How to Sleep On a Bus: Tips for Comfort, Safety, and Ease

Sleep is critical to the human body, irrespective of your age. It not only helps your cells recover but it’s an excellent way to recharge those batteries and even avoid the onset of certain diseases. With this in mind, you may be wondering how to sleep comfortably on a coach bus, especially if you have a long-distance trip planned ahead. 

Luckily, at Bus Connection you can not only avail of highly comfortable charter buses but also keep in mind some of our tips for sleeping on the bus with comfort, safety, and ease. So, without further ado, here’s how to prepare for your long-distance bus trip and all while getting the necessary sleep that you need.  

1. Invest in Sleep Comfort with a Travel Pillow and Eye Mask

“Well begun is half done,” as the saying goes. And this is nowhere more appropriate than when you’re trying to figure out how to sleep on a charter bus. Preparing the essentials before your bus journey is a smart and important step to ensuring your comfort during your trip. That’s why purchasing a travel pillow and an eye mask beforehand is absolutely critical. 

With a travel pillow, you will prevent yourself from having neck aches and pains due to straining to get comfortable. Meanwhile, placing an eye mask over your eyes will help ensure that your eyes are not constantly exposed to the lights of street lamps or oncoming traffic during the night. As such, your sleep quality is likely to improve significantly.

2. Opt for Comfy Attire and Have a Blanket Handy

When you’re taking an overnight bus, it’s also essential to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and bring along a travel blanket with you. Tight clothes can stifle your body’s blood circulation and you’ll feel quite uncomfortable. Meanwhile, loose-fitting clothes will ensure you can move and stretch your body, as needed, throughout the night. 

As for bringing a travel blanket along with you, it’s important to remember that long-distance coaches usually turn on the air conditioning, meaning that you’re likely to get quite cold on the bus. Also, as your body relaxes just before you fall asleep, that’s when the cold air typically hits you. Having a blanket with you will ensure that you manage the temperature and that you don’t catch a chill, even if you have your own controllable air vent above you. 

3. Stay Hydrated and Nourished with Water and Snacks

It’s easy to forget about hydration during a long-distance bus journey, but this is something you should plan ahead for in order to experience greater levels of comfort. Keeping your body hydrated will ensure that your body continues to function well even though you may be in a sitting position for long periods of time. 

Therefore, don’t forget to bring your water bottle along with you. Also, carrying snacks with you is an essential way of keeping your energy levels balanced. However, you should avoid fatty/oily or caffeinated foods and rather opt for healthy eating choices such as nuts, granola bars, and/or crackers. This will help ensure that you do not feel bloated and worse, nauseous while traveling.  

4. Select a Mid-Bus Seat for a Smoother Ride

If you think that the seating on the bus doesn’t matter, think again. Riding at the back of a charter tends to be the bumpiest experience, which will significantly affect your ability to fall asleep and remain asleep. Meanwhile, if you choose to sit up front, the lights from the oncoming cars are likely to be disturbing and distracting. For the greatest levels of comfort and for a smoother and more stable ride that makes it easy for you to sleep, choose the best seat on the coach by opting for a seat somewhere in or near the middle.

Now, should you choose a window or aisle seat? It depends on what gear you’re packing. If you have a travel pillow, a window seat might actually be a better option because you’ll be able to take in the vibrations from it, while you have a comfortable place to rest your head.

5. Embrace Quiet with Noise-Canceling Headphones

Motion sickness is an unfortunate side-effect of overnight bus journeys for some of the more sensitive travelers. It occurs when there is a disconnect between what the brain perceives as motion and the body’s experience of motion. That’s why reading a book on a bus or looking at the screen of a digital device is not recommended because it will confuse the brain with conflicting signals coming from the eyes. 

Instead, use noise-canceling earplugs to listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or calming music as you create your very own personal quiet zone on the bus. Many people wonder how to sleep on a school bus especially when traveling with kids’ groups and school groups. And the answer lies in ensuring you create your own cosy space to drown out the noise and relax on your journey. 

6. Consider the Use of Sleep Aids for Better Rest

Some people may struggle to maintain a regular sleep cycle during a long-distance bus journey. This is where getting help from sleep aids can come in handy. However, it’s highly advisable to speak to your healthcare provider before you choose an over-the-counter medication that will make you drowsy. Examples of these include Zzzquil, Dream Water, as well as melatonin supplements. One thing to consider before you do so though is what side effects they have. 

 Some may not only make you drowsy but nauseous, too. To avoid this situation, make sure you get the right medication to help you sleep without any unwanted side effects. There are, of course, natural options such as herbal supplements that can help you fall asleep with more ease. It’s all about consulting with your medical professional to ensure that you find the right solution for your body’s needs. 

7. Steer Clear of Heavy, Unhealthy Meals Pre-Travel

Another thing to consider before you climb onto the bus for the long-distance trip that will help you sleep better is avoiding heavy and unhealthy meals prior to your journey. Not only can these types of meals make you feel nauseous but they can also create physical ailments such as stomach cramps and general discomfort. Remember that the more comfortable you are, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep smoothly.

8. Have Some Light Snacks

Having covered what not to eat, we won’t let you go hungry either! From our extensive experience in driving thousands of passengers thousands of miles across the country, we have noted that eating light and healthy foods before you try to sleep will be light on the body and help you drift off, too. Examples of snacks that you may wish to try include crackers, nuts, fresh vegetables, and dried fruits. 

9. Skip Late-Day Caffeine for a Peaceful Slumber

As tempting as it may be to drink caffeinated drinks such as coffee or energy drinks prior to or on your journey, remember that caffeine can seriously disrupt your sleep patterns, especially during the bus journey. As such, these types of drinks should be avoided and you should supplement these with water or fresh juices instead. 

