No, sleeping and being on a plane are not diametrically opposed. You can do it if you know a few simple tricks. We learned a few of them in an article on airport survival.

Apple In-ear headphones + Virgin eyemask = a good sleep.

Apple In-ear headphones + Virgin eyemask = a good sleep.

First, choose your side of the plane. I know this sounds a bit strange, but according to Heather Poole, a veteran flight attendant and author of the book, Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet, it’s based on simple logic. “Get a window seat for night flights. If you sleep on your right side at home go for the right side of the plane,” Poole told Entrepreneur.

Next, dress comfortably. You can carry on your suit or whatever you’re wearing to your meeting in a garment bag and change into it when you arrive. Don’t even think about attempting to change into something more comfortable while in your seat. According to Poole, she has seen it all, including passengers arriving on the plane in adult footed pajamas. Talk about the walk of shame!

You can actually put that strange u-shaped pillow to good use if you rotate it so that the pillow supports your neck by placing the fat part under your chin. Spritzing it with some lavender oil, a natural sleep aid, will also help your brain understand it’s time to shut down and nod off.

Consider investing in a thin sleeping bag liner or blanket that you can use instead of the staticky, you-don’t-know-where-it’s-been complimentary blanket the airlines have available. You know it’s clean and you’ll sleep better if you’re not shivering from the cold recycled air.

The cheapest, easiest thing to bring on board to help you get some sleep could be a baseball cap. When the bill is pulled down over your eyes, it’ll block light and cover your entire face. Add some noise-canceling headphones with white noise, and you’ll have sweet dreams for the duration of your flight.

How do you get to sleep on a plane? Or do you? Share your tricks with us in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Stanley Wood (Flickr, Creative Commons)