Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Washington Reagan Airport

Sleeping in Washington Reagan AirportWhether you are an experienced airport sleeper or new to the game, this sleep guide will give you the essential information to better prepare you for sleeping in Washington Reagan Airport.

Our guide is updated with the help of airport sleepers who tell us about their experiences at Washington Reagan Airport. If you have a tip to share, write a review to help us keep this sleep guide up-to-date!

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Sleeping in Washington Reagan Airport Overnight

While Washington Dulles Airport is technically open 24-hours, the Security checkpoints and Secure areas do close for the evening, likely by 11:00 PM. Even if you’re already inside Security, you may have to relocate to the pre-Secure area.

Locations & Seating

Sleeping in Reagan airport
Photo courtesy of a Guest traveller / 08Jun2014)

Most seating here is equipped with armrests, so don’t expect too much comfort. Maybe travellers report sleeping on the floor, particularly near the heat vents next to the windows. A sleep mat or sleeping bag will provide some much-needed cushion.

Rest Zones

At the time of this update, there are no designated rest zones within the airport.


Travellers report cold temperatures at night, no matter the time of year.  Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.


At the time of this update, we have not received reports from travellers related to terminal brightness.  Come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.


By day, expect the usual airport noise. At night, even if it’s quiet, announcements blare every 30 minutes to announce the time, so do pack earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones if you don’t want to be woken up every half-hour.


Unfortunately, there are no showers available to freshen up.

Food & Drink

When you get the midnight munchies or give up trying to sleep and need a coffee to stay awake, 24-hour food concessions are available. Check out these vendors: Dunkin’ Donuts and CNBC News, both located pre-Security near the walkway to Terminal A.


reagan airport hotelsPrefer some privacy and comfort? If you would like a good solid sleep between flights, you’ll have to leave the airport to reach a hotel, but several are within a quick 5-minute trip from the airport. See the hotel section in our Airport Guide for locations or visit Tripadvisor to find hotels deals at Reagan Airport.


reagan airport loungesWhile Washington Reagan Airport has a few lounges, none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you just want to relax in a comfortable seat, check out this list of lounges in our Washington Reagan Airport Guide that you can pay to access when flying certain airlines.

Buy a Lounge Pass

Security & Safety

Airport security don’t seem to mind overnight campers, as long as you stick to the pre-Security areas at night.

At the time of this update, we have no recent reports from travellers commenting on safety issues at Washington Reagan Airport. Older reports mentioned homeless folk wandering the pre-Security areas, but these travellers felt safe due to the security presence. As a precaution, here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe airport sleeping experience:

  • Know Where Security is Located. Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras in the spot you decide to stay the night. Ask security where it is safe to spend the night. They’ve probably seen many airport sleepers before you and they will direct you to a safe spot.
  • Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you are travelling alone we recommend that you sleep near other travellers or close to security.
  • Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with earphones and no ipod and a laptop bag strap and no laptop bag (or laptop). Same goes with important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body, so that no one can get them without waking you up.
  • Secure Your Bags. If you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something. If your bags have zippers turn the bag upside down (zippers to the floor) or sleep with your bag up against the wall, so that it would be hard for someone to access.
  • Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee and stay awake and be alert. You can always sleep on the plane!

Pro-tip: If you are sleeping in the public zone, don’t be surprised if you receive an early morning wake-up call. Security is known to make the rounds waking people up as travellers begin to arrive for morning flights.

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