As someone working in the business world, travelling to countries for work is often essential. The long plane rides can be exhausting and disrupt your sleep schedule. Not getting sleep can impact one’s ability to be productive and maintain focus. Understanding how to get a night’s sleep when on an airplane journey is necessary. 

Here are seven essential tips to help any business professional get quality sleep on long-haul flights.


1. Choose the right seat

The first and foremost tip for getting quality sleep on a long-haul flight is to choose the right seat.

While it may seem like a minor detail, the choice of seating can significantly impact comfort and ability to sleep.


Here are some tips for selecting the best seat for a comfortable slumber:

  • Opt for a window seat: Choosing a window seat gives you something to lean against and allows you to control the window shade. This allows you to modify the amount of light entering, essential for maintaining a sleep-wake rhythm in your body.
  • Avoid seats near high-traffic areas: Seats located near restrooms or flight attendant stations can be noisy and disruptive, making it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Consider a bulkhead or exit row seat: These seats typically offer more legroom, allowing you to stretch out and get comfortable. Just be sure to check for any restrictions on reclining before selecting these seats.
  • Stay away from the back of the plane: The back tends to experience more turbulence, which can disrupt your sleep. It has limited reclining space, which can make it more challenging to find a comfortable seating position.
  • Look for seats with extra amenities: Certain airlines provide footrests or adjustable headrests, which can significantly improve your comfort throughout a lengthy flight.
Long plane rides - comfortable

2. Carry the right sleeping gear

Getting some shut-eye on a flight can be quite uncomfortable if you don’t have the proper sleeping gear. Invest in a good-quality neck pillow, eye mask, and noise-cancelling headphones. These products can assist in eliminating any disturbances and guaranteeing a tranquil night’s sleep.

3. Stay hydrated before sleeping on long plane rides

One of the top reasons people can’t sleep on long plane rides is due to dehydration. It’s advisable to avoid consuming drinks and beverages that contain caffeine as they can exacerbate dehydration and impede the ability to have a night’s sleep.

4. Adjust your sleeping routine

If you’re travelling to a different time zone, adjusting your sleeping routine beforehand can significantly improve your sleep on the plane.

Start by gradually shifting your sleep and wake times in the days leading up to your trip. Align your schedule with the timezone of your destination, making the adjustment less abrupt upon arrival. This method, often called ‘sleep shifting,’ can effectively minimise the impact of jet lag and help you maintain productivity during your business trip.

5. Avoid blue light

The blue light emitted from electronic devices like a mobile can disrupt your sleep cycle by suppressing your body’s melatonin production. Limit your screen time before and during the flight to avoid this issue. If you need to use devices, it might be worth considering wearing glasses by blocking light or adjusting the screen settings to minimise the amount of blue light emitted. You can also download apps that filter out blue light on your electronic equipment, making it easier to fall asleep during your flight.

6. Dress comfortably

Dress in comfortable and loose-fitting clothes for your flight. Being comfortable during your flight can significantly enhance your ability to fall and stay asleep. Tight or restrictive clothing can lead to discomfort and make it harder to sleep. Also, carry a warm or light jacket with you, as the temperature on the plane can vary.

Opt for loose and breathable clothing, avoiding tight belts, stiff collars, or any constrictive clothing that can cause discomfort during the flight. Consider wearing layers to quickly adjust your outfit in response to the cabin’s temperature fluctuations. Also, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes that can be easily removed. Travel pillows and blankets can also contribute to your comfort and help you achieve restful sleep.

Long plane rides - sleep aids

7. Try sleep aids

If, after attempting all the suggestions mentioned earlier, you continue to have difficulty sleeping during a flight, you might want to consider using some sleep aids. Using noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs can help eliminate background noise while wearing an eye mask can effectively block light. Both of these measures contribute to creating a sleep environment.

Additionally, some airlines offer amenities such as hot towels, soothing music, or dimmed cabin lights to help promote relaxation and sleep during the flight.

Long plane rides - timezones


Getting quality sleep on long plane rides is necessary for business professionals. By incorporating these suggestions, you can guarantee that you reach your intended location feeling refreshed and fully prepared to face any obstacles that may come your way. Remember to prioritise comfort and rest while travelling.

So, when you’re on a flight, remember these important suggestions to maximise your travel experience. Your body will thank you, and your work performance will reflect it.