There are people who can sleep anywhere, and that includes on an airplane. Of course, their seatmate is probably looking at them and thinking jealous thoughts because it's so easy for them to get some shut-eye. Since a lot of people like to nap during a flight, especially if it's a fairly long one or an overnight plane ride, there's the question of whether flight attendants will let people sleep when meals are served. There are two schools of thought here: thinking that of course, they should wake you, and also thinking that you don't want anyone to bother you.


While flight attendants won't wake sleeping passengers, there are some things that they will do. Here's what you need to know about sleeping during your plane ride.

You Can Ask To Be Woken Up For The Meal

Sometimes flight attendants will wake passengers up so they can eat. According to a post on, sometimes flight attendants will ask the other person that they're flying with if they should leave the meal there. That's definitely helpful. A flight attendant wrote for Matador Network, "I absolutely hated shaking awake countless strangers who were drooling and confused, angry, and startled when I woke them from their sleeping-pill-induced comas to offer food they didn’t want."

The majority of the time, though, many flight attendants aren't going to wake you up if you're napping during the flight. In that case, you can ask to be woken up for the meal. Tell them at the beginning of the flight so you can nap in peace and not have to worry about it.

What if you sleep for part of the flight and then find yourself awake and starving? It might not actually be possible to ask for your meal then. As a senior flight attendant posted on, "meals cannot be served more than 30 minutes after they are heated, and cannot be reheated." For that reason, flight attendants would appreciate if you let them know that it's okay to wake you up so you can eat.

Some Airlines Have Creative Ways To Deal With This

To wake up or not... that is the question. Some airlines have come up with creative ways to make sure that people don't sleep through meals, and they're really interesting.

According to, Ethiad Airways has an eye mask that they give people on their flights that has two sides on it. One says "wake me up to eat." A flight attendant posted on the forum and said that there is a similar eye mask on Qantas and one side says "do not disturb." This sounds like a brilliant idea as it's super clear and easy to interpret.

A passenger posted on the same forum and said of SAS (Scandinavian Airlines), "I think SAS has the best solution to this problem. At the beginning of the flight, they hand out stickers that you can place on your seat indicating if you would like to be woken for meals or not. I am not sure if they do this in coach but I personally experienced it in business class." says that this is a great thing to do since you'd be able to listen to something with headphones on and not have to worry.

Of course, if you're flying with an airline that doesn't have stickers or special eye masks, then the best thing to do is talk to the flight attendant.

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It's Not Smart To Nap At Certain Times During The Flight

There's something else that you should know about sleeping on an airplane. According to Business Insider, it's not a good idea to nap at certain times during the flight, such as when you're landing and taking off.

This is because your ears are going to hurt and you could actually have some hearing problems as a result. There's a change in air pressure and the website quotes Angela Chalmers, a pharmacist, who says your ears could "feel blocked and sound dull." This is why people will chew gum and try to make sure that their ears feel okay when the plane is both taking off and also arriving at its destination. That's definitely scary to hear about, so it's good to know that these are the two times to not doze off during the flight. If a flight attendant wakes you during those times, then you know why.

If you've ever napped during meal service and wondered why you weren't woken up, now you know the reason. The best thing to do is to tell the flight attendant that you'd love to be woken so you can eat (and then you can enjoy your flight... and a nice snooze, too).

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