Sleep, Peace & Comfort: Tips for an Enjoyable Flight Experience

Updated: 2017-11-30.

Here are some carefully-curated tips and advice for sleeping, staying comfortable, and having peace and quiet aboard a flight to ensure an enjoyable flight experience.

Comfort Tips: Sleep!

Vacations may be taken to relax, rest, and rejuvenate, but flying often is stressful and contrary to those goals. The best way to stave off the effects of stress during transit is simply to get some rest. Sleeping during a flight has the added virtue of keeping your body in top condition to fight off diseases and jet lag.

Comfort Tips: Block Out the World

Earplugs are so obvious and yet often forgotten. It’s benefits are hard to understate, however; for about a dollar, you can get a disposable pair of earplugs that should last a few uses, at least for an entire trip, and the ability to block out crying babies and screaming children and in-flight announcements are priceless. For a few dollars more, you can pick up a permanent pair, one that comes with its own travel container to store them in. And if you’re really looking to avoid outside sound as you sleep or try to work, perhaps look into investing in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones; these actively block out noise while allowing you to hear your movies, shows, or music without outside noise.

Comfort Tips: Secure Your Seat Belt

If you are going to fall asleep, and are using a blanket or your jacket to get comfortable and cozy, remember to fasten your seatbelt over the blanket or other covering; flight attendants, when the seatbelt lights are lit, are required to make sure that each passenger has theirs on. If they are unsure, they might wake you unnecessarily – and for most people, it is difficult enough to fall asleep on a plane.

Comfort Tips: Follow this Sleep Rule

To avoid jet lag, there’s a simple rule to keep in mind which is relevant in most situations: when flying west to east, you can sleep as much as you like; but when you’re flying east to west, stay awake as much as you can.

Comfort Tips: Shoes

Wear comfortable shoes to prevent your feet from swelling during the flight. Also, equip them with some odor-fighting insoles so that if you decide to take them off to get comfortable or pass out, they don’t simultaneously cause your fellow passengers to pass out.

Comfort Tips: Clothing

Shoes are the simplest item to alter for increased comfortability, but the clothing you wear is a close second. If you can help it, forego the business suit for a light sweatshirt and sweatpants – the stretchier, the better. Also, it appears that comfort during a flight is inversely proportional to the number of buttons on your shirt on pants; the less, the better.

Comfort Tips: Free Up Space Under Seat

The space under the seat in front of you is usually one of your allotted areas to stow your belongings, in addition to the overhead bin and the seatback pocket (unless you’re at a bulkhead seat). To properly stretch out, try to put all your belongings in the overhead compartment.

Not only can you conserve some precious legroom, but you also won’t have the opportunity to accidently kick that bag into the next aisle.

Comfort Tips: Golf Ball Massage

It’s a peculiar custom for some to bring a pair of golf balls or similar spheres to use as massage devices during a flight. How it works is that the person would take off their shoes and place the balls on the ground with their feet atop them. Then, they would move their feet around on the balls for a kind of mile-high foot massage. If you try this, make sure that the golf balls don’t leave your control, lest they become irretrievably lost as they roll about the cabin.