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Ambien - or what?

Ambien - or what?

Old Mar 13, 16, 1:38 pm
  #1  
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Question Ambien - or what?

We'll be flying US - Europe in a few months. The longest leg of our trip is 6 hours one way, 7 the other, and I would like to be awake upon landing, ready to do what needs to be done!
So aside from Ambien, which I really don't want to take as I'm hyper sensitive to drugs and it would probably knock me out for 12 hours, or at least have me sleepwalk during the flight, what are your favorites?
Of course, I'll check with my doctor. Need something to get me to sleep and keep me asleep for that extended nap. Won't be missing much on the flight as it's in Y.
Thanks in advance!
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Old Mar 13, 16, 2:35 pm
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Ambien is not all that great, and their are older Med's better and with less side effects, the drugstores just do not stock them anymore...

Couple a Bloody Mary's , Melatonin, good cold medicine, DEA Scrip pad, 7 hour flight is not that bad, wait till you have a 12 hour plus flight...Never done one in the rear of the plane,

I would forget the Dr, most of them will not write it., so save you office call money.

Ambient does not always put me to sleep, they also have a time release formula, I have a scrip.

You also want to be alert clearing customs.

Just my thoughts, I would look for a couple of empty seats together, done that a few times in the old days, seats have not always laid flat.

Enjoy the trip, it is worth the ride,,
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Old Mar 13, 16, 5:53 pm
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I just watch a couple movies.

While still at home try Benadryl or Melatonin. Works for some people but not for others. I'm in the "not" category.
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Old Mar 13, 16, 7:20 pm
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Ambien might be a good choice for you. Most people get around 3 hours "sleep" from one dose. So on a 6 hour flight it should allow you to wake up. But for that short a flight I'd try to time shift ex-USA the day before--in other words sleep as late as you can the day you depart, stay awake on the flight to Europe (with meal services there will be maybe 4 hours to sleep), book my accommodation on arrival for early check-in, grab a shower, wander for a bit, get a cheap dinner and go to bed early that first night.

I do a lot of longer flights in economy--it's 2x 12 hours from NZ to Europe---and use zopiclone for those flights. Works great, longer lasting than ambien, but also not sold in the US anymore. It's a prescribed medicine.
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Old Mar 13, 16, 7:28 pm
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Ambien is strong stuff and likely to leave you groggy and tired for a day or two.

I would look at Diphenhydramine HCI, which is an antihistamine that makes you drowsy, but it's pretty mild stuff. It is the active ingredient in lots of over the counter products like Benadryl, Tylenol PM, Sominex, etc.
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Old Mar 13, 16, 7:36 pm
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One of the best thing is staying near the airport the last day before both departures, including the return.

That last night is a hard one, to get some decent sleep, and the airport hotels are often cheaper..

At 75 I am up a lot at night...
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Old Mar 13, 16, 9:22 pm
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Let me suggest a backup plan. Being able to sleep on a plane is a holy grail, but it's damned difficult--even with the advent of some quieter planes, you're in a somewhat noisy atmosphere with the plane's engines running, the occasional call bell rung by a passenger, flight attendants moving around the cabin, the anxious or crying child. Think about it this way: when was the last time you tried to sleep with 200 or more people around? While sitting almost bolt upright in a narrow seat? Add in some excitement about your trip, and you'll find sleeping difficult at best.

Of course, you should take some steps to try to get some sleep (sleep mask, noise-canceling earphones, staying hydrated, and perhaps something to make you drowsy), but if they don't work and you get no more than an hour's sleep, you should be looking at your coping strategy once you're on the ground.

Here's my approach. You're in coach so an arrivals lounge is probably out of the question, but there are options that will allow you to get a shower and a meal when you arrive--which will do you a world of good. Consider a day room near your arrival airport (a website that lists some of them is between9and5.com). You don't have to stay in the room all day, but breakfast, maybe a quick nap, a workout in the hotel's gym, and a shower will help make the adjustment to your new time zone a little easier. If a day room is too expensive, see if there's a health club near the airport or near your accommodations--you and your husband can probably get day passes for cheap and most health clubs have some place to eat within their walls. Once you go into your arrival city, try to have some fun things planned that aren't too far from your lodgings. You want to be outside, and you want to be moving, but you also want to avoid being a long distance from your hotel if the need to crash becomes overwhelming.

Then, plan an early dinner and an early bedtime. I've read a lot of advice that says you should get on your new time zone's schedule as soon as possible. While I agree with the theory, my travels have convinced me the implementation is sorely lacking. Think of a flight in a jet across numerous time zones as the trigger for symptoms that would be similar to an illness--you'll be tired and out of sorts. If you were sick at home, you'd want to get to bed as soon as possible--not at your regular, likely later bedtime.

So, for your first dinner, be an early bird. Dinner at 5:30? Not my cup of tea--except on my first day in a European time zone. Eat light, finish early, and get yourself to bed as soon as you can. You'll probably sleep close to twelve hours. And wake up at 7:30-8:00 a.m., pretty much on your destination's time schedule.

