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sleep aids for plane

I think I asked some opinions a while back..I am really needing to sleep on the plane to italy this time..My doctor told me a while ago that its important to sleep..Anyway.So I tried a sleeping pill/anti-anxiety..called temazepam two nights ago to see if it would work..I have been groggy ever since and quite agitated.lol..Melatonin doesnt work for me alot of the time...Maybe I will try Tylenol PM??Anyone have an luck..I'm relucatant to try Ambien...fear I might sleepwalk through the aisles of the plane..lol

Posted by
689 posts

Advil PM does it for me. Helps my bad back and allows me some rest. I don't really "sleep" but I do rest. I allow 8 hours before I'd have to be 100% sharp, but it doesn't "knock me out". I take it while waiting for the flight.

Posted by
4 posts

Try a couple glasses of wine, ear plugs or noise cancelling earphones, a free 'sleep mask' that you usually get on overseas flights, and of course a good pillow and blanket.

My friend swears by her iPod and a 'white noise' download.

R.

Posted by
74 posts

I have such bad insomnia sometimes that I already sleep with an eye mask and earplugs everynight..Do you believe that..lol..I might think about noise-cancelling earphones...Yeah its a toss-up because if I do have the wine I can't use the pill after that if it doesnt do the job.lol

Posted by
7737 posts

I haven't found that the noise-cancelling earphones work any better than cheap earplugs. I suggest you get a prescription for Ambien and try it out in advance to see if you have any side effects. It didn't help us fall asleep on the flight, but it did help us reset our biological clocks to local time once we arrived.

Posted by
74 posts

Oh good to know about the noise-cancelling headphones thing...Did you have a groggy feeling after the ambien?I can't shake this grogginess from testing out the temazepam(essential valium).

Posted by
964 posts

I tried an ambien last week and it took me 3 hours to get to sleep and then I slept straight for 10 hours! I wasn't groggy which was a good thing but I've ruled that out for my Italy trip because I slept too long! Temazepam is pretty strong, the brand name is Restoril, it's the same family as Valium so I'm not surprised you were pretty groggy. TylenolPM and AdvilPM both have Benadryl so unless you need the pain relief you can just try plain Benadryl as it's over the counter. I may just bring that. Now 1 Benadryl puts me to sleep but leaves me groggy in the morning so I tried a half a pill and that worked well. I'm with you Susan, I'm trying out the sleeping aids too!

Posted by
49 posts

Wine/a cocktail is tempting, but alcohol dehydrates you very quickly at altitude -- not a good idea. Tylenol PM works for me without too much grogginess on arrival. I would stay away from the hard-core prescription sleep aids unless your doctor really thinks it's the only thing for you. Those are scary meds!

Posted by
2347 posts

Definitely try out the dosages of Benadryl before your trip. Recommended on the TylenolPM is 2 capsules, but that knocks me out too much for too long. Just one does the trick. I still wake up some, but go right back to sleep.

Posted by
1737 posts

I tried 2 Advil PM on a trip and I will NEVER DO THAT AGAIN! 1 tablet is plenty (I weigh about 125) 2 tablets made me jumpy. I kept twitching to get the medicine out of my body...I didn't sleep. It was the worst plane ride ever for me.

If you have trouble sleeping in your own bed, you won't sleep on the plane. You can however, rest. I do love my Bose noise canceling headphones...they really do help. When I want to sleep, I simply turn them on, no ipod hook up, just the noise canceling affect.

Even when I travel and get maybe 4 hours of sleep, I just get off the plane and keep going until 9PM at least. I've found that activity helps ward off the lack of sleep. After all, it's only ONE night you won't sleep. I'm sure you've had some sleepless nights at home, got up in the morning, felt groggy, but kept going. You slept better the next night probably....same thing for air travel.

It's worth it to loose one night of sleep to enjoy Italy! you sound way too worried about 8 hours in your life...let it go, and you will have a fantastic time on your vacation!

