I have taken more red eye flights than I ever imagined I would. But because of that I have some hard earned red eye flight tips, and I’ve learned how to sleep on a red eye flight.
If you had asked me 3.5 years ago whether I would ever willingly take a red eye flight, I would’ve said no — absolutely, definitely no. But I didn’t yet live in Alaska, where most flights to the lower 48 leave over night. On the one hand, I get to live an outdoor-focused life on the Last Frontier. On the other hand, the tradeoff is that I have to travel to the lower-48 more than I’d like.
In the last seven months I’ve taken nine long red eye flights. You could say I’ve gotten used to them. And part of that was discovering red eye flight tips to make it just a little easier. And, since I highly value sleeping, learning how to sleep on a red eye was an even bigger deal.
Sleeping on a plane is in no way, shape or form comfortable. But there are ways to make it better and to help you be at least a little functional. Here are my favorites.
But first, before anything else: consider how you sleep best and book your seat accordingly. I sleep on my left side, so I always fly in the window seat on the left side of the plane so I lean on it.
Red Eye Flight Tips: How to Sleep on a Red Eye Flight
A good neck pillow. You’re going to spend more on this than seems reasonable, but it is by far the most important thing you’ll buy. You want something that’s packable and portable, but supportive. After much experimentation, and considering that I’m a window seat sleeper, I’ve picked the J-Pillow as my favorite neck pillow. It looks weird, but it’s definitely the most comfortable for overnight flights and it’s become key.