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6 tips for better sleep on an airplane

6 tips for better sleep on an airplane

The fact is - some of us can climb aboard a plane, sit down in our seats, and pass out immediately. While others of us fall asleep during takeoff, get to cruising altitude and wake up immediately, only to spend the rest of the flight trying to fall back asleep.

And then there are people who have never fallen asleep on a plane and believe that it's impossible.

Here are a few tips to help you sleep better on a plane! 

1) Wear something comfy.

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Luckily we're passed the point in time where you're expected to wear your Sunday best on a flight. In fact, you can get away with wearing most anything to the airport, so pack the work stuff in your carry-on bag and wear something that'll make falling asleep in an upright position that much more comfortable.

You don't need to wear your literal pajamas to the airport. We recommend investing in an athleisure kit from a brand like Public Rec.

2) Turn off your screen(s).

The reason you might not be sleeping on flights might not have anything to do with your clothes or your seat - it might be something as easy as turning off your phone, tablet, or computer before you try to fall asleep. 

"Smartphones—like laptops, tablets, and televisions—emit something called blue light, which is a type of light that the brain interprets as daylight," reports Sleep.org. "The blue light actually suppresses melatonin (a hormone that affects circadian rhythm and should increase when you are preparing for bedtime)."

Screens can have a big impact on your sleep schedule even when you're not trying to sleep at 30K feet above the ground. Try turning off your screen 30-minutes prior to trying to fall asleep. Pro tip: Read a book while you wait for those 30-minutes to pass. 

3) Don't fight your internal clock, get an afternoon or evening flight.

If possible, try choosing a flight that leaves later in the day than early in the morning. As you probably already know, your body has an internal clock and messing with it can have dire consequences for how your day turns out. 

Instead of battling all day because you took a cheap, early morning flight (we're guilty of this too) get a cheap evening flight and work with your internal clock to fall asleep on your flight. 

4) Drink Water, Watch Your Caffeine Intake

It should go without saying that caffeine is not your friend when you're trying to sleep. Sure, some people swear that they can drink a double shot of espresso and fall asleep 10-minutes later, but how well do they sleep on planes?

Replace all that caffeine with water and make sure to sip it during the flight. Dehydration can cause you to feel even more irritable than you already are by being on a plane making it extremely difficult to snooze. 

5) Download Calm App

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How does this feel? @annelamott #DailyCalm

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The Calm App promises to help users sleep better and relax. The app offers sleep stories and guided meditations to help you fall asleep faster and sleep better. 

Calm and other similar sleep aid apps are great ways to help you sleep better and longer on airplanes. 

6) Bring your own BR2 Travel Pillow

It should go without saying that we think this is one of the best ways to sleep upright. Unless you're sitting in business or first class, the chances that your seat will be comfortable is highly unlikely much less provide enough head and neck support to make sleeping upright an enjoyable experience. 

The BR2 Travel Pillow, unlike traditional u-shaped bean bag travel pillows, is designed to help you rest upright by aligning your spine and promoting healthy posture. When you use travel pillows that allow you to sleep too far forward or too far to one side, you can cut off the blood to your brain. Our reinvented travel pillow allows you to sleep upright without any loss of blood flow to your brain.