Why You Need to Stay Awake During a Flight’s Takeoff and Landing

There’s nothing we’d rather do during a plane ride than sleep. Bypassing the loud noises of kids screaming, silverware clanking, and the whir of the A/C above? Count us in! But there’s two times during a flight that we should all stay awake for — takeoff and landing — and for good reason.

As it turns out, hitting the hay before you’re airborne and catching some Zs as you touch dry land again can be bad for your health. As you probably know already, the air pressure in a plane changes quite a bit as the plane ascends or descends toward its ultimate destination. And if you’re not prepared for this change, your eardrums will not be happy with you.

You might think you’re “prepared” enough for air pressure changes with chewing gum, an extra water bottle, or even ear plugs. But truthfully, in this case, being “prepared” means staying awake during these key moments.

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

That’s why staying awake becomes so crucial, as it helps to equalize the air pressure on your precious eardrums.

“Try not to sleep during takeoff and descent, as you will not be swallowing as frequently and this can lead to blocked ears,” she said.

Medical experts say if your ears remain blocked for too long, it can lead to detrimental side effects such as dizziness, ear infections, eardrum damage, nosebleeds, and even hearing loss.

Yikes! You don’t have to tell us twice to postpone taking our catnap until we’re flying high. After all, the last thing we want is to feel low.

h/t Fox News

Find out what you should wear on your next long flight.

More from FIRST

How to Get Frequent Flyer Points Without Flying

Flight Attendants Can’t Stand It When You Order Diet Coke While Flying

This Is Hands Down the Absolute Worst Airplane Seat Neighbor

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.