10 Ways on How to Sleep on a Bus

how to sleep on a bus
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Commuting is one of the many ways to get to our destination. Whether we go to work, go home, or to travel. And riding a bus is just one of the means of transportation that we take to reach our destination. For every country, there are different ways of commuting. But a bus is always present wherever you go. Long bus rides are very tedious and can sometimes make you feel uncomfortable. But we sometimes don’t have any choice because it is the only way to reach our destination. The longer the bus ride, the more we get uncomfortable. And it sometimes exhausts us because what we do is just sit for a long period of time.

Public transportation is one of the most convenient ways for us to reach our point of destination. There are pros and cons about it. And if you opt to travel from one place to another at a cheaper price, riding a bus is the best option. But you will have to sacrifice and settle with the small leg spaces for a few hours. Traveling is also sacrificing your time and comfort just to reach your destination. Most especially if you are traveling to a far place. Luckily, modern day traveling has become easier than it used to be. There are different ways for us to travel long hours overcoming the discomfort of commuting. Most especially if you decide to go for long bus rides.

Long bus rides can make you feel dizzy and sleepy. And our body is not designed to sleep while we are seated. But we can’t sometimes help it we tend to sleep while we are seated on a bus. It may be a little bit comfortable if it’s your first time. This is why there are different travel accessories that can help you sleep comfortably whenever you travel.

Here are 10 ways for you to sleep comfortably on a bus

  1. Wear comfortable clothes

Before you travel, make sure that you are wearing comfortable clothes. Travelling can be hectic and can make or break your day, depending on the travel process. And if you are already expecting longer hours on a bus, you should be wearing soft-fabric kind of clothes. This will allow your skin to breathe and allow you to move however you want. And whenever you feel sleepy, you can sleep comfortably with your clothes on. As if you are sleeping in your pajamas.

Here are some go-to-travel-wear for you:

  • T-shirt
  • Sweatpants
  • Jeggins (for women)
  • Cardigan/Jacket/Sweater
  • Soft-fabric pants
  • Running shoes or adventure sandals
  1. Choose the right kind of bus

Before purchasing a ticket you have to option to choose between an air-conditioned bus or the open-window type of buses. If you are traveling a short distance, you can go for the open-window type of bus. But if you are traveling a longer distance, go for the air-conditioned bus. Also, not all buses have the same kind of seats. Since you will be traveling for long hours it is best for you to choose a bust where their seats are clean and comfortable for you to sit for hours.

  1. Find the right seat

Finding the right seat on a bus is just like purchasing a seat on a plane. But when it comes to bus rides, you will get to choose your seat once you are already on the bus. And you have to think quickly for there are people who are also trying to figure out which seat they will take. There are buses where there are two or three seats that are next to each other.

Aisle seat

There are a few advantages if you prefer to sit near the aisle. You will have more leg space for you to stretch. It’s going to be easier for you to access your things because of space. You can also easily get out if you want to go to the bathroom (if the bus has any) or stand up easily.

Middle seat

There are only a few people who prefer sitting in the middle seat. But you can also do different ways to improvise in making your sleep comfortable. You can lay your head on the left or right shoulder for the person beside you. Or you can place a soft jacket in front of you and lean on it. But the only problem about the middle seat is that space is not as the seat near the aisle.

Window seat

The window seat is one of the top picks for travelers. One of the reasons why it is one of the favorites is that they get to see the view outside. You can also improvise your sleeping position. You can lean on the window or on the chair right in front of you.

Wherever seat you decide to sit on, as long as you are comfortable with it you are good to go.

  1. Make sure the bus will go to a safe route

The road going towards your destination may vary. There are shortcuts and there are longer ways. But most of the time there is only one way to reach the destination that you need to go. This is why you need to make sure that the route that your bus is taking should be safe. Always research and ask the locals about the accident-prone areas. Knowing the route can make you feel confident that you will be safe during the bus ride. And this is also for you to sleep comfortably without worrying about any accidents that might happen during your trip.

