Why some passengers fall asleep on planes during take-off

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THERE are two kinds of passengers on planes – the kind who can’t get a wink of sleep… and those who have nodded off seconds after take-off.

Those who find plane kips impossible we understand, but why do some travellers find a cramped seat in Economy a soothing experience?

There are several reasons why some passengers find it impossible to stay awake during take-off

Alamy
There are several reasons why some passengers find it impossible to stay awake during take-off

It turns out there are a number of reasons, from the air pressure to the sound of the engines, read on to find out more…

Cabin pressure

Aircraft cabins are pressurised to about 6,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level, which has a serious effect on the body.

At that altitude, the blood absorbs less oxygen – which makes you feel dizzy and tired.

Aircraft cabins are pressurised to about 6,000 to 8,000 feet so the blood absorbs less oxygen, making you feel dizzy and tired

Alamy
Aircraft cabins are pressurised to about 6,000 to 8,000 feet so the blood absorbs less oxygen, making you feel dizzy and tired

The force of take-off

For nervous fliers, take-off is a very anxious moment in a flight, but for others it’s the most soothing moment.

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 body then starts to think it is lying in bed.

As the plane takes off, passengers are pushed back into their seats and this pressure on the back mimics the sensation of lying down

Getty – Contributor
As the plane takes off, passengers are pushed back into their seats and this pressure on the back mimics the sensation of lying down

The stress of travelling

Packing, getting to the airport and making it onto the plane is a process that is not fun for anyone.

So when a person finally reaches their seat on a plane, there is a feel of relief that the chore has been completed.

This puts the body into a state of relaxation and which is compounded by the fact that the passenger knows the brain won’t be required for anything important until the flight lands.

The whooshing sound on a plane as the engines start up can be a soothing white noise

Alamy
The whooshing sound on a plane as the engines start up can be a soothing white noise

Lights out

When the plane starts taxiing down the runway, the lights are dimmed in the cabin – this convinces the mind that it is time for sleep, in the same way that children are given nap time at nursery.

White noise

The whooshing sound on a plane as the engines start up can be a soothing white noise for some.

In addition, the vibration from the engine can also lull the body to sleep.

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