Posted by
2876 posts

A non-prescription alternative to all the benadryl drugs (advil-pm and tylenol-pm are nothing but advil and tylenol with benadryl added) is Unisom.

The chemical name of benadryl is diphenhydramine, if you're a label-checker.

I've used Ambien and I have a lot LESS morning grogginess with it than I do with benadryl - but that's just my experience.

Michael's advice is best; if you do choose to use a medication, try it out before your trip. Everyone's response is different.

Posted by
285 posts

Hi Susan, I did not like how Ambien made me feel but I did take Restoril 15mg.Drugs have a different effect on people. I am always excited and anxious and I do take an anti anxiety ( the smallest dose) I like to sleep but not be in a coma. Be careful with drugs and Alcohol together.
Have a wonderful time
Pat

Posted by
2023 posts

Sleeping on a plane is not easy for me. If you take Ambien, you will have to allow eight hours which means you will most likely have to take it just after takeoff. While I do like Ambien and take it occasionally, I just don't want to be that sound asleep on a long flight--might even snore or drool! I have found SleepAid or some similar name from Walmart to be effective--little blue tablets and two are suggested but I found that one insures I will sleep two or three hours--with eye mask.

Posted by
1446 posts

My doc gave me Xanax (an anti-anxiety drug) whose side effect is drowsiness. It makes me completely relax & fall asleep (even on a plane which is very tough for me to sleep on). I take a VERY small dose & it works within an hour. I used it on the plane last year & it worked like a charm. It has a short half-life so it doesn't leave me groggy the next day.

I've tried Advil PM but it tends to leave me groggy the next day. I've also used an over the counter natural product called "Mid Nite" but sometimes it works & sometimes it doesn't. I also take a Magnesium supplement right before bed because it also relaxes me and helps me sleep. I try to use over the counter supplements whenever possible but I get so wound up on the plane from the excitement and I can never sleep so I reluctantly tried the Xanax and I'm so glad I did. It definitely did the trick without the next day grogginess.

Good luck.

Posted by
282 posts

Susan, I too use earplugs and a sleep mask to sleep every day and find that either 1/2 or 1 of the lowest dose of Ambien works great for me on a plane, with very little grogginess upon landing (or nothing that a quick cappuccino can't cure). I have noise cancelling headphones that I used to use, but don't anymore because they take up room in my carryon (darn luggage restrictions) and I can't roll my head to the side (which I usually do when I sleep). I have a friend who has severe anxiety about flying and her doctor prescribed Xanax and it works great for her.

Posted by
74 posts

You guys are the best!...Well here are the 2 reasons I need to sleep.I am some sort of a tour guide this time for my mother,usually I have luxury of passing out at my friend from Italy's house when I arrive,not this time..2-My last trip to Las Vegas was a nightmare.It really shook me up.DOn't want to scare anyone,but the turbulence was so bad that grown men were yelling,people throwing up,and I levatated out of my seat..It really did a number on me..I thought that was it...
So anything less I can handle now i guess.lol
So my results so far
1-Temazapam 15mg(doctor gave for sleep0-complete and utter grogginess whole next day.Mood swings..Total mess-COuldnt function.Woke up on and off
2-Xanax.25mg...Didn't fall straight to sleep but when I did,I was relaxed+slept straight through
3-wine/alcohol-out of question.too dehydrating
4-Next up..Benadryl/Advil Pm
5-Melatonin-
6-Ambien_(possibly)
I'm a lab-rat of sorts.lol..Don't worry I'm not mixing anything..:)

Posted by
74 posts

Yes,I am going to Italy for a month about..I am going with my mother for 10 days,then hanging with my friend who runs a villa in Tuscany that does all sorts of activities..Then seeing my ex-boyfriend who lives there for 2 weeks....So it should be great:)...And i will come home broke..lol...and fat

Posted by
1096 posts

I'm with EKC...I take a low dose of generic Ambien and there is absolutely no groggy feeling the next day. My cure for jet lag on arrival is a cafe correto-('corrected' coffee with grappa and lots of sugar). I'm then awake and full of energy, at least for a short while.

