Let’s face it. There is nothing great about sleeping on a plane. From bumpy flights and plane landings to other passengers bothering your sleep, sometimes it can seem impossible to get any rest.

Sleeping on a plane
Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash
Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

Depending on the length of your flight, there are a few options to make your plane ride more bearable and make it easier for you to sleep. These are my tried-and-true methods for making the best of airplane sleeping.

1. Noise Cancelling Headphones

There are a lot of flight-related noises on a plane. Other passengers, flight attendants, and the general noise of the plane can all affect your ability to sleep. Brand does not matter, but you’ll want to check out reviews before you buy. Some headphones may advertise noise cancelling features but fall short of what you need to block out flight noises.

2. Sleep Aid

Whether over the counter or from your doctor, a sleep aid can sometimes make or break your sleep on a plane. Some people—myself included—have trouble falling asleep to begin with, and every added distraction on a plane can completely ruin your chance of sleeping in flight.

3. Eye Mask

An eye mask is one of the most important things to pack for your trip when trying to sleep on a plane. The brand is not as important as the features of the eye mask. You’ll want to look for something that blocks out light to maximize sleep, so a padded or contoured mask will be your best choice.

Sleeping on a plane
Photo by Ethan Hu on Unsplash
Photo by Ethan Hu on Unsplash

4. Comfortable Clothes

Unless you are taking a flight for business and need to be meeting-ready right off the plane, comfy clothes and shoes are the most important thing you need to bring with you. Sleeping while sitting is difficult enough without the added discomfort of jeans or a dress shirt.

5. Travel Pillow

A strained neck from sleeping wrong can ruin any trip. I highly recommend getting a travel pillow of some sorts to help stabilize your head. This will help prevent you from falling asleep in a strange position on the plane and waking up unable to turn your head to the left for a week.

6. Water Bottle

I can never stress this one enough: ALWAYS bring an empty water bottle for your flight. A water bottle is TSA approved as long as it is empty. Once you’re through security, most airports have water fountains where you can fill your bottle to take on the plane. The air on the plane will dehydrate you and can make it hard to sleep, so drinking as much water as you can will help you get going easier once your plane lands.

Waterbottles help sleep on a plane
Image by Evita Ochel from Pixabay
Image by Evita Ochel from Pixabay

7. Compression Socks

If you’re going on a long haul plane ride, this is an important item to bring. Sitting for so long in the same position at flight altitudes can negatively affect circulation. Along with walking around often, compression socks are a significant way to promote circulation and help prevent issues.

8. Blanket

If you have a naturally cold body temperature, the blankets on a plane probably don’t cut it for you. I recommend getting a blanket that will keep you warm throughout your flight but is also inexpensive. That way, it won’t set you back too much if you accidentally leave it on the plane.


What are your flight essentials you bring every time you board a plane? Let us know in the comments!