Frequent flyers, what sleeping pills do you use and recommend?

By Sparksy | Apr 22, 2019, 04:45 PM
I'm interested in hearing what sleeping pills the AusBT readers use and recommend for international flights as well as to help with that first night's sleep, as that's something I often have trouble with too.
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By TJS | Apr 22, 2019, 04:51 PM
Stillnox. Only need to take half a tablet. It's a prescription though.
Last edited by TJS at Apr 22, 2019, 04.52 PM.
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By Bob Burgess | Apr 22, 2019, 05:05 PM
Melatonin is my 'go-to', buy it from the USA on your next trip there, there's loads to choose from at CVS and Walgreen. It's very inexpensive, ranges from tablets or capules of 3mg to 5mg to 10mg. I find 5mg is enough. Don't bother buying in in Australia, chemists here have to have a prescription from your doctor and they then make a 'compounded' version which is incredibly low-dosage and pretty much useless as well as costing heaps more than what you get in the US.
By Bob Burgess | Apr 22, 2019, 05:06 PM
Stillnox. Only need to take half a tablet. It's a prescription though.
Last edited by TJS at Apr 22, 2019, 04.52 PM.

I think you need to be careful with stillnox not to mix it with alcohol though?
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Jason Hamilton

By AsiaBizTraveller | Apr 22, 2019, 05:24 PM
I use Zopiclone, it's a very good sedative and although normally prescription-only you can buy it over the counter at Fanda pharmacies in Hong Kong, which is where I get it from. Fanda has shops at TST in Nathan Road, very close to TST station's D1 and D2 exits, also in Pedder St at Central, just near the corner of Chater Rd and Des Voeux Rd. Get the 7.5mg tablets. I can't remember the price but it's pretty cheap, Fanda sells Zopiclone under one of its brand names as 'Dopareel'. This really knocks you out, so I would make sure you have a good eight hours of sleep time available to you, and it will leave you a bit drowsy and groggy for a short time after you wake up. But it's what I use on CX flights from HKG to Europe and it's excellent.
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By AsiaBizTraveller | Apr 22, 2019, 05:27 PM
Stillnox. Only need to take half a tablet. It's a prescription though.
Last edited by TJS at Apr 22, 2019, 04.52 PM.

I think you need to be careful with stillnox not to mix it with alcohol though?

Yes, as a rule that's correct, however this does vary from one person to the next. My doctor takes stillnox when he flies and also has a glass of red wine with it and has zero side effects. If you do get a prescription for stillnox maybe try it at home one night to see how well it works for you, and then try it another night with a glass of wine and note the effects. In fact I recommend this for all sleeping tablets for travellers, the first time you have a new type of sleeping pill you should try it at home to see how your body handles it.
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By Tracie | Apr 22, 2019, 05:53 PM
I've used both Stilnox and Temtabs. Temtabs are my new preference - help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Feel a little hazy when I wake, but a bit of fresh air and a coffee fixes the haze.
Struggle to stay asleep with Stilnox.
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By Madhatter49 | Apr 22, 2019, 06:09 PM
Prefer to avoid any drugs unless absolutely necessary which is rare. A nice chamomile tea (sure, this is a drug but a more natural one), along with a bit of planning to set your sleep pattern on a path leading up to a flight if possible.
Then trying to time the sleep pattern on the flight with the timezone at my eventual destination is smarter.
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By Anna80 | Apr 22, 2019, 07:41 PM
I will admit to being a fan of Pam, ie diazepam or temazepam, which is available under prescription for insomnia. Diazepam is also known as valium of course. Very effective within 30 minutes.
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By Mal | Apr 22, 2019, 07:43 PM
5gm of US-bought melatonin does the trick for me.
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By Mal | Apr 22, 2019, 07:44 PM
I've used both Stilnox and Temtabs. Temtabs are my new preference - help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Feel a little hazy when I wake, but a bit of fresh air and a coffee fixes the haze.
Struggle to stay asleep with Stilnox.

Temtabs are temazepam, very effective if your doctor is willing to prescribe them!
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StuParr

By Pabs | Apr 22, 2019, 07:59 PM
Whichever pills you end up using, make sure to try them at home before you take them on the flight. My wife didn't try a sleeping pill before an overnight flight to HK for a holiday and the side effects kept her wide awake all night during the flight then fell super dozy and sleepy when we arrived in HK.
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By GBRGB | Apr 22, 2019, 09:34 PM
Good tip Pabs, same thing happened to a friend of mine, his sister is a pharmacist and gave him some pills for a long trip and it kept him awake the whole way, funny thing was he offered one to the pax in the seat next to him and he fell fast asleep instantly and snored the whole trip.
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By Steve987 | Apr 22, 2019, 09:42 PM
Good tip Pabs, same thing happened to a friend of mine, his sister is a pharmacist and gave him some pills for a long trip and it kept him awake the whole way, funny thing was he offered one to the pax in the seat next to him and he fell fast asleep instantly and snored the whole trip.

I’ve been offered drugs by people sitting next to me multiple times - have always been scared it is a sting operation!

As for the question itself, my sleep aid has typically come in red or white ;)
Last edited by David at Apr 22, 2019, 10.12 PM.
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By Dr Al | Apr 22, 2019, 09:51 PM
In flight sedation is fraught with risks, as described by the posts above, most specifically interaction with alcohol, varying effect with the dehydration caused by flying, sleep deprivation and sedation causing hyperstimulation and arousal rather than sedation. Also the risk of being sedated on arrival, or if the plane gets turned around or shortly after you pop the pill (or if you pop it on the ground before takeoff and the flight is delayed).


For me the best strategy is to maximise sleep on arrival and reduce jet lag - Melatonin (USA bought) is fantastic for that first couple of nights sleep post arrival. 5mg seems to be about right for me and it shortens the duration of jet lag considerably.

In terms of sedative on the flight, previously I've used over the counter non preceription agents - sedating antihistamines, I found Phenergan gave a nasty hang over effect but diphenhydramine (benadryl) seemed to give a decent 6-8 hours of sleep with little after effect. More recently i've been a bit cautious of using any sedative because of the reasons above and also, in case of "is there a Dr on the plane" call out, so prefer not to sedate myself.

Recently I've not used in flight sedation and found that with decent in ear noise cancelling headphones (no music, just noise cancelling the white noise of the cabin) I can sleep pretty well in flight.
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By pearsonlive | Apr 22, 2019, 10:56 PM
A good non prescription option available in Australia is velarian forte. Available in the vitamin section. Works well without waking feeling dozy.
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