Experts issue urgent warning after 'hack' for sleeping on a plane goes viral

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By James Kay

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People have taken to social media to discuss their new travel "hack" but an expert has issued a warning against it.

Traveling on planes can be a nightmare at the best of times.

A short-haul flight isn't too bad, but if you're doing upwards of five hours with limited legroom, it can really start taking its toll.

If you're anything like me, sleeping on public transport is impossible unless you're in business class and can lie down but... sadly that makes things very pricey.

Sleeping on a plane can be tricky for some travelers. Credit: SolStock/Getty

Well, one sleeping hack that is doing the rounds on social media has caught the attention of experts.

The trend, which involves travelers folding their legs up to their chests and fastening their seatbelts around their ankles, is touted as a method to get comfortable rest on long flights.

TikToker @BrookeDoesEverything is a strong advocate of this practice. As a frequent traveler, Brooke claims to have discovered this method long before the rise of the internet.


"I fly two to four times a month, all flights that average more than four hours," Brooke shared with PEOPLE. "When I was a kid, I would play around all the time to find a comfortable way to sit, and I found one that worked. I have been doing the seatbelt hack since I could remember."

Brooke elaborated on the benefits of the method, stating: "It allows you to relax and not throw a limb onto your very close neighbor. It’s also one of the best ways to put your feet up without grossing anyone out."

Acknowledging the warnings from flight attendants and air travel experts, Brooke emphasized her caution.

"I, of course, do not do this during takeoff or landing. Only when we have reached cruising altitude and people are moving about the cabin," she explained. "When there is turbulence I definitely click in properly out of fear."

Do you have trouble drifting off on public transport? Credit: Westend61/Getty

Despite the criticism, Brooke believes that travelers will continue using the seatbelt method due to the limited space provided by airlines.

"With the airlines constantly making the distance between the seats in front of us smaller and smaller, it’s getting harder and harder to rest your head on the tray table without your neighbor jamming their seat back into your head," she said.

However, several experts have voiced strong opposition to the trend.

Dr. Michael Breus (PhD, FAASM), Founder of The Sleep Doctor is particularly against the sleeping hack.

“This appears to be one of the dumbest ideas I have ever seen. If there is an emergency, I'm guessing both legs get broken, and if there is even mild turbulence, it could be another issue — probably a head injury," Dr. Breus stated.

Claiming that "sleeping on a plane is not rocket science," he said that a better way of sleeping would be to take an eye mask and maybe a sleeping aid such as a small pillow or even take over-the-counter sleeping medication.

Sadly none of those things work for me, so I guess it's back to staring out of the window while counting down the hours.

Featured image credit: SolStock/Getty

Experts issue urgent warning after 'hack' for sleeping on a plane goes viral

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

People have taken to social media to discuss their new travel "hack" but an expert has issued a warning against it.

Traveling on planes can be a nightmare at the best of times.

A short-haul flight isn't too bad, but if you're doing upwards of five hours with limited legroom, it can really start taking its toll.

If you're anything like me, sleeping on public transport is impossible unless you're in business class and can lie down but... sadly that makes things very pricey.

Sleeping on a plane can be tricky for some travelers. Credit: SolStock/Getty

Well, one sleeping hack that is doing the rounds on social media has caught the attention of experts.

The trend, which involves travelers folding their legs up to their chests and fastening their seatbelts around their ankles, is touted as a method to get comfortable rest on long flights.

TikToker @BrookeDoesEverything is a strong advocate of this practice. As a frequent traveler, Brooke claims to have discovered this method long before the rise of the internet.


"I fly two to four times a month, all flights that average more than four hours," Brooke shared with PEOPLE. "When I was a kid, I would play around all the time to find a comfortable way to sit, and I found one that worked. I have been doing the seatbelt hack since I could remember."

Brooke elaborated on the benefits of the method, stating: "It allows you to relax and not throw a limb onto your very close neighbor. It’s also one of the best ways to put your feet up without grossing anyone out."

Acknowledging the warnings from flight attendants and air travel experts, Brooke emphasized her caution.

"I, of course, do not do this during takeoff or landing. Only when we have reached cruising altitude and people are moving about the cabin," she explained. "When there is turbulence I definitely click in properly out of fear."

Do you have trouble drifting off on public transport? Credit: Westend61/Getty

Despite the criticism, Brooke believes that travelers will continue using the seatbelt method due to the limited space provided by airlines.

"With the airlines constantly making the distance between the seats in front of us smaller and smaller, it’s getting harder and harder to rest your head on the tray table without your neighbor jamming their seat back into your head," she said.

However, several experts have voiced strong opposition to the trend.

Dr. Michael Breus (PhD, FAASM), Founder of The Sleep Doctor is particularly against the sleeping hack.

“This appears to be one of the dumbest ideas I have ever seen. If there is an emergency, I'm guessing both legs get broken, and if there is even mild turbulence, it could be another issue — probably a head injury," Dr. Breus stated.

Claiming that "sleeping on a plane is not rocket science," he said that a better way of sleeping would be to take an eye mask and maybe a sleeping aid such as a small pillow or even take over-the-counter sleeping medication.

Sadly none of those things work for me, so I guess it's back to staring out of the window while counting down the hours.

Featured image credit: SolStock/Getty