Bright lights and loud announcements; buzzing neighbors and crying children; just enough legroom to truly suit your legs… Traveling by plane isn’t always the foremost comfortable experience, especially when you’re trying to sleep.
In the past month, I’ve taken a couple of red-eyes — both domestic and international — and was quickly reminded how complicated it is to get some sleep in the air.
After a rough six hours of moving and turning, I questioned — how do some individuals do it? To find a solution, I decided to turn to a reliable crowd of frequent flyers and discerning shoppers: my coworkers.
Truth is, there are some things about flying you can’t change.
The guy sitting next to you will decide to keep that bright overhead reading light-weight on the whole flight. Turbulence would possibly jolt you out of a good nap.
A flight attendant might have to wake you up for a number of reasons. While all of this is out of your control, you can get some of that control back with a little preparation and the right products on hand.
A hooded pillow for support and comfort
Head and neck support are actually vital for obtaining comfortable enough to sleep off on a flight.
But if you are sensitive to other stimuli like light and sound, you would possibly not be ready to nod off albeit your head is propped gently.
This soft pillow has a connected hood so you’ll be able to really exclude the distractions of your fellow passengers, the aisle lights, and also the hum of the cabin.
Unlike sleep masks, which may be restrictive and uncomfortable, the hood falls gently over your eyes and nearly tricks you into thinking you are underneath your covers at home. – Connie Chen, Insider Picks Reporter
A quality set of earplugs that assist you to get some peace and quiet
When I was researching for a story on earplugs more than 10 years ago, I found the ones by Etymotic Research to be my favorite.
Since then, I’ve taken these earplugs with me whenever I fly long-haul, to silence the engine noise and crying children (my fellow passengers would be wise to do the
same, to cancel out my snoring). Designed for musicians or anyone situated in loud environments and recommended by many audiologists, these Etymotic earplugs are comfortable to wear (the little handles may be bothersome for side sleepers) however let in only enough sound, just like the overhead announcement.
Unlike the cheap foam earplugs (those also work well in a pinch, as they’re easily found in any drugstore), these are reusable.- Les Shu, Insider Picks Guides Editor
A sleep mask blocking out bright light
I seldom bring a travel pillow on a flight because of finding them tough to hold, however I will not step on the plane without an eye mask.
The Bucky eye mask is my go-to for a variety of reasons, however, the main perk to this one is that I will open and close my eyes whereas it’s on due to the bubble-like shape of the product.
This also means if I actually have makeup on my eyelashes, it will not wear off or get messed up because it would with a conventional eye mask.
I appreciate that there’s a decent seal on the outer rim that fully seals out light, in conjunction with the ability to regulate the mask to suit my head.- Megan Foster, Insider Picks Intern
I usually don’t have any problem falling asleep with the lights on, however, something regarding the tough, artificial light on planes makes it not possible to keep my eyes closed for more than a few minutes. I love these sleep masks most for their distinctive form — they are contoured into somewhat of a protective bubble over your eyes.
Flat sleep mask tends to make my face feel somewhat suffocated, therefore I am pleased that this design lets me blink, open my eyes, feel a little more free in the eye area.- Remi Rosmarin, corporate executive Picks a reporter
A non-habit-forming sleep-aid helping you stay asleep for hours
I don’t take melatonin usually, however, once I am sick, NyQuil always helps me sleep better, therefore I figured ZzzQuil (from an identical brand) would be a good choice for a sleep-aid.
I wouldn’t recommend this for a fast flight since the active ingredient is a medication, which may leave you terribly drowsy.
But, if you are going to be within the air for eight hours or more, this may really assist you to fall, and stay, asleep.- Remi Rosmarin, Insider Picks reporter
A nice pair of noise-canceling headphones for blocking out loud sounds
Bose QuietComfort 25s (or any good noise-canceling headphones, they have newer ones) reduce the airplane noise, therefore, consider that it’s a lot of easier to induce to sleep or to play something
quiet and relaxing if that helps you doze off.- Adam Burakowski, Director of Commerce at Insider Picks
A supportive neck pillow
Let’s get the elephant off the plane — this travel pillow entirely resembles a neck brace.
But when it supports my neck and head so well and doesn’t add a ton of weight or space to my already over-stuffed carry-on, who really cares?
I’ve used this on long flights to Amsterdam and Hawaii, also shorter ones to Florida, and it’s prevented my neck from rolling around as if I was possessed and my fiancé ‘s shoulders from obtaining sore supporting my head — a win-win for both of us. – Jada Wong, Insider Picks Editor
Since traveling on an airplane can be really stressful and exhausted, especially for a business trip, it may be beneficial for you to get some of the essential supportive facilities in order to get the best of your airplane journey.
Have your great summer with a comfortable flight!