After flying last weekend for an event to HentaiCon, which I wrote about here a couple of days ago, my body was exhausted as soon as I deboarded from the plane following my trip. At first, I just assumed it was from the all-nighters I pulled while at HentaiCon, but it lasted longer than normal, so it got me thinking about some of the side effects of flying.
I’m no doctor, so, naturally, I turned to the Internet to help me out with the answer. Sure, we’ve all had our ears pop while 30,000 feet in the air, but there are actually plenty of other side effects that occur while you’re up in that giant steel bird-looking thing. Since I love to know answers to stuff, here are some of the side effects of flying that are both wild and interesting — but, don’t be scared, they won’t kill you.
Memory loss may happen
One of the common side effects of flying is actually memory loss. According to a study that was published in Experimental Brain Research, there’s actually a link between spending extended periods of time at high altitudes and reduced verbal working memory. To help combat this, try reading or doing some other strategy game to help keep your mind sharp.
You’ll probably feel sleepier
With less oxygen up in the sky, your body may feel a little bit worn out and your mind may be fatigued, causing you to be much sleepier than usual. While it may be easy to point to the fact that you had an early or late flight, the decreased oxygen levels may be what’s really causing your head to bob up and down, trying to fight off sleep.
You’re likely to get sick
This side effect is probably expected, considering you’re surrounded by a bunch of strangers who are prone to sneezing and coughing a lot around you; and in an enclosed area. With the recirculated air going through the cabin, even if the person next to you isn’t hacking up a lung, the person a few rows in front of you that is can have their germs travel backwards. In addition to that, there are germs on arm rests, tray tables and overhead bins, so planes can be a cesspool for sickness — so make sure to keep your hands clean and don’t touch your eyes and mouth.
You may get confused more often
With the pressurized cabin, less oxygen will make its way to your bloodstream, which can cause your brain to have a few moments of confusion. We all need oxygen in our bloodstream to function properly — that’s why taking multiple deep breaths during yoga helps us focus — so it’s understandable if you’re a little more confused while you’re sitting on an airplane.
Your breath may be pretty nasty
Think you may get lucky and have that pretty girl sitting next to you? You better be prepared with some mints of gum if that happens, because, according to WHO, since the humidity level in an airplane is about 20 percent lower than normal, passengers can develop dry mouth, which can release some bad bacteria that can cause bad breath.