Why Does Flying Make You Tired?

Traveling in an airplane is a great way of exploring the world. Plus, it allows you to have lots of fun family vacations. But there are some downsides to flying.

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Let’s face it; you will inevitably be tired after a flight. The majority of people feel tired after they have landed at their destination. So rest assured that you aren’t the only one!

Why is this? This guide explores the impact flying has on your body and why this makes you feel tired afterward. So let’s get started!

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Why Does Flying Make You Tired?

Why Does Flying Make You Tired?

There are a few reasons why flying makes you feel tired. This is because it impacts your body in several ways. Here are the effects that flying has on the human body:

Increased Dehydration

Thanks to the high altitude, cabins tend to have low humidity levels. At this altitude, the air contains very little moisture. 

As a consequence, you will be inhaling dry air whilst you are in an airplane. This can cause your body to become dehydrated. In particular, your throat and skin may feel dry. This dehydration can also impact how you feel, such as causing tiredness.

Luckily, it’s easy to combat this dehydration when flying. The best way of doing this is to drink lots of water. Of course, you may have realized that you can’t bring water through airport security. Yet, if you can purchase the water from a duty-free store or store in the airport.

You can even put an empty bottle of water in your carry-on bag, which you can fill up once you’ve passed through security.

You can also purchase skincare products, such as lotion or moisturizer, from duty-free stores to prevent your skin from becoming dry.

If you don’t want to pay the high prices of some duty-free stores, you can simply buy a bottle of water or skincare products elsewhere once you’ve landed.

Read this article to learn more about How To Pack Liquids For Air Travel.

Less Oxygen

Plane cabins are pressurized. This means that they have been pumped with air. They are made to simulate the pressure you would experience between 6,000 and 8,000 feet above sea level. In reality, the altitude is more than 30,000 feet.

This lack of oxygen might be fueling your exhaustion. This is because your body can absorb less oxygen when the air pressure is low. 

This could cause hypoxia, a medical condition with low oxygen levels in the blood. Hypoxia can lead to various symptoms, such as shortness of breath and headaches. 

Not to mention, a general lack of oxygen can cause fatigue. There’s little that you can do to prevent this, as planes must be pressurized.

Perhaps the best way of preventing tiredness is to sleep during the flight so that you don’t feel tired afterward.

Why Does Flying Make You Tired?

Increased Stress Levels

Though vacations are relaxing, your flight to get there can be incredibly stressful. This is because there are just so many things that you need to organize.

Increased stress can lead to headaches, raised blood pressure, and tiredness.

This stress can leave you feeling exhausted. To stop this tired feeling, you should plan your vacation ahead of time. This can include familiarizing yourself with luggage rules and taking these steps to avoid the stress of lost luggage

Also, try to relax as possible during the flight. Do something you enjoy, such as reading a book or watching a movie. You should also bring a travel pillow to support your neck, thus increasing relaxation. 

If you plan to visit Disney World, this activity pack with printable travel games is bound to keep kids entertained. And check out our Disney World Planning Guide to help take the stress out of your family vacation planning.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness, also known as mountain sickness, refers to a form of sickness that you can experience at high altitudes, such as when you are flying. This normally occurs when these high altitudes are reached rapidly. A more gradual increase in altitude is unlikely to cause sickness.

Symptoms include tiredness, headaches, breathing difficulties, and dizzy feelings. Thus, altitude sickness could be the cause of your tiredness. Altitude sickness particularly affects people during long flights. So if your flight is over 3 hours, you may suffer from altitude sickness.

To prevent this sickness, you should drink plenty of water. As you may have noticed, this is a good treatment for many flight-related problems. 

You should also refrain from consuming alcohol before your flight. Though having an alcoholic beverage before a flight can help you to relax, it’s simply not a good idea if you suffer from altitude sickness. Smoking is another thing that you should avoid.

Airplane Ear

The last effect that flying can have on your body is airplane ear. The change in air pressure places stress on the eustachian tube, which causes your ear to pop.

This could add to your unpleasant tired feelings as well as motion sickness.

Yawning is one of the best ways to prevent airplane ear. Protecting your ears with noise-canceling headphones or filtered earplugs can also help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Travel Tiredness Called?

Travel tiredness is commonly known as jet lag. Jet lag refers to the disruption of your sleep pattern after traveling. “Jet lag” is a term primarily used to describe sleep disruption caused by a flight, hence the word “jet.”

Read this article to learn more about How To Avoid Jet Lag with your Baby or Toddler.

Why Don’t You Sleep Well When On Vacation?

Most people struggle to sleep when they are on vacation. Traveling often means you are in a different time zone than at home. Consequently, your brain’s ability to fall asleep can be disturbed.

Additionally, you may also suffer from the first-night effect. Because your body is not used to a new environment, you may find falling asleep hard. It’s your brain’s natural instinct to stay awake to monitor the environment.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve ever felt tired after a flight, don’t worry. It happens to everybody! However, it can be a little annoying to feel tired after a flight, especially if you just want to enjoy your holiday.

Luckily, there are steps that you can take to reduce this tired feeling, allowing you to make the most of your vacation!

Watch this Video about How Jet Lag Works

For more about family travel, check out these posts:
Navigating Airport Security with Children
Surviving Jet Lag with your Baby or Toddler
How To Pack Liquids For Air Travel
Complete guide to getting your baby or child a U.S. passport
How To Pack Formula For Air Travel
How To Travel With Frozen Breast Milk

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The BE Family Travel Team writes articles to help parents travel with children.