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?
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.