Hey you, wake up!

Did you see on the news the story about the man who was taken off his Westjet flight because he took a pill and fell asleep on his wife’s lap.  Here is the story 

What do you think?  There are many people who may be ill or nervous about flying – maybe they take a pill to help with stress but if it is a sleeping pill that might be a problem for staff.  Apparently you have to be up and awake and alert during the safety briefing.

Umm – how many safety briefings have you sat through on a flight where people are reading their books and not paying attention.

And the other problem is what about once you are up and airborne there are many people I know of who take pretty strong sleeping pills so as to get through the flight.  If there was a problem mid-air then would these people be deemed a danger?

Now I don’t know about you but for me the minute we start the take off I just start feeling really sleepy.  The best time for me to have a snooze is during take off which is quite handy because it gives me a good 40 minutes or so before the beverage cart comes around 🙂  It is something to do with the vibration of the plane, the push back as the plane takes off, maybe the pressure.  But apparently I have been doing it all wrong …

“Health website MedlinePlus has revealed that it can cause some serious health problems.  Sleeping during take off and even landing can prevent passengers from stopping their ears from popping whilst being unconscious.

Travellers are recommended to do this due to the air pressure rapidly changing as the plane gains height.

By not doing this, it can cause permanent damage to the ears.”  according to an article in the UK newspaper the Express.


OK so on my next flight I am not going to fall asleep – I am going to swallow, yawn and do the Valsalva Maneuver …. what the heck is that?


Oh that!  That’s easy to do.  So pinch your nose and pop those ears and whatever you do – don’t fall asleep at take off….  just keep an eye on what that damn pilot is up to….



By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. One thought… maybe the issue with the sleeping person is that if something happens, crash or such, the flight attendants would not be able to evacuate him and he could jeopardize other passengers if he was in the aisle seat.


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