Posted by
121 posts

I once had a prescription for tylenol with codeine after surgery. Months later, I had a horrible migraine and took one of the pills remaining. It knocked me out and I "slept-off" the migraine. I woke up feeling well and not groggy. Talk to your doctor, it may be another option to try.

Posted by
1 posts

Drugwise, I like half a Benadryl tab, but why not try something natural that was designed for airplane sleeping?

Get a Dreamhelmet. Helps you sleep 3 ways: pillows your head, blocks light, muffles sound. Won't slide off your head at night - lots of nice styles. Comes w/free soft earplugs in secret pockets. Makes into a muff. Fun and effective invention. Sold only online: www.dreamhelmet.com

Posted by
710 posts

Get one of those horseshoe shaped pillows. I got one three trips ago and attach it to my carry on bag. I tried one of the blow up pillows, but it did not work fo me.

Posted by
1446 posts

Forgot to post that in addition to the low-does Xanax, I also use an inflatable pillow that wraps around my neck & velcroes shut, I use an eye shade and my Ipod. I downloaded a relaxing guided imagery sleep-inducing application for my Itouch & it guided me right into sleep along with the Xanax!! Also, I most always sleep on my left side so I made sure to reserve a seat on the left side of the plane so that I could lean against the window and sleep. I laugh that I have to use all of these aids to make me sleep on the plane whereas my husband can sleep sitting upright anywhere anytime! Not fair. LOL.

Posted by
2876 posts

To Debra:

Unisom = doxylamine

Benadryl = diphenhydramine

Advil-PM and Tylenol-PM each contain 25 milligrams of diphenhydramine per tablet or capsule.

Easy to get confused.

Posted by
1003 posts

"A non-prescription alternative to all the benadryl drugs (advil-pm and tylenol-pm are nothing but advil and tylenol with benadryl added) is Unisom.

The chemical name of benadryl is diphenhydramine, if you're a label-checker."

I'm confused, Unisom is the same active ingredient, just without the painkiller. It looks like one of their products contains "doxylamine succinate" instead but the others still have the diphenhydramine HCl. I use Target or Walmart's knock-off of Unisom, it's half the price. I like getting the tablets that have half as much (25mg), then I can take either 1 or 2, whereas the softgels are always 50mg. Sometimes it works for me sometimes it doesn't. I also always sleep with earplugs and a mask, every night. I think with the excitement and anxiousness of being on vacation, there's just no way I'll sleep really well and I would personally rather not take prescriptions. Then again as someone said, if you can't even sleep well at home, it's doubtful you will on a plane.. that is me LOL

Posted by
7737 posts

It's true that everyone's reaction to various medications will be different, so it's smart to try them out first. I take Benadryl for my allergies and it doesn't begin to phase me. (By the way, Benadryl is not available in Italy, even with a prescription. I found that out the hard way last time we went.)

I have Bose headphones and they do work well for cancelling out noise, but not any better for me than earplugs. Plus the headphones are very expensive, they take up room and they can give you funny hair. :-)

As for the Ambien, the morning after I've taken it I feel just a little funny for a couple of hours. Then I'm fine.

I think the Xanax is a good idea since it sounds as if you have some anxiety about flying (and with good reason!). Also, you mentioned levitating out of your seat in the turbulence. That's why they tell you to always keep your seatbelt fastened when in your seat. :-)

