Whether you’re settling down for a full night’s sleep on a trip across the globe or just wanting an hours kip, there’s no denying that flights are always better if you manage to while away some time in the land of nod.

Some articles I’ve read recently on how to sleep on a plane (when prepping for a 4 hour flight, where I intended to sleep for the duration) all promote buying extra leg room, staying away from the toilets or if you really want some shut eye, taking a trip to the Dr’s for something a little stronger than your usual in-flight G & T. For those of you that would rather spend your money on souvenirs, cocktails and a trip to the hotel spa than a seat upgrade, we’ve put together our tried and tested sleep solutions for flying that don’t involve forking out, or knocking yourself out.

Cleanse, clean and close your eyes

Nothing makes you feel fresher for landing than fresh skin. Once you get settled in your seat, get out your favourite cleanser and moisturiser (travel sized of course) and take your make up off. If this is your usual bedtime routine it will put you straight in your bedtime happy place, you’ll feel more settled, calm and likely to sleep quicker. Oh and once the facial process is done, pop on an eye mask to block out any annoying reading lights.

Get cosy, straight away

I used to always pack my favourite, comfiest (possibly not most fashionable) jumper into my hand luggage for the flight. The plan would be to go to the toilet, change into some leggings and my jumper of dreams, and settle down. However this is yet to happen. It sits in my bag because it’s up in the stowaway, or the drinks trolley comes along and I don’t want to interrupt, or there is a toilet que, or I have the window seat and someone falls asleep in the aisle. No matter what my excuse, I end up cold (thank you aeroplane air con) and wide awake. For my last flight I did a quick outfit change at the gate and felt instantly comfortable after take-off, no goose bumps, and even managed a decent 2 hour sleep. Don’t worry about flight fashion, as long as you’re snug and warm, you have more chance of getting to sleep than your neighbour wearing the skin-tight jeans and stilettos.

Find the right lullaby

Music is known to have a calming effect (obviously genre dependent) so having the right soundtrack for your flight might be the key for your good night’s sleep. There are loads of albums available that are designed to help you drift off, but in most instances (or for me anyway) they are more of a nuisance. I find it more soothing to listen to something I know, have listened to 1000 times and that won’t distract me (my go to album is Birdy, after 4 nights in a room with a heavy snorer… it served me well!).

Or try this

  • Ask for the window seat. Even if you haven’t booked it, after all if you don’t ask you don’t get.
  • Avoid caffeine. As much as you love a skinny caramel latte it’s probably not going to help if you plan on getting some shut eye.
  • Invest in a good travel pillow. Don’t let your neck suffer because you don’t have one, although you might look a tad silly, they can be a life saver.

Don’t give up

It can be frustrating when everyone around you seems to be fast asleep and you’re struggling but just be persistent. Sweet dreams.