  1. Find the right position

In bed, we always have our favorite sleeping position. Either we sleep on our back or on our sides. But when it comes traveling and sleeping, they might not come hand in hand. But there are different ways for you to sleep comfortably even if you are seated on a bus. Below are the different positions you can try if you want to sleep even more comfortable on the bus.

Both legs up

Bringing both legs up is advantageous for small people. Because they can comfortably cross their legs on their chair or lift them up and place it on the corner (if they are flexible enough). Tucking yourself in like a shrimp is also one way in making yourself comfortable when you sleep on a bus.

Head on someone’s shoulder

If you are traveling with somebody, it will be easier for you to get a comfortable sleep. All you need to do is to lean your head on their shoulder and sleep. It will also be an advantage for them to fall asleep as well because they can also lay their head on yours. Now it is a win-win situation where both of you get to sleep comfortably.

Head on someone’s lap

Another advantage if you are traveling with a travel buddy is that you can place your head on their lap and sleep. The only thing that you need to worry according to sleep.org is the bumpy rides. There is a tendency where you will feel nauseous and might hurt your neck during bumpy rides. But still, sleeping on someone’s lap is one of the most comfortable ways to sleep when traveling.

Leaning your head on the window or the chair in front of you

If you are traveling can add more thrill to your adventure. But we cannot escape the feeling of being sleepy during our travel. Traveling alone can also make you feel uncomfortable when you lean your head on the shoulder of the person next to you. Leaning your head on the window is one of the best ways for you to do if you want to sleep comfortably on the bus. That is if you are comfortable if you are sitting on the window side. But you can also place your jacket on the chair in front of you for you to lean your head comfortably on it.

Reclining your chair

Almost all buses have reclining seats. And if you feel tired and sleepy, all you can do is adjust your seat the way you want it. Reclining chairs are made to make sure that even if you are traveling, you can still sleep comfortably as if you are lying down.

  1. Bring sleeping essentials

Sleeping essentials are very important if you are traveling. It can help make you feel comfortable whenever you are traveling. Even if the journey is uncomfortable, these essentials will rescue you.


If the bus is too bright, you can make use of an eye patch to block out the light that makes you uncomfortable when you sleep. An eye patch is best used when you are traveling when the sun is up. And in order for you to get a comfortable sleep, blocking out the light from your eyes is one thing. Ideally you get to have a good quality sleep when the room is dark. And you can’t do this when you are traveling. Because you are not in control the brightness of the sun or even the amount of light that is being lit in the bus.


If you can’t handle the noise and you just want to have a peaceful sleep when you are traveling, earplugs can help you block the noise out. It is easier if you have music with you and just make use of your headphones. But if you don’t feel like listening to music, earplugs can help you minimize the noise around you.

Travel blanket

A travel blanket can be the best thing that you will carry when traveling. There will be times that you will feel cold and you regret not bringing a scarf or a jacket. Travel blankets are made to be small and convenient for any travelers out there. And if you want to have a warm and cozy sleep on the bus, a travel blanket is what you will need.

Neck pillow

Last but not the least, a neck pillow is one of the most important sleeping essential that you will need. You don’t want to leave your neck hanging if you fall asleep when sitting. A neck pillow can make sure your head will have something to lean on when you fall asleep. It will prevent you from having neck pain and can make sure that you will be able to wake up with full of energy without any pain on your body.

  1. Keep your breath fresh

Traveling for hours also means a few bathroom breaks. There will only a few buses stop with a decent bathroom. This is why it is advisable for you to carry a breath mint or a mouth spray whenever you travel. Also, sleeping without brushing your teeth can lead to a bad smell of your mouth. Another thing about carrying a breath mint is that it can make you feel fresh. Sleeping without brushing your teeth is unhealthy and can bother the person next to you the moment you start talking.