Posted by
74 posts

Michael-I did have my seatbelt on and still levatated as much as one could with the seatbelt on(a little loose)...Weirdest feeling ever....I can't believe some people sleep with eye mask and earplugs..cool I"m not the only one!!..I'm a light sleeper and a grouch on no sleep..So I can tell you so far that I have found Restoril to be a very dangerous drug.Xanax worked ok so I will probably stick to that...as I remember taking benadryl once and I believe it had the opposite affect on me and i was jumpy...I might try ambien and see what happens with that..I"ve read online taking a pashmina is good because it works as a blanket,and you can wrap it up like a pillow..I do have a headrest U-shaped.It tends to be not so comfortable the normal way so I put it under my neck and sleep on the side of it...I'm also going to try and change my seat..As of now i'm in an aisle away from my mother..Maybe Ill be lucky enough to find one with a few seats open so I can sprawl out!..wishful thinking..One time I was put up in business class by accident and then they realized and let me still sit there...That was great...Helped because I am tall and have very long legs..lol

Posted by
660 posts

Try these prescriptions:
Nortriptyline - 25 mg or 50 mg
Clonazepam - .5 mg (might only need half a tablet)

Remember to bring some for the trip home!

I also use eye shade, u-shaped neck pillow, and a noise deafening device (it's called removing hearing aids but ear plugs work very well)

Posted by
42 posts

I can't sleep on planes either but I choose not to take anything because I don't want to be so knocked out that I don't get the chance to get up and walk every couple of hours. I'm more concerned I guess about DVT. Am I the only one or am I just paranoid?

Posted by
842 posts

My wife and I can't sleep on the planes either; but we don't worry about it anymore. We found agonizing about it was futile;(just like worrying about DVT) it just created undue stress. We gave up on the drug thing also.(it just didn't work........for us.) Once we learned to accept it, we decided to learn how to minimize its effects.

We stay active when we get to our destination, and try to take in some outside activities. ( a long walk, exploring an area near our rental, etc.) We don't take a nap or go to bed before 9PM. Sometimes a shower, when we get to our room, can refresh our spirits.

But when we do hit that bed we sleep like a rock and always wake up re-freshed and ready to go the next day.

All of us have some sort of problem with a long flight or jet lag; but our attitude can sometimes do more to combat the problem than any drug.

Posted by
74 posts

Ohhhhh wishful thinking I will definetly try to keep those positive thoughts in my mind while I want to cry on no sleep.I have been to Italy 5 times and I still can't conquer the sleeping on the plane..My mother is going to pick up some unisom and see how we do on that..otherwise it's probably xanax/meltonin...

Posted by
4152 posts

Have you tried dramamine? It knocks me right out. You can also use tylenol PM. I would stay away from the alcohol as it can make you dehydrated. The best sleep aid I've found is the costco brand of advil PM. I get a full night sleep, no body aches and wake up refreshed without being groggy. Make sure to check with your doctor before trying any type of medication as you could have a reaction to it.

Donna

Posted by
74 posts

Yeah my friend told me recently she takes dramamine..I might try that..I think advil pm is out only because it has the same ingredient as benadryl I believe and that makes me wired..I get the opposite affect..thanks all for advice:)

Posted by
750 posts

Hi Susan. My last flight to Europe, I decided I wouldn't even try to sleep; I worried so much about trying to sleep that I stressed out about it. I watched movies, I got up and walked to the back of the plane and stood and did some simple standing stretches by the bathroom for a while (there was someone else doing the same), I drank a ton of water, I kept going back to the galley to ask the FA to fill my water bottle. When I arrived, I was still tired, but not stressed out. I asked the hotel if I could check in early and was lucky enough to do so. I did have a short nap (I set the alarm clock for about 1.5 hours, I can't remember exactly how long I slept). After my short nap and along refreshing shower, I roamed around the neighborhood to find my way, picked up some fresh fruit for snacks. I forced myself to stay up until at least 10 pm. I have a sleeping pill prescription, Immovane, which I take for the first few nights to help me acclimatize.

That works for me. I have tried Melatonin at home and it didn't do it for me. If you can have a nap on the plane, that would be great. Some of the information I have read stresses getting plenty of sleep and eating healthy before leaving so you are starting your trip in good health with good reserves on board to deal with stressors of travelling. That makes sense to me.

