Sleep expert reveals the easy tips that will help you fall asleep on a plane

Gone are the days of being painfully awake on a long-haul flight...

woman sleeping on plane
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A sleep expert has revealed the top five tips for falling asleep on planes, especially long-haul flights.

We've all been there: you're on a long-haul flight, and you're sitting in your seat absolutely desperate to catch some Zzz's, but you just can't seem to fall asleep. 

Since not everyone can afford the luxury of upgrading their seats or flying business class in order to get those more private, comfier seats, we've been on the hunt for sleep hacks for those multi-hour flights - because honestly, we're so tired of feeling jet lagged.

Luckily, sleep expert Martin Seeley, the CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay, shared some tips about how you can have an easier time falling asleep on a plane - and some of the hacks are easier than you may expect.

Sky Seen Through Airplane Window At Morning

(Image credit: Getty)

5 easy tips that will help you fall asleep on a plane

1. Don't drink alcohol on a plane - opt for water instead

Martin says that, if you're looking to get high-quality sleep on a plane, alcohol isn't the answer - even if it helps you fall asleep faster. "If you are looking to sleep on a plane, always opt for water instead of alcohol. While it may make it easier for you to drift off, alcohol actually disrupts your sleep and lowers the quality – making you more tired in the morning," he said.

2. Take a 30-minute walk around the airport before you board

We, know, it sounds a little silly, but studies show that exercising for even 30 minutes can improve sleep quality, so why not take advantage of your time at the airport? "Before you board, spend 30 minutes walking around the airport, duty-free or even in the lounge," Martin says.

3. Pick your seat strategically

If you want to stay away from chatter and heavy traffic, don't pick a seat close to the bathroom. "Not only is this likely to be the quietest area but as the wing is usually where the emergency exit is based, you’ll have more legroom," he said. For international flights, try to pick a seat closer to the front, as you'll be served food first - aka, you can spend less time waiting for food and more time trying to sleep.

Interior Of An Airplane

(Image credit: Getty)

4. Download a white noise app

Let's face it - even though we would love it if planes could be perpetually silent, they're often not, which makes it even harder to get some shut-eye. If you download a white noise app, however, you can block out these troublesome exterior sounds, helping you drift off sooner than you'd expect.

5. Prepare a small sleep kit for your journey

Martin recommends packing a small pack in your carry-on complete with an eye mask, cotton socks, a travel pillow, and ear plugs or noise-canceling headphones. "If you are flying late or through the night, an eye mask is also essential to block out the lights from people reading and or watching TV," he said.

Madeline Merinuk
US Lifestyle News Writer

Madeline Merinuk is woman&home's US lifestyle news writer, covering celebrity, entertainment, fashion, and beauty news.

She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Journalism from Hofstra University, winning multiple student journalism awards, including a National Hearst Award, during her time there. After graduating, she worked at, the digital site for the Today Show, where she wrote pop culture news and interviewed big-name personalities like Emily Ratajkowski, Haley Lu Richardson, Emma Corrin, and more.

Her personal interests, in no particular order, are: cheese, Joni Mitchell, reading, hot yoga, traveling, having multiple chapsticks in every handbag at all times, and dancing to ABBA songs as if she were in the Mamma Mia movies.