Travel Tips: 7 Tactics for Sleeping on a Plane

November 22, 2013 | By | Comments (1)

With holiday travel upon us, we asked Dr. Robert Rosenberg with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to share his top tips for catching Zs in the air.

  1. Book a window seat so you can cocoon.
  2. Lay off the caffeine four hours before takeoff.
  3. Drink water. Dehydration can cause headaches that keep you awake.
  4. Try melatonin, a synthetic form of a natural sleep hormone, 30 minutes before you want the shut-eye. (It’s not FDA approved, so check with your doctor first.)
  5. Bring out all the ammo you have: eye mask, noise-canceling headphones, a travel pillow, a blankie. Sure, you may look like a human burrito, but if it works, it works.
  6. Eat a turkey sandwich. The combo of trypto-phan and complex carbs contains a sleep-promoting agent.
  7. As much as you want to watch Titanic—again—don’t. The blue light from your iPad or in-flight movie screen is a strong stimulant. Try reading the old-school way: on paper.

Illustration: Jordi Elias/Getty Images


  1. Lina

    It’s not easy to get sleep on the plane!! I always try to eat right away and then not watch the movies!!! If I get into those, I won’t get any sleep!

    December 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm

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