Physiologicially it is not healthy to take a sleeping pill on the plane then sleep in a sitting position; the position may increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis which can lead to even more dire health issues, pulmonary emboli, stroke, scary stuff.

Posted by
74 posts

Yeah I know..the exit row thing..I remember that from years ago..and I almost forgot for a minute and clicked on my seat in the exit row..NO thanks..lol.ABout the whole turning mean and getting sick thing..I agree..I am like your husband..So I May try and ambien to see how I react while at home...i didnt see if you mentioned how he reacts on a plane to the meds..The same way he does at home?..You are funny!!lol

Posted by
4152 posts

Melatonin doesn't work for me either. I sleep for about 4 hours then am groggy for the rest of the day.

Just try some different things before you go and use the one that works best for you. Everyone is different and reacts differently to different meds.

Donna

Posted by
74 posts

Yeah I axed the Ambien thing because it is my mother's first time on such a loing flight and I don't know how we will react..yeah sometimes melatonin works for me sometimes it doesn't...My mother and I joked yesterday that maybe we would try to sleep in the upright position one night so we would be used to it on the plane..lol..It's frustrating I guess.It's my 5th time and I'm no better at nailing a good remedy...Last time I did sleep for the first few nights there,but even days after I had insomnia and was sooo frustrated..I am going to bring something to take the edge off when I am flipping around like a seal..lol

Posted by
800 posts

Susan - as you've gathered there are lots of options but with ANY of them, you need to try them out ahead of time to see what happens. For those who say just tough it out, that does work for some people (me) but not for my husband. Our first few trips to Europe he took 2 days to be able to enjoy the experience and for us to enjoy being with him. Without a night's sleep he basically gets sick and MEAN! We tried everything, getting up early, otc PM drugs, he even tried my Xanax (which I used for fear of flying), but nothing worked until Ambien. We did try it out first at home a few times and he was fine. And even though it says "use only when you have 7-8 hours available", he is able to take it, get to sleep and sleep like a normal person - i.e. if he needs to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, he'll wake up, but return back to sleep very soon. It doesn't "knock him out", so even with our short flight time to Europe he ends up with about 4 hours of sleep and is not too zonked out when he arrives.

My son used benadryl, my daughter used regular dramamine, and I used the Xanax, because if I'm relaxed I can go to sleep anywhere. And now that I'm over my fear of flying, just getting up early and having a glass or two of wine is all I need for a decent plane sleep. Good luck and KEEP TRYING things until you find what works for you. Ambien has saved our marriage!

Posted by
15 posts

This post has nothing to do with medicine, but make sure you are not on or in front of an exit row! The seats DONT recline! I was stuck on a flight to Germany last week and couldnt sleep a wink cause the seats didnt recline. Good luck.

Posted by
800 posts

Yes, my husband has no problem on the plane with Ambien. Tried it 2 different nights at home and then a week later on the plane and he has used it ever since. He is someone who has struggled with insomnia since he was 13 so we really did have to bring out "the big guns" to get him to the point where European travel was a good thing!

But again, it really is that different things work for different people. Before our first overnight fligh I tried one of the PM meds (can't remember now if it was Tylenol or Excedrin) - which everyone SWORE by - it was truly horrible. I was wide awake and jittery and anxious. That is when I went to my doctor and explained my problem and he gave me the Xanax. I didn't really understand what it was at the time (i.e. an anti-anxiety med and NOT a sleeping pill), so my husband actually tried it too. Well, since he is NOT afraid to fly, it really didn't do anything at all for him - his inability to sleep well, even at home, was not overcome with an anti-anxiety pill. I really couldn't understand how the Xanax worked so well for me (I slept like a baby!) and not at all for him. So it did take us several trips and many different combinations of things to figure it out for him.

