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Your Ultimate Guide To Sleeping On A Plane

By Katie Foote 

Do you love traveling but dread getting there? There’s not much worse than spending a long time in transit and then arriving at your destination too tired to do anything. Fortunately for you, Jessie on a Journey has compiled a collection of travel gadgets, tricks and apps that will help make your flight more comfortable and ensure that you arrive at your destination energized and ready to go.

how to sleep on a plane

3-in-1 ZENbands. Photo courtesy of ZENbands.

1) Multi-Purpose Eye Mask, Headphones and Headband. When traveling, it is always better to pack one small item instead of three. Blooming Wellness brings you ZenBands ($29), a lightweight cotton headband that increases your comfort in more ways than one. These trendy hairpieces are stylish enough to wear anywhere while large enough to pull over your eyes and shut out unwanted ambient light. They also have lightweight, flat speakers that plug into your phone and allow you to enjoy your favorite tunes, audiobook or relaxation soundtrack with almost no pressure to your ears.

how to sleep on a plane

BuffWear. Photo courtesy of Tallington Lakes

2) Multi-Purpose Eye Mask For Adventurers. Another option for a multipurpose eye mask, especially for active travelers, is a Wool Buff from BuffWear (~$30). Its thick, super-soft fabric blocks out more light than the free ones you receive on the plane and it is far more comfortable than expensive masks. Furthermore this multifunctional, tubular accessory is ideal for many activities, potentially serving as a warm hat, do-rag or a pollution mask in crowded cities like Beijing or Delhi. The Merino wool will keep you warm in the cold, wicks moisture to keep you cool and its micro bacterial properties prevent odors. The classic Buff is also uber warm, seamless (it won’t fray!) and can be worn in 13+ different ways.

how to sleep on a plane

Nap Anywhere. Photo courtesy of Nap Anywhere.

3) Portable Head-Support Pillow. Do typical U-shaped neck pillows leave you feeling sore and unsatisfied? Do you get tired of carrying the bulky thing around? Designed by a physician, NapAnywhere solves both these problems with a portable head-support pillow (~$50) designed to make sleeping while traveling more comfortable. NapAnywhere is collapsible and small enough to fit into a briefcase or laptop bag and is perfect for use on planes, subways, trains, buses and cars.

how to sleep on a plane

Deep rest roll-on. Photo courtesy of Amrita.

4. Roll On Aromatherapy Relief & Jet Lag Recovery Recipe Aromatherapy is a smart and holistic way to block out distracting smells on the plane while making it easier to relax. Amrita’s Deep Rest Relief ($10) is a small roll-on scent that is easy to carry and can help you sleep — and recover from jet lag. Amrita recommends several essential oils to help you get back on your feet quickly after a long flight. To make your own Jet Lag Blend, they advise filling two 3-oz mist bottles with water and adding a few drops of your favorite oils from the following — basil, peppermint, lemon, rose geranium, sweet marjoram and French lavender. Shake well before spraying your face, body and room then take deep inhales.

how to sleep on a plane

Luxury Scarf with Scent Pocket. Photo courtesy of Project Therapy Threads.

5. Scarf With Scent Pocket. If you’d rather carry an aromatherapy pack instead of roll it on your skin, consider Therapy Threads scarves ($65+), which include a hidden pocket to easily access healing aromas throughout the day. Each scarf is handmade with high-quality fabrics like wool, silk and organic so you can choose the right garment for the season. Therapy Threads’ scarves currently come with three soothing scents: lavender for relaxation, de-stressing and sleep; wild orange for energy, mental revitalization and flight anxiety soothing; and citrus bliss for a mood boost.

how to sleep on a plane

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

6. Apps To Promote Relaxation. If anxiety is your main obstacle to relaxing on the plane, try this free app from All Nippon Airways (ANA). Japan’s largest airline, ANA, conducted a survey and found that the majority of Americans get anxious during flying, especially during lift off so they developed the ‘ANA Takeoff Mode’ App, specifically designed to relax and take people’s minds off the takeoff. This app engages its users with puzzles to distract them during the stressful part of the journey. Users have to maneuver a ball on the screen to collect points while relaxing music plays in the background. This app also measures and responds to the ambient noise in the aircraft cabin If you’d prefer an app that strictly provides soothing melodies, try Relax Melodies.

how to sleep on a plane

Potable Seat Partition.  Photo courtesy of Create-A-Space.