  1. Keep your valuables safe in an anti-theft bag

“Theft around the world continues to rise and among the victims of theft, tourists have always been easy targets for thieves.” According to Han, Siyuan & Sumin Koo, Helen. (2014).

Anti-theft travel bag design: Advantage, interest, and satisfaction. International Journal of Fashion Design. In order for you to have a peaceful sleep whenever you travel, it is best to keep your valuables in an anti-theft bag. There are different kinds of travel bags that can help prevent thieves from stealing your things. And as stated in expertworldtravel.com anti-theft bags are not just made for traveling, it is also for fashion and as well as making sure your things are safe from being stolen.

  1. Use noise-canceling headphones

Peace and quiet are what we want whenever we are tired from hours of traveling. But if you can’t help the noise around you, it is best to use noise-canceling headphones when you are traveling. Calm music has the ability to make you fall asleep.

And according to sleepadvisor.org, music boosts sleep quality and quantity. It can also help make you feel relaxed no matter how hectic and noisy the surrounding is. If you are in a bus filled with noisy children or people talking about gossip, listen to your favorite tracks and allow yourself to fall asleep.

  1. Take some motion sickness pill if needed

If you are not used to traveling and you get sick a lot when you do, try taking a motion sickness pill. The thing about this kind of pill is that it can help relieve your nauseous feeling whenever you are traveling. And one of the side effects is making you feel sleepy. It is actually a good sign if you are sleepy so that you will not be able to feel the movement of the bus you are riding. It can also help keep you from vomiting or feeling sick when you are traveling.

The advantage of sleeping on the bus is for you to have enough energy as you get to your destination. It can also help you pass the time. Instead of sitting on your seat, staring at nothing or at the horizon, you will be able to rest yourself during the travel. Always be ready and pack all the necessary things that you need when you travel.

Like food and water, sleeping essentials, and others. It can help in keeping yourself asleep during the travel and at the same time making you feel comfortable when you sleep. It is not easy to sleep in a seated position. And it is more difficult to sleep when you are not lying down. This is why it is up for you to find the most comfortable way for you to sleep on a bus. But thanks to the different kinds of traveling kit, you will be able to sleep comfortably wherever you go. Most especially if you travel a lot or your work is related to traveling.

Traveling is fun. But the process of commuting and long bus rides can be tiresome. There are a lot of people out there where their profession is about traveling. We already have travel writers, travel bloggers, travel photographers, and many more. They have experienced different kinds of pros and cons about traveling in a plane, bus, train, and by boat.

But all of the efforts in traveling will pay off as soon as you get to your destination. And in order for you to enjoy the place that you are going, enough rest is what you need. This is for you to have enough energy to do the things that you want to do as soon as you reach the place that you are going.

Do you have any more tips on how to sleep comfortably on the bus? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Article reference:

  1. https://www.sleep.org/articles/how-to-sleep-better-on-a-bus/
  2. https://theplanetd.com/night-bus-travel-11-tips-for-safety-survival-and-sleep/
  3. https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-of-the-best-positions-to-sleep-in-a-bus
  4. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-12259/motion-sickness-oral/details
  5. https://www.sleepadvisor.org/listening-to-music-while-sleeping/
  6. https://expertworldtravel.com/pacsafe-vs-travelon-backpacks/
  7. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267397351_Anti-theft_travel_bag_design_Advantage_interest_and_satisfaction
  8. https://www.flightcentre.co.uk/uk-travel-blog/travel-essentials-comfortable-flights-sleep
  9. https://www.travelandleisure.com/style/fashion/comfy-travel-outfit-ideas
  10. https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-of-the-best-positions-to-sleep-in-a-bus

Written by:

Katerina Legaspi. A travel photographer and writer. She writes for Discovery World and National Geographic. Legaspi is also the Editor in Chief for Arrivedo.com. She is also a mountaineer and an environmentalist. Loves to be outdoors capturing landscapes and the beauty of every city or town she goes to.


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