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How to sleep well on a plane—even in coach


woman on flight Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Preappy

Anyone who’s ever tried getting some quality shut-eye on an economy-class flight knows it’s easier said than done. Between having barely any personal space (maybe a few inches, if you’re lucky) and navigating super-limited mobility, it’s hard enough to sit, let alone sleep. Surprisingly, there are some hacks to help you catch some zzz’s.

According to aircraft seating and interiors designer Adam White, getting cozy during your flight just requires tapping into a few of your basic sleep needs: light, noise, and temperature.

In an interview with Travel + Leisure, he suggested that when booking your flight, it’s best to stay away from areas where people congregate—like by the bathrooms, which can get super noisy. Also, grab the window seat (they’re best for leaning and wall-snuggling), but choose the side of the plane wisely.

“It may sound funny, but just as people are left- and right-handed, I think they’re also more comfortable leaning to a left- or right-hand side to sleep. Know your body ” —Adam White, aircraft seating and interiors designer.

“It may sound funny, but just as people are left- and right-handed, I think they’re also more comfortable leaning to a left- or right-hand side to sleep,” White said. “Know your body.”

Other important aspects of decent in-flight sleep? Being warm (bring a sweater and small blanket!), making sure it’s as dark as possible—AKA keep the window closed if you can—and using some heavy-duty headphones.

“Have the headphones plugged in so the noise-canceling function is working, but not necessarily tuned-in to something,” he said. “These days, in-flight entertainment will often have a sleep-based or soothing channel on the radio, so that’s something that could help to block out the drone of the jet.”

If you have a lot of travel coming up over the holidays, implement these tips so can have a rejuvenating flight—and be ready for the inevitable just-catching-up questions from all your relatives once you land.

This is the first thing you should do after getting off a plane. Or, find out how to eat healthy at the airport.