One thing, since we too live on the East Coast and the flights are fairly short - we both still wake up VERY early day of flight, eat all our meals early, and often skip the dinner on the way over. He usually takes the meds about 1/2-1 hour after takeoff so that he can get the 4-5 hours of sleep and then he does wake up for breakfast on the plane. By the time we finish, go through customs and immigration, get our rental car, etc. it has been well in excess of the 7 hours of recommended sleep time and with the couple of hours that he has actually slept he is able to manage the day. I also make him take the Ambien for the next 2 nights to ensure a deeper, more steady sleep while dealing with the normal jet lag. Good luck!

Posted by
74 posts

Umm Thanks Michael-phoenix az...As per my post I have talked to my doctor about it and he suggested ambien..But I was asking for other opinons because I am hesitant about ambien on a plane..You know people who have experienced the same trip and taken something..It has helped me alot..So no thanks on the condescending post...Everyone else thanks for being so helpful..grazie and baci(kisses)...

Posted by
29 posts

I'd recommend going to your local health food store and asking for some suggestions. There are a lot of natural options out there besides melatonin that are a lot safer, gentler, and have few to no side effects. Something as simple as chammomile tea and being sure to not drink any caffeine for a good chunk of time before your flight might make a big difference. Other herbs like kava kava and valerian are great for relaxation, plus sleep specific combos like Calms Forte and Rescue Remedy, which are both gentle enough to use on pets and children. And hey, you might find something that works so well you want to incorporate it into your everyday routine and get rid of the expensive prescription sleep meds.

Buon viaggo, and sweet dreams!

Posted by
74 posts

Thanks Krissi...I've been out like a light lately because of allergies,so maybe it will continue for my flight..I did hear some good things about valerian...thanks

Posted by
25 posts

I have traveled to Europe about 12 times and always suffer from terrible jet lag. I can never sleep on the plane even for a few hours bec I have some anxiety about flying. (Can't figure out what keeps that little metal tube up in the air)
Last summer for the first time, I talked to my doc and he gave me some Ativan. It is relatively short acting. I took one pill, felt relaxed and slept for several hours. No hangover feeling for me and I felt rested and was able to enjoy Rome until 1am! I will never do that transatlantic flight again without it.
It may be similar to temazepam, so may not work on you the same way, but could be worth a talk with your doc.

Posted by
74 posts

Hahaah..I"m glad I'm not the only one who had these thoughts going through her head while in transit..mine usually go like this"this just isn't right,how is it possible for this thing to stay up in the air,I better keep one eye open just in case anything happens"..lol...But then I had that bad turbelence flight last time to Las Vegas and well,after that I realized nothing could be as bad as that one.it was surreal and you step outside your body almost...I had more anxiety with the thought of it rather than when it happened.So it's the pre-anxiety thing...Glad to know a majority of people have the same thoughts..lol.I sometimes think I'm the only one on the plane thinking that way!..lol I have alprazolam(similar to ativan i beleive) the doctor gave me when I had a health scare to calm my nerves..Yep It's top two on the list after my experimenting...Either that or Advil PM..

Posted by
11440 posts

I take .5 to 1 mg of ativan,, works great.

I find it interesting that someone said they were groggy all day after Meletonin,, its not a sedative,, so that is a strange reaction.. sometimes I wonder..

Posted by
13 posts

Fly business or 1st class and you will have a bed so you can really 'sleep' like at home. You will get ear phones, ear plugs, and an eye mask to to help. Plus you get all the drinks you might want!

Posted by
669 posts

Vicodin, Vicodin, Vicodin... eat all of your personal stash of them before carry-on. And set up the same amount, plus one, for the way back in your check-in.

