Unless you’re dozing off on your first class lounger after a few glasses of complimentary champagne, flying long haul can be a sleepless experience. Cramped seats, loud children, elbow friendly neighbours and turbulence can all combine leaving you reaching your agitated and groggy as you reach your destination. However, here at Multitrip, we’ve put our well traveled heads together to come up with our trade secrets for getting some valuable shut eye while you fly!

Before You Fly:

Are you very particular about what side of the bed you sleep on? Consider this when you’re booking your next flight. If you sleep on the right side of your bed at home, then a window seat on the right side of the cabin will facilitate better sleep while you fly. Book your seats early so you don’t end up semi consciously bopping from one shoulder to another in the middle seat of a middle aisle for 8 hours.

Image of a passenger looking outside of a plane window

Go Tired: 

Sometimes we can be too prepared for a holiday! We’ve packed everything we could possibly need and get far more than our usual 8 hours so we can be well rested for the day ahead. Although this may seem like a good idea, it can work against us once we board. How many times have we found ourselves unable to settle and spent our flights pacing the aisles or watching 7+ episodes of Modern Family. Our advice is to not worry about getting too much sleep the night before. This way, by the time you’ve checked in your bag, gone through security and muscled your way into your seat, you’ll be out before you know it! We also suggest changing the time on your watch to that of your destination once you board the plane. This will allow you to ensure you don’t suffer too badly from jet lag once you arrive.

Read a book/magazine: 

Ever find yourself up until 2am scrolling on your phone before going to sleep. This is because the bright screen can trick your body into thinking it is day time. The same goes for laptops and in flight TV’s. Bring a book or magazine (the in flight one will do) and begin to read these after take off. Reading naturally makes us more inclined to doze off and so hopefully, after the first two chapters of the new James Patterson thriller, you’ll be out like a light.

Image of a woman's hands as she reads a book

Sleeping Accessories:

Everyone has at some point found themselves blowing up some manner of inflatable U shaped pillow in the departure lounge before leaving the departures gate. Although many end up being more cumbersome than helpful, there are options available that will aide your slumber while you fly. Business Insider even wrote a guide on which pillows you should consider according to the way you sleep (with some bizarre looking suggestions). Although sleeping masks are provided on many long haul carriers, it’s best to pack one of these in your carry on to throw on if the cabin is very bright. Don’t have a sleep mask? Don’t worry as this can also be achieved with the peak of a sports cat.


Unless you’re trying to blag your way into first class or Business, leave your formal wear and tight fitting clothes at home. Wearing comfortable clothing is absolutely essential for any long haul flight. We don’t recommend throwing your PJ’s on before you check in, but loose fitting casual clothes will facilitate sleeping better than others. We don’t normally sleep with our shoes on at home, and so slipping yours off mid flight will help trick your body into thinking its time to take a break. However, make sure your shoes and socks are clean as nobody wants to be that person. 

Image of clothes hanging on a clothing hangers. What you wear can be crucial to sleeping on flights


Just one last one before we go! This is one of the oldest sleep remedies that exists and has been used by Irish Mammies for decades! Lavender is a great natural alternative to many of the pharmaceutical products that people use to help them sleep. A faint dab of lavender on your travel pillow or loose fitting clothing will help to soothe you to sleep after take off.


Once you’ve followed these guidelines, the best you can do is try and relax. Flying long haul or short haul can be a stressful experience, especially if you’re hoping to get some good shut eye. Relaxing will give you the best chance at getting a few hours of kip before the fun can begin!

Although we don’t insure against sleepless flights, you can rest assured that your holiday is protected when you get one of our affordable Multitrip travel insurance policies!