This blog post was updated on April 9, 2020.

If we said we could give you the ultimate, foolproof sleep solution for getting a good night’s rest on red-eye flights, you’d be inclined to take such cheap flights more often, right? After all, they can offer plenty of benefits like saving you money, faster check-ins, shorter security lines, less traffic on the way to the airport and more. While we can’t guarantee you the perfect slumber on them, we can make a few suggestions. So try counting on the following ideas instead of counting sheep when you rock the red-eye. (Incidentally, if you find yourself nodding off as you read this post, take it with you.)

Pamper Yourself

Once you’ve done all of the things that are critical to survive a red-eye flight like booking a nonstop one, reserving a window seat away from the galley and lavatory, and picking super comfy (but nice) clothing to wear on the plane, pack your self-pampering kit. It may be obvious, but there’s no better way to get through what is generally regarded as a tough flight than to be good to yourself. How you do that is entirely up to you since you know what you like. Certainly, some basic items to include are an eye mask, neck pillow, water bottle, noise cancelling headphones, moisturizing creams and gels, etc.  But remember, each one has to work harmoniously with the other to best help you cocoon. For instance, if you’ve gone through the trouble of finding a super luxurious neck pillow, you don’t want to bring a cheap eye mask that’s going to feel rough around your eyes.

While your kit should help you snooze, it doesn’t have to be a snooze. Each year brings new gadgets, formulas, and products for helping you sleep tight on a flight, and every red-eye is a perfect chance to see if they work. For instance, you might want to throw into your bag that new Ostrich Napping Pillow you got for a holiday gift. (If it makes you look a little like the Creature from The Black Lagoon or the Elephant Man…well…at least you know that no one will dare wake you!).  Some of these sleep accessories look so comfy that they alone could almost inspire you to want to check out cheap overnight flights for your next trip!

Let Yourself Be Pampered

“Heaven, I’m in heaven.” If you hear that opening line of Cheek to Cheek as sung…well…quite heavenly by Frank Sinatra when your flight attendant asks you if you’d like something to drink, it’s a very good thing. Flight attendants can do a lot to make your red-eye flight more pleasant from giving you extra pillows and blankets to finding you a better seat. So, if they ask you if you need anything else…go ahead let yourself be pampered. There’s nothing like pampering on top of pampering!

Relax with Your ‘’Round Midnight’ Playlist

Some music to help set the mood for slumber is always helpful. You can listen to whatever soothes you, but listening to a ‘Round Midnight playlist is a wonderful way of getting drowsy and beginning to doze. Composed by the jazz pianist Thelonious Sphere Monk, this tune is a jazz standard that has been played by plenty of musicians from Dizzy to Monk to Miles and sung by singers from Chet to Amy. It’s a mellow song that’ll put you in a mellow mood as it reveals the tender magic of midnight, which is when it’s best appreciated, of course. Listen, for example, to how Milt Jackson handles it so enchantingly in the following music video.

Watch a Bob Ross ‘Joy of Painting’ Video

Image via flickr. CC BY 2.0Ron Frazier

Instead of  watching those in-flight action movies, press the Play button on your playlist of Joy of Painting videos. With his cushiony head of hair that’s reminiscent of a comfortable pouf; his whispery, ever-so-soothing, hypnotic voice (“happy trees, happy trees”); and his softly-scratchy paintbrush strokes that say “Here comes Mr. Sandman,” he can send people into the deepest of deep sleeps in about 5 minutes.  An artist and teacher who passed away years ago, he helped countless people learn how to paint, but also, apparently, helped just as many calm down and get to sleep.  And he continues to do so today through his videos.

If you don’t have any of them on your phone, no worries, just download the Calm app, which provides his sleep stories like “Happy Little ZZZs.”

Dream Only the Sweetest of Dreams

To ensure a solid, uninterrupted sleep, make sure that you’re only thinking about the good things in life as you drift off. For starters, think about all the savings you’re getting by taking the red-eye. Not just the cash you’ve saved because you scored one of the cheapest of the cheap flights; not just about saving on a night in hotel; not just about the big smile on your boss’s face because you brought the trip in under budget, but about all the time and hassle you saved yourself too. Red-eye flights can have their advantages if you know how to think about them – and how to get to sleep!

Now that you know how to sleep through one, check out our post on why you should look for cheap red-eye flights for your next trip.

Hey, Hey WAKE UP!  And tell us how do you rock the red eye?  Let us know in the comments.


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About The Author

Joseph Decibus writes for CheapOair and is also an avid traveler who occasionally writes about his trips. He looks forward to informing readers periodically about interesting places and events throughout the world.