Posted by
74 posts

my boyfriend and I broke up..So let's just say I've been taking pills to try to sleep...I can tell you that the xanax(i don't know how) has made me jumpy and even worse...Isn't that odd..I've been taking melatonin..It does knock me out,but I don't stay out..My mom's doctor..wouldnt give us an ambien prescription for the plane..Do you belive that?lol..He said that he has heard of people walking around on the plane when taking it..Let's just say since the stress ofthe breaku-up..I have managed to only sleep a few hours lately..SO I think my body will be used to it on the plane..lol

Posted by
1501 posts

I've suffered from insomnia for years.......anything that says P.M. on it leaves me with a terribly dry mouth and groggy the next day. the temazepam in my opinion is not a good drug. I use 1/2 of an Ambien
(5mgs) and sleep for exactly 6 hrs and wake up alert and happy. I think the people who have problems with this drug probably mixed it with a lot of alcohol -- which isn't smart with ANY drug. Try the Ambien at home........I'll bet you have no problem.

Posted by
1170 posts

While Ambien can cause sleep walking, it will not have such an after effect as a benzodiazepine like Temazepam. Lunesta or Sonata might be good alternatives. I would not recommend taking Benadryl for sleep because it is an antihistamine and will dry up your sinuses too much. The dry air in the cabin will add to that effect and you will be more prone to a nosebleed, not to mention making your sinues feel like a box of Triscuits. Tylenol PM has Benadryl as the sleep ingredient as will all over the counter sleep aids.

What I do, without resorting to drugs, to ensure that I can sleep on the plane is to stay up all night the night before my departure up until I get on the plane. I sleep like a baby! It's morning when I land, and I am ready to hit the ground running.

Posted by
1170 posts

PS--Screw the ex-boyfriend! Men are pigs! Have fun and don't worry about it! Find yourself a sexy Italian man and use him like a rented mule. :)

Posted by
74 posts

Hahaha you're so funny!!!.Yup,my ex-boyfriend(one before this one) is an italian sexy man..He lives in italy and I"m going to spend time with him now..Yup..I'm renting that mule..hee hee..You guys are the best...Thanks:)

Posted by
7326 posts

Bet you'll sleep well after time with your ex in Italy :)

Posted by
50 posts

Stay off the drugs. Try Valerian Root, a natural supplement, but here again, don't over due it or you may be groggy when you arrive. The brand I use is Spring Valley, and found at Wal-Mart for about $8 for 100 capsules. I am 150 lbs and take 3 at night just before bed. I have had no side affects what-so-ever. I found out about Valerian Root in a book called, "Over the Counter Natural Cures," by Shane Ellison. Other natural cures in this book also.

Posted by
1 posts

1. Reserve your seat in advance. Window seats give you a wall to lean on, and your neighbor won't need to disturb you on the way to the lavatory. 2. Buy and pack in your carry-on bag the following: travel pillow and eye mask, earplugs, comfortable clothing, slippers and bottled water. The most common travel pillows used are of the inflatable U-shaped variety, I prefer a head restraint such as the Aerosleeper. There's nothing like it. Try Aerosleeper.com 3. Make sure that your body will be tired for the flight: Before your departure, avoid sleeping in, napping or consuming caffeine, and try to get some exercise. 4. Snag a pillow and blanket as soon as you get on the plane. Remember, your seat is reserved, but blankets are not. 5. Scan the cabin for better seats once the flight is under way. A row of empty seats with movable armrests is the best situation for sleeping on a plane aside from first class. 6. Adjust your seat for maximum comfort. If you can't put it back far enough, try putting a pillow or blanket behind your lower back to make you more reclined. 7. Ask what time the in-flight meal will be served. Falling asleep is easier on a full stomach.
8. Tell your neighbor that you plan to sleep. The purpose is twofold: He'll leave you alone, and he can discourage the flight attendants from disturbing you while you sleep.

Posted by
1151 posts

I too worry about DVT's now I'm getting older. I don't take drugs while flying anymore; I used to take Gravol about an hour into a long flight. Now, I think it's better to arrive tired; having got up to stretch and walk every half hour. I've just had a scare that I might have a blood clot in my lower leg; it's not, but something called a Baker Cyst. (Not caused by flying; which I did, recently.) And I'm religious about wearing flight socks, taking aspirin before I fly, and stretching and walking as much as I can. Just think of a long flight as one night's bad sleep; and get some daylight and fresh air when you arrive, if possible. Take the drugs the first night after you arrive at your destination, when you can sleep flat.
Have a good holiday!

