Tips for Sleeping in Planes

I’m a natural sleeper. I sleep on the couch, on the bus, in the train…if it weren’t for my notebook, I’d be sleeping on my school desk as well.

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I’ve been asked how I sleep so well in planes. Normally, I’m an economy class traveler, and I think that my airplane quality sleep is basically the same as my “real” sleep quality (sometimes, even better).

I’ve decided to throw together my thoughts and present my biggest tips for sleeping in planes. (For the record, I’m a pig when it comes to sleeping, so not all these tips may work for you).

1. Recline your seat

There are two sides to whether reclining your seat is ethical or not. Some people say it’s inconsiderate, others say it’s what you pay for, so go for it, as you paid for it.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Premium Economy Class legroom while seat in front is reclined

While I’d make sure the person behind me is perfectly fine when I recline my seat in economy class or premium economy class (there’s usually legroom anyway in business class), I stand firmly on the latter side, since reclining your seat can completely change how comfortable the experience is. While I’d ask, it’s important to have the ability to put your seat back and flex your back slightly for a better sleep. (If the person behind says no, you can always inform a flight attendant.)

Of course, in Cathay Pacific’s completely ergonomic shell seat (which actually isn’t that bad with a pillow fortress on top of it), asking the person behind you if you can recline is not needed.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A340-300 Economy Class

2. The more the pillows, the merrier you’ll be

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Pillows are soft things, and they fit well on the average economy seat. Sometimes, you can live without a pillow fortress – but there are times when you just need to snuggle up, and pad your back with AMPAP (as many pillows as possible).

3. If you can’t sleep, don’t

Forcing yourself to sleep on land makes you unable to. In the air, that’s only elevated. If you’re bubbly with excitement (and are too young/don’t want to have some bubbly to calm yourself down), then watch a movie, or read a book, or just play with the seat until you get bored enough to sleep.

If there’s no PTV and you’re excited, just take photos of the cabin and write a review, criticizing every aspect of service there is.

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Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 Premium Economy Class Mary Poppins

4. Eat

Eating is a natural way of bringing the blood to your stomach and freeing up the energy from your head so you can sleep.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class Main Course


What are your tips for sleeping in planes?

 

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