your hand, and rest your head and body weight on this arm.

4. Child’s Pose:
If you’re into yoga, you can imagine how this one goes. The first step is opening the tray to use as your head rest. Then you fold your legs underneath you on the seat. Sure, your legs may fall asleep from your circulation being restricted. But what does that matter when you’re finally asleep? Just try not to make a scene when you wake up and realize it.

5. The Fetal Position:
If you want a position most similar to sleeping in a bed, you’ll have to go fetal position. Roll up into a ball on your seat and turn sideways. The most difficult part of this position is not touching the other passengers, but if you wedge your pillow in between the seats as a barrier, you’ll be one step ahead.

6. The Floor:
You can move your bag to the overhead bin, stretch out and sleep normal on one condition: you sleep on the floor. As repugnant as this sounds to some people, I have slept on countless floors. When there’s only 3 hours left before you arrive in Munich at 8 a.m., and you haven’t slept a bit, you have to compromise sanitation for your sanity. Do you really want to start your trip with a night of no sleep? You will enjoy it much less and likely spend your day napping, throwing off your biological clock.

Do you have any tried and true methods of sleeping on a plane?

The Wayfaring Woman



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1 Comment

  1. How about just leaning the seat back and closing your eyes? For many years I could not sleep in any position on a plane–too much noise, distractions and caffeine. As I got older I could sleep a little bit in this position. The only downsides are that I would sometimes drop my head on my neighbor, or I tended to snore and drool more. No worries. I’ll never see them again.

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