Posted by
1754 posts

I also am a terrible sleeper every night at home. I did get an RX for Ambien for my first Europe trip. I was so excited that I couldn't sleep even with the drug, then I was just very tired and drugged. I've tried many sleep aids at home, but I hate the way I feel in the morning, except for my Ambien. I wake feeling great. My last Europe trip I decided not to take anything, but brought my Ambien for the next couple nights just to make sure I slept well then. It worked great, even though I was tired when I arrived, and really didn't sleep on the plane, I did sleep well after I arrived and caught up fine.

Posted by
64 posts

I was amazed to read so many different opinions about the various drugs and their effects. I know everyone reacts differently, yet still... For me, Ambien 10 mg works best. I fall asleep within 15 minutes and wake up refreshed after seven hours. But a plane is no place to experiment; you should try it at home first. If the duration of your flight is shorter than 7 hours, you could try Ambien 5 mg. I think the speepwalking is more apt to occur if you mix it with alcohol, something that should NEVER be done. Tylenol and Advil PM don't work as well for me. I have trouble falling asleep and then I wake up groggy. I feel terrible when I miss my sleep, so I hope you find something that works for you. Good luck!

Posted by
483 posts

My daughters and I all have the same problem with Benadryl. If you take it but don't fall asleep you feel very creepy especially in your stomach. We try to book night departure flights. Lucky you're only flying from NY. I'm looking forward to another five hours from San Francisco. That's one reason I take long vacations- to make it worth the endless flights. A calming herb is Theanine Serene with Relora (gaba). I'm glad you started this topic it's been interesting

Posted by
79 posts

Susan, What works for me is the 3 Bs: Benadryl (only one) Beer (only 1/2 to one right before I get on the plane)
Burger I also use ear plugs and a sleep mask. I am a light sleeper and I have slept all the way to Fiji and to Europe with my little cocktail. Ambien isn't strong enough for me to sleep in such uncomfortable surroundings, but Benadryl will do the trick.

Posted by
50 posts

I could sleep if it weren't for these long darn legs. In coach there is just NO WAY to get hours at a time. They come in handy for lots of other things, though. Thankful to have full use of them.

Posted by
6 posts

Anything that you take can potentially mess you up for a day or two. Traveling over many times zones will already mess you up. Here is something to try. If you are in fair shape then either the day before or the day of travel walk about 5 miles. If you are younger say 25-40 then 7-10 miles. Yes, it will take several hours to walk that long but you won't get very sore if you walk you will get a little tired. We often don't sleep on a plane because we are not tired. If you want to sleep get a window seat so people don't keep stepping over you. Get on plane get comfortable pillow, blanket. Also, unless you get real hungry, don't eat on the plane... I know it is tempting but if you are sleeping do you want to be woken up to eat? Then you might have to use the restroom etc.....If you are awake you should try standing up or walking around a bit. You can do slow laps around the cabin. Because sitting down for a long time hurts my back and my butt I stand up and or walk a lot. If I am going to try and sleep I usually have a glass of wine and a glass of water. When I walk up I have another glass of water.
When you get to where you are going stay up until your normal time to sleep. It can be difficult but stay active and you will have better luck getting on a new time zone.

Posted by
358 posts

The only way I can sleep on long flights>10 hours is flying business class. I take a 5mg valium tablet which helps me sleep and when I wake up no residual effects. I just flew 5 1/2 hour flight from LAX to Honolulu in economy and could not sleep a wink. I even had 2 seats for myself as the plane was not full.

Posted by
6 posts

As one who has trouble sleeping I use Calms Forte fairly frequently and have good results ie usually fall asleep within an hour and no "hangover" symptons when I awake. On flights I will usually take one right after boarding and another with dinner then I pop in my earplugs and snooze til breakfast. Have a wonderful trip.