Why you’re more likely to fall asleep on a plane during take-off – but it could be dangerous


GETTING to sleep on a plane is difficult for some people, while others seem to find it incredibly easy.

However, there are certain moments during a plane journey when it’s easier for passengers to drift off.


Passengers can find it easier to sleep during takeoff than at other times in the flightCredit: Getty

One of which is during takeoff, which is thought to be one of the best times to try and get some shuteye.

It’s thought that this is because. as the plane takes off, passengers are pushed back into their seats and this pressure on the back mimics the sensation of lying down.

As a result, the brain is tricked into thinking that the body is lying in bed.

According to Inverse: “When the aircraft is speeding down the runway and about to take flight, you get pushed back.

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“Accelerative forces push the body back, tricking the brain into the surreal sensation that you’re horizontal.”

They also point out that other factors will help make it easier to snooze on planes, including the noise of the engine and the lighting in the cabin.

They continued: “The lights are dim, the seats are cushioned, alcohol or other preferred beverages are available, blankets and pillows are abundantly passed out, and the whooshing sound of the plane in flight offers a kind of droning white noise that quiets the mind.”

However, sleeping during takeoff could actually be very dangerous, according to experts.

Changes in air pressure as the plane is climbing can create problems for passengers’ eardrums, especially if they’re asleep.

This is known as ear barotrauma and feels like your ears are blocked or muffled.

Dan Bubb, a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, claims that sleeping people don’t adjust to the pressure in the cabin as well as those who have stayed awake.

He told Travel + Leisure: “When we are asleep, we don’t swallow as much to equalise the pressure in our ears.

“And the resulting pain is one reason it’s not great to sleep during takeoff and landing.”

Additionally, it’s beneficial to stay awake during takeoff and landing because those are the two riskiest moments of a flight.

Bubb states that it’s a good idea to be alert at that point of the journey, just to make sure you’re aware of what’s going on around you.

He continued: “The other reason to avoid sleeping during takeoff and landing is to be fully aware of what is happening if there is an emergency and passengers and crew members need to evacuate the airplane.”

Meanwhile, these tricks will help you sleep once your plane is in the air.

And this £17 item will make sleeping even easier on flights.

Sleeping during takeoff can cause problems for passengers' ears


Sleeping during takeoff can cause problems for passengers’ earsCredit: Getty

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