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How to sleep better in the air

Getting some shut eye on a flight is not always easy, which is why we have partnered with Sleep Expert, Professor Peter Eastwood from The University of Western Australia to create the Ultimate Sleep Guide, providing expert tips and advice on the science of inflight sleeping.

Read his top tips below, or learn more about how our state-of-the-art A350 is designed to enhance the quality of sleep on board and reduce jetlag, with quieter cabins, intelligent mood lighting, improved cabin pressure, humidity levels and more.

5 tips for improving your sleep during air travel

Dehydration can negatively affect sleep by causing your mouth and nose to become dry, setting you up for snoring during sleep and a parched throat on waking. Minimise these effects during flying by regularly consuming water, minimising alcohol consumption, and using eye drops and a face moisturiser. Coupled with the benefits of increased cabin humidity and pressure on Cathay Pacific’s A350, you can optimise your chances of having good quality sleep, reduce fatigue and improve your well-being.

What you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat can affect your sleep. Try to avoid large, fatty and sugary meals at any time when flying, but especially just before you are about to go to sleep. These foods are difficult to digest when you are sitting for long periods of time. There are plenty of dietary options on Cathay Pacific’s extended inflight menu. Eat light to help sleep tight!

Set your watch to the destination time and try to sleep at the appropriate time for your new location. The smart lighting on Cathay Pacific’s A350 flights help you sleep as it is programmed to reflect day-time and night-time at your destination. Passengers who sleep during the ‘dark hours’ become better adapted to the sleep and wake cycles needed at your new location.

Sleep requires you to be relaxed. Prolonged inactivity can sometimes result in sore or aching muscles of the back, arms and legs. Simple stretching exercises, such as flexing and extending the ankles at regular intervals while seated, and frequently contracting the calf muscles can relax them, plus increase blood flow and deliver oxygen to them.The A350’s wider economy seats provide more room to support relaxation and comfort on your flight, and also makes stretching easier to achieve. 

External noises can have a negative impact on sleep quality. Noise can prevent you from falling asleep initially, and sounds during sleep can cause you to wake. The use of ear plugs or noise-cancelling headphones can help minimise these noises. These strategies, together with the innovative noise reduction design of the A350 cabins serve to optimise your potential for good quality overnight sleep en route to your destination.

Make a booking

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Passengers departing the UK, and aged 12 to 15, are exempted from the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) Tax, effective 1 March 2016. Passengers booking online can request an APD Tax refund by contacting the local reservations office or Global Contact Centres.

Booking of more than six passengers is currently not available online. Please contact your local reservations office.

Booking of more than four passengers is currently not available online. Please contact your local reservations office.


Please note that for online bookings, infants under two will not occupy their own seat. To book an infant-occupied seat, or if your infant turns two during your trip, please contact your local reservations office.

Tooltip about travelling with children. Press enter to expand.
Tooltip about travelling with infants. Press enter to expand.