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Flight Attendant Shares Why You Should Never Sleep Through Takeoff in New Video

Wait to get some shuteye until you're in the air, they say.

Traveling is tiring, which is why so many of us like to get a bit of shut-eye when flying. Some of us even pull out our eye masks and neck pillows as soon as we sit down, tuning out the noise while the remaining passengers board. This seems like a relatively low-risk decision, but you may want to think twice before you snooze on your next flight. In an April 30 TikTok video, flight attendant Ale Pedroza shared her list of things you shouldn't do on a flight, including why you should never sleep through takeoff.

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"I know traveling can be exhausting, and sometimes you just wanna get on an airplane and go straight to sleep," Pedroza concedes. "[But] not only is it not good for your ears to fall asleep before takeoff, but you also want to remember that taxiing is one of the most crucial phases of flight."

With this in mind, Pedroza says it's wise for you to be awake and alert during takeoff in case of an emergency or if you need to evacuate.


Pedroza didn't elaborate on ear safety, but Mayo Clinic backs up her claim. "Airplane ear," formally known as ear barotrauma, occurs when air pressure in your middle ear and air pressure in the environment are out of balance, creating stress in your eardrum.

One of the risk factors for airplane ear is sleeping on an airplane during both ascent and descent "because you aren't actively doing things to equalize pressure in your ears such as yawning and swallowing," the medical center says.

Symptoms of mild airplane ear include discomfort, fullness or stuffiness in the ear, and muffled hearing or slight hearing loss. In more serious cases, symptoms include severe pain, increased pressure, moderate to severe hearing loss, ringing in the ear, vertigo, and bleeding from the ear.

To prevent this, Mayo Clinic echoes Pedroza's advice and recommends that you stay awake during takeoffs and landings so you can do self-care techniques when feeling pressure. You can also yawn and swallow during these phases of flight or pop in filtered earplugs. If you do feel pressure, try the Valsalva maneuver, which involves gently blowing your nose while pinching your nostrils and keeping your mouth closed.

RELATED: 10 Clothing Items You Shouldn't Wear on a Plane.

Despite airplane ear being a valid concern, in the comment section of Pedroza's video, some TikTokers defended their airplane sleeping habits.

"I get the best sleep before take off especially during taxiing," a commenter wrote. Another added, "I fall asleep before take off because [I'm] terrified of flying. Don't know if anything bad happens if I'm asleep."

In a follow-up video, Pedroza responded to these concerns, particularly addressing people who sleep due to their fear of flying.

"I know I said not to fall asleep during taxi because you want to be aware in case of an emergency, but I will be honest with you, I have fallen asleep during takeoff and landing before because it's hard not to do it," Pedroza says in the May 8 video.

"Yes, you wanna be aware, but it's okay if you fall asleep, especially if it's an anxiety thing. You know, chances are, everything's gonna be okay in the end—I know a lot of people are anxious about flying, so whatever it is that helps you get through your flight, go ahead and do that," she adds.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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