Why You Shouldn’t Sleep While a Plane Is Taking Off or Landing

It's not because you're going to miss those people applauding the touchdown.


Love it or hate it, transit time can take up a lot of your planned travel. While some people prefer to read books or catch up on their Netflix List, one of the most common in-flight activities is catching up on lost sleep. But before you settle into your seat and pull out that neck pillow, be sure to wait until the plane is in the sky! According to MedlinePlus, falling asleep during landing or takeoff could cause serious damage to your ears. It all has to do with the rapid changes in air pressure in the cabin. Need something to do while sitting on the tarmac or during a layover? Here’s a map with airport wifi passwords all over the world.

If you’re awake, a natural response to alleviate pressure on your eardrums during takeoff and landing is to “pop” them, to maintain a pressure equilibrium. If you’re sleeping on a plane, you can’t actively work to relax those muscles and release the tension, so you can become susceptible to dizziness, ear infections, eardrum damage, hearing loss and nose bleeds. Wondering about some other health issues flying could cause? Take a look at the dirtiest places in an airport.

“A quick change in altitude affects the air pressure in the ear,” says Angel Chalmers, a British pharmacist, via Express. “This leads to a vacuum in the Eustachian tubes which makes the ears feel blocked and sound dull.”

Keep those Eustachian tubes clear and keep those eyes open for at least another few minutes. Crack open that book you just bought in the terminal.

Source: Travel + Leisure