After boarding the flight, your first thoughts may be to order an alcoholic drink or two to enjoy the flight or maybe calm your nerves. However, a recent study highlights that drinking alcohol when aboard before taking a nap could have serious health consequences.

The significant effects of drinking alcohol on airplanes may include intensified feelings of drunkenness due to cabin pressure and dehydration. The research study highlights how alcohol interacts in strange ways when interacting with the unique environment of an aircraft.

A paper published by researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and RWTH Aachen University has findings that suggest that on flights when fliers have drinks, it can pose significant risks, and this is observed particularly in older passengers or people with medical conditions.

According to the study, at higher altitudes, the air pressure constantly gets lower, and the change can impact, leading to lower oxygen saturation in the blood. When there is a dip in oxygen saturation below 90%, the muscles and organs stop getting the needed oxygen. The lack of oxygen can cause dizziness or nausea. Moreover, oxygen deficiency can occur when fliers have alcohol causing heart rate to increase during sleep.

The outcomes of the study point out that alcohol consumption and sleeping while flying can have a significant strain on the cardiac system. The researchers suggest limiting alcohol consumption on board.

The research published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) indicates that the lower cabin pressure and reduced oxygen levels experienced during flight can affect the metabolism of alcohol.

In this context, Dr. George Koob, director of the NIAAA, stated that consuming alcohol at high altitudes can have different effects on the body. He further suggests that alcohol is a diuretic, and when it comes to the aircraft’s dehydrating conditions, it can add to significant dehydration in fliers consuming alcohol. He suggests mindful consumption of alcohol and a switch to drinking plenty of water.