For many, the idea of falling asleep on a plane is more urban myth than reality but if you do manage to get a little shut eye, bragging right are just one of the many benefits. Here, we round up 20 (relatively) easy tricks that will have you counting sheep in no time.
1. Fly at Night
This one is a bit of a no brainer but whenever possible, try to fly at night. The reasons are obvious. First, this is when you're most likely to be tired and second, the lack of sunlight and darker cabin will make it feel like a much more natural process.
RELATED: 10 things to do in the daytime that will help you fall asleep fast.
2. Research your Seat
Not sure where to sit? Check out Seat Guru. The online site features maps of cabin interiors for pretty much every airline with a colour-coded rating that tells you where the best (and worst) places are to sit on the plane. Seats are rated based on customer reviews, which you can read by clicking on each seat.
The best seat of all? First class. Here are 17 tips to help you get upgraded to first class.
3. Pick a Side
Picture yourself in your bed at home. Do you tend to sleep on the left side or the right? If it's the right, try and pick a seat on the same side as your bed preference. It may seem silly but positioning yourself in the same way as you do at home will help better ease you into sleep. Also consider your typical sleep position. If you tend to sleep on your side you might want to pick a window seat so you can lean on the wall.
4. Dress Comfortably
Skip the heels and fancy work clothes. If you're planning to sleep on the plane you need to dress the part and fly in comfort. No one wants to see your jammies but some loose fitting clothing in soft, natural materials will help get your body prepared for some Zs. Bring something to change into right before you land so you will feel fresh (and refreshed) once you arrive at your destination.
5. Pack a Pashmina
Planes can get chilly and no one wants to be forced to use that questionable blanket. Do yourself a favour and pack a pashmina that you can use to get cozy. Also, a pashmina is always a great thing to pack as it doubles as a great, stylish cover-up regardless of where your destination is.
6. Skip the Alcohol
Contrary to popular belief, a glass of wine will not help you fall into a deep slumber. Instead it will dehydrate you and leave you with a wicked hangover once you land--blame the cabin pressure. Your best bet is to stick with water or any drinks that steer clear of sugar or caffeine so that nothing stands between you and your rest. Plus, you'll avoid any embarrassing drunk tweets.
7. Reverse Your Neck Pillow
Ever notice how your head tends to flop down as you fall asleep, snapping you back awake? This is such an easy fix! Grab a standard neck pillow and turn it around so that the opening is at the back. Doing so will prop up your chin and keep your head supported. Sweet dreams.
8. Block Your Senses
One of the biggest things preventing you from sleeping on the plane is all of the distractions. Even if you wear a sleep mask you’ll still be able to hear everything going on around you and smell the food as it makes its way through the plane. Block out distractions by blocking off your senses with a pair of earplugs and a few drops of ailment-curing essential oil (like lavender for sleep) on your neck pillow and leave your imagination take care of the rest.
9. Take a Pill
Though sleep medication should always be a last resort, if all else fails you might not have any other choice. Reach for a natural option first like lavender or witch hazel before upgrading to Gravol or doctor prescribed sleep medications.
The unfortunate truth about flying is that the better your seat, the better odds you'll be able to fall asleep. If you can't afford the jump to business or first class, and none of these tricks to get bumped to first class work, upgrade yourself to an emergency exit seat with extra leg room or cross your fingers for a half-booked plane.
11. Stick to Your Nightly Rituals
See more: bored on a plane? Do these 20 things.
12. Read Something Dry
13. Listen to Sleepy Tunes
Don't try this on a plane: 10 reasons you should be sleeping buck naked.
14. Support Your Lower Back
15. Stow Away Your Carry-on Bag
16. Don’t Watch the Movie
17. Look for an Empty Row
See more: 13 flight attendant secrets you ought to know.
18. Keep Your Feet Comfortable
RELATED: 12 expert tips for staying stress-free all day long.