One Man's Viral Tip for Sleeping on a Plane: Philosophy Lectures

Experienced travelers on Reddit swear that it works every time.

Restless travelers like myself will know this well. Sleeping through a long-haul flight is the ultimate goal and the true purpose of the flight itself, as well as the real utmost satisfaction and solution to all of your problems. It just does the trick—prevents you from getting fidgety, allows you to actually rest, and keeps you from counting down the minutes to the arrival at your destination.

The problem, however, is familiar. Falling asleep (and staying asleep) on planes seems to be one of the hardest tasks ever assigned to humankind. The final boss of travel, if you will. But thou shall not worry—someone on Reddit decided to unveil the secret, and shared a very useful tip on how to successfully sleep on planes.

A proud member of the frustrated travelers community (to which I proudly belong) decided to come out in the light to vent and seek help. "Taking transatlantic flights which typically fly overnight, I have not yet found a comfortable way to sleep when there are 2 or 3 people in a row of 3 seats," they wrote, and proceeded to list all their failed sleeping attempts. "Has anyone figured something out? I've almost wanted to get on the floor at points."

Suddenly, a light in the dark. With roughly 4,500 upvotes, the most-liked comment provided a tip involving headphones and philosophy. "Downloaded a podcast consisting of philosophy lectures from the University of Oxford last summer on a night flight from London to CDMX," the praised user, who goes by Skaftetryne77 on Reddit, wrote. "Started on the lecture on Kant. Never slept so fast, so long and so well in an economy seat."

Apparently, it works—and folks have been successfully testing this out for a while. After the initial philosophy hint, a slew of comments flooded in, some simply agreeing with the user's take and others offering further advice on the matter.

"For anyone interested, make a playlist of this professor's lectures on YouTube," said one Redditor. "Covers all the great philosophers in history and he's the absolute best. Great speaker but still will knock your ass out." They then proceeded to share the YouTube link to a lecture by Michael Sugrue, which you can find right here.

Apparently, the sleepyhead community is already on top of it when it comes to Sugrue—and they're happy to tell you all about it. "You can find most of Sugrue's great [philosophy] lectures on Spotify as well under [the] Philosophy_stuff podcast," points out another user. "Source: I have listened to the first 15 minutes of them hundreds of times before bed."

And if neither the University of Oxford or Sugrue make you sleepy, the Reddit community has plenty of other philosophy recommendations in store for you. "The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps," suggests another user. "Over 400 episodes, each running 20-ish minutes. The host has an extremely mellow and calming voice. My go-to relaxation podcast."

So, there you have it. Travel pillows and Ambien, consider yourself warned. There's a new elite sleep-on-a-plane hack in town.

Looking for more travel tips?

Whether you need help sneaking weed onto a plane, finding an airport where you can sign up for PreCheck without an appointment, or making sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to when your flight is canceled, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for up-to-date travel hacks and all the travel news you need to help you plan your next big adventure.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.