10. Get Moving at Rest Stops Pre-Sleep

Naturally, there will be rest stops along the way on your journey – whether it’s to fill up the bus with gas to keep on going or to ensure the comfort of the passengers by giving them the opportunity to stretch their legs. Don’t miss your chance! Whenever the bus stops, even if it’s for a couple of minutes, the benefits of stretching and doing light exercise at rest stops before you sit back on the bus cannot be underestimated. 

 You’ll help your body’s blood circulation improve and give your body the movement it needs to ensure that you don’t stay fixated in one position for too many hours at a time. Doing these stretches and light exercises before you settle down to sleep will significantly help improve your sleep, too. 

11. Dim Lights and Screen Time for Better Sleep

To ensure you get comfortable enough so that your body can get to sleep, you need to avoid distractions such as bright lights. One of the biggest culprits of being unable to sleep is spending time on your smartphone or on an electronic device. The screens on these devices are usually bright and can disturb your sleep pattern. Therefore, make sure to dim your personal light and avoid the bright lights of electronic devices to help better prepare your body for sleep. 

12. Secure Your Belongings for Worry-Free Rest

If you are carrying something valuable with you on your long-distance bus journey, it is only natural that you will be worried about its safety. This is why securing your precious items before your bus takes off is a good idea. Ideally, because the underside compartment of a bus is not opened until the final destination, keeping your valuable items there is a good idea. When your belongings are safe, you can sleep without worrying. Alternatively, if your valuables are smaller and on the bus with you, make sure you secure them properly in the overhead compartment above your seat.

13. Find Your Sweet Spot for Sleeping

Finding a comfortable position for sleeping on a charter may seem like a distant dream, but it is possible and it is highly advisable. You have several options to choose from when doing this. The first is to recline your seat backward, if the coach allows for this, and then lay back and rest. The other option is to sit with your knees in front of you while you slouch over them. Whichever option you choose, the important thing is to ensure that your body is as comfortable and relaxed as possible so that you can go to sleep more easily. 

14. Aim for a Double Seat for Extra Space

Although this suggestion is subject to seat availability, if it’s possible, try to secure a double seat. This will give you more space to stretch out your body and lie down even in order to get some sleep. The extra space may not always be available but if it is, it’s worth opting for this option, especially on a long-distance overnight bus journey. 

15. Pack Warm Layers and a Cozy Blanket

Because temperatures on a bus can vary, it’s essential to bring warm clothing on the bus with you. Whether it’s a jacket, a sweater, or a warm blanket – ensuring that you are warm and comfortable will help your body ease into sleep mode that much faster. 

16. Kick Off Your Shoes and Pad Your Back for Comfort

Another suggestion we can offer for your long-distance bus journey is to take off your shoes. Feet tend to bloat up during long hours of inactivity, meaning that eventually, your shoes will start feeling quite tight and uncomfortable. Also worth remembering is to bring some kind of padding or a cushion to support your back to make your seat more sleep-friendly. 

17. Wear Comfortable Pants

Finally, it’s about ensuring smooth and easy blood circulation so that your body can relax faster and get a good night’s sleep easier. The best way to do this is to wear comfortable clothing such as sweatpants when planning to sleep well on a bus. Remember that clothing such as jeans and/or belts restrict blood flow especially when you are seated in a sitting position for a long period of time and this will cause you discomfort, meaning that your sleep may be disturbed. 

Key Takeaways

With our coaches at Bus Connection, one thing that you will always be assured of is the high levels of attention and care we put into your comfort during your long-distance bus journey. With amenities on board such as private air vents and lights, power sources, reclining seats, and extensive luggage space, you will never have to worry about how your trip will pan out. 

And remember that by being as prepared as possible prior to your journey, you can actually get a good night’s rest and arrive at your destination as fresh and reenergized as possible. If you have always wondered about how to get some shuteye on a bus, this article offered a wide range of tips to help you do that. Make sure you prepare yourself as best as possible prior to the trip and your journey to your final destination will be a smooth and comfortable one. 


Is it possible to sleep on a bus?

It is definitely possible to fall asleep on a long bus ride. However, it requires prior preparation and a bit of extra planning to ensure you are as comfortable and relaxed as possible so that your trip is comfortable and smooth all the way.

Why is it so hard to sleep on a bus?

One of the things that make it hard to sleep comfortably on a charter is noise and conversations between other passengers. Another factor that can affect your rest on the bus is the continuous motion as the wheels of the bus are in constant contact with the road, which may be bumpy at times. Finally, you may experience difficulties getting a night’s sleep on a bus because of the conflicting signals being sent to your brain from your body and eyes. On the one hand, your eyes are detecting motion while on the other, your body is sitting still. Since these signals can confuse your brain, this can sometimes make it difficult to sleep although it is possible with the right levels of preparation.

What position should you sleep in on a bus?

You should either try to recline your seat back and lay down with your back and neck as supported and comfortable as possible, or you should lean forward with your head over your knees if the space on the bus allows for it.

How do you sit comfortably on a charter bus?

To sit comfortably on a bus, make sure that you are not wearing tight or uncomfortable clothing. Using an eye mask to block out lights as well as a neck pillow to keep your head from flailing about are also good practices to follow.

How can I sleep on a bus without neck pain?

To avoid neck pain after a long bus journey, be sure to bring a neck pillow with you. It will keep your neck secure and this will make it easier to fall asleep more easily.

Where is the best place to sleep on a bus?

The best place to sleep on a bus is somewhere in the middle. Sitting at the back, you are more likely to feel the bumps on the road while sitting in front will mean your eyes are exposed to the lights of oncoming traffic.