7. Portable Seat Partition. If your traveling pet peeve is annoying neighbors, try the Create-A-Space Seat Partition ($39.99). This portable device fits completely within your seat area and prevents other people’s elbows and accessories from entering your personal space. In addition to helping you rest, this device ensures you have needed elbow room to get work done or keep your children contained. The device is small and lightweight, easily fitting in your briefcase or carry-on.

how to sleep on a plane

Rose Quartz Faceted Briolette Pendant. Photo courtesy of Lizzy Shaw Studio.

8. Sleep-Inducing Gemstone. If you’re looking for something different than white noise, eye shades, ear plugs and Xanax to combat sleep difficulties, try harnessing the power of gemstones. Rose Quartz has historically been credited with helping people sleep in a holistic manner. Lizzy Shaw Studio makes beautiful pieces with this gemstone (tempting to buy even if you don’t believe the hype!). Putting gemstones in jewelry is a great way to keep those protective stones close without setting off every metal detector in sight. Click here to see the Rose Quartz Faceted Briolette Pendant ($85) which would be great for travelers who want to sleep on planes.

how to sleep on a plane

Fluffy Socks in Purple. Photo courtesy of Cabeau.

9. Fluffy socks. If you have bad circulation and trouble sleeping if your feet are cold, Cabeau has just the product for you. Fluffy Socks ($9.99) are made with extra-thick plush fabric to be super soft and comfortable. Whether on a plane or relaxing at home, these one-size-fits-all foot warmers promote leg circulation by systematically applying graduated pressure to the lower legs. This keeps you warm and increases blood flow back to the heart. These Fluffy Socks are sold for $9.99 and come in three stylish colors: Radiant Orchid, Cabeau Blue and Charcoal.

how to sleep on a plane

Sleep anywhere thanks to Wrap A Nap. Photo courtesy of Wrap A Nap.

10. Multi-purpose Pillow, Sleep Mask and Ear Muff. If you can’t take a nap with cold ears or light interfering, consider the Wrap-a-Nap ($24.99). This head-hugging halo of comfort serves as a 3-in-1 travel pillow, sleep mask and earmuff. It provides a great alternative for a traditional neck pillow and eye mask combination. While it might look a strange, its so effective that you won’t be awake long enough to worry about it.

how to sleep on a plane

Anti-nausea bands. Photo courtesy of NoMo.

12) Natural Anti-Nausea Band. Sometimes, the inability to sleep on long plane ride is due to anxiety or travel sickness. Unfortunately, once the first symptoms hit, they usually get worse. To stop anxiety-induced nausea before it begins, consider the NoMo Nausea Band ($12.99). The product includes a 3-in-1 infusion of peppermint aromatherapy within a stylish and waterproof acupressure wristband. The peppermint scent helps to calm active upset stomach and increase oxygen to the brain, combatting headaches, while the cooling effect of peppermint distracts the brain to focus on the temperature change of the band instead of the stress of traveling. Finally, the acupressure point on the wrist produces happy, anti-nausea hormones that can stop travel sickness before it starts.

Do you have advice on how to sleep on a plane? Please share in the comments below. 

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  1. Samuel T. Cummins on July 6, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I am flying to Sydney later this year and have already begun to think about how I am going to pass the time. I have never been on a flight that has lasted more than 6 hours. This is really helpful for me.

    • Katie Foote on July 6, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      Good luck @Samuel! Thanks for reading!

  2. Hal on December 4, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    haha, that seat partition thing is awesome! Though I wonder if it would result in a fight if you got a particularly ornery neighbor.

  3. Emily Hernandez on December 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Omg these great tips for getting though hours on a plane, thanks for these useful tips

  4. Marc on December 11, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Very interesting. I can try some of those for my next trip. Thanks

  5. Marco on August 25, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    A hoodie is great for warmth, can be folded into a pillow, and can be used to block out light. Throw in some noise cancelling headphones and you are set. Just dont sit near the front of the economy section, thats where crying babies are usually located.

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