Don't plan anything important for your second day in, however. Sometimes, jet lag can hurt worse the second day than the first. You want to be active, just like on your first day, but you also want plans that won't tax you or make you feel you didn't fully appreciate one of the highlights of your trip because you were still somewhat groggy.

Following these steps, you're most likely to feel much more like yourself and much more like tackling the rest of your trip by the morning of your third day. I know that doesn't sound like a quick fix, but believe me, I've been on trips with people who tried and failed to sleep on planes and then wanted to jump into their trip without any thought to making adjustments through their jet lag--and in some instances, they were irritable and groggy for a week or so into the trip. It's no fun traveling with those folks--or being one of those folks.
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Old Mar 14, 16, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by satman40 View Post
Ambien is not all that great, and their are older Med's better and with less side effects, the drugstores just do not stock them anymore...

Couple a Bloody Mary's , Melatonin, good cold medicine, DEA Scrip pad, 7 hour flight is not that bad, wait till you have a 12 hour plus flight...Never done one in the rear of the plane,

I would forget the Dr, most of them will not write it., so save you office call money.

Ambient does not always put me to sleep, they also have a time release formula, I have a scrip.

You also want to be alert clearing customs.

Just my thoughts, I would look for a couple of empty seats together, done that a few times in the old days, seats have not always laid flat.

Enjoy the trip, it is worth the ride,,
What are the better older meds?

It is so cool you you use "scrip."

What is a "DEA scrip pad"? I think you are referring to the triplicate system which, as far as I know, except for NY, was limited to Schedule 2 drugs. Please explain.

Last edited by Beven12S; Mar 14, 16 at 8:16 am
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Old Mar 14, 16, 7:24 am
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These are terrific, thoughtful ideas, thank you. We experience jet lag going to Denver from CT, so this overseas bit requires a decent amount of planning. And I do not do well when I'm tired.
I do want to sleep on the plane - and I do manage to do so, probably bc I'm always tired lol - was thinking of a valium and a tylenol PM. I've done that at home on rare occasion. Valium makes you sleepy, PM keeps me asleep. We have a 1.5 hour layover and than a 1.5 hour second leg. If my husband can haul me to the right gate, I suppose I can be groggy.
So. Much. Planning.
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Old Mar 14, 16, 7:44 am
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The "PM" in tylenol pm is diphenhydramine, so just buy benadryl (just the diphenhydramine) Unless you need pain killer, why take drugs unnecessarily?

I find that one ambien is good for me for 5-6 hours, so I only use that on a trip to Asia (where I am always in the back, since I travel on research grant funds)

For me, I use diphenhydramine regularly at home (I suffer from allergies) and it can leave me FAR groggier than Ambien does. If I sleep the "full" dose of ambien, I wake up with no side effects at all.

I've never taken valium. Sonata (zaleplon) doesn't work very well for me. My boss (an MD) likes Halcion (triazolam).

As for a doctor not prescribing sleep aids - that has not been my experience at all. My primary care provider has been happy to write prescriptions for me - I don't have insomnia but I do travel frequently. And she knows this. Because I explain things to my doctor, and she works WITH ME to get what I need^
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Old Mar 14, 16, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
The "PM" in tylenol pm is diphenhydramine, so just buy benadryl (just the diphenhydramine) Unless you need pain killer, why take drugs unnecessarily?

I find that one ambien is good for me for 5-6 hours, so I only use that on a trip to Asia (where I am always in the back, since I travel on research grant funds)

For me, I use diphenhydramine regularly at home (I suffer from allergies) and it can leave me FAR groggier than Ambien does. If I sleep the "full" dose of ambien, I wake up with no side effects at all.

I've never taken valium. Sonata (zaleplon) doesn't work very well for me. My boss (an MD) likes Halcion (triazolam).

As for a doctor not prescribing sleep aids - that has not been my experience at all. My primary care provider has been happy to write prescriptions for me - I don't have insomnia but I do travel frequently. And she knows this. Because I explain things to my doctor, and she works WITH ME to get what I need^
This

just make sure the plane is in the air before taking it. I would also try it at home first as for some it really doesn't work
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Old Mar 14, 16, 8:10 am
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You should talk to your doctor and not necessarily rely solely on advice for medical needs from the internet.

That said, most docs will give you a couple Ambien to try. You say you're sensitive to medicines but that is really dependent on your own body and differs from person to person.
Ambien also has a pretty short half-life so it's generally processed and out of your system within a few hours.

It CAN, however, have some interesting side effects (It's a hypnotic) so it's definitely best to try at home first.

For me, for example, I can pop an ambien once I'm on the plane, and I'm good until the first beverage service and dinner, then I'm asleep for a few hours, then I wake again. Ambien has less of an affect on me than it does my friend, who was woozy for several hours after taking one.

Another example, using me, I can't take anything with diphenhydramine in it (benadryl, used in most otc sleep aids) because even the pediatric dose of 12.5mg will knock me out for at least a solid 18 hours and hung over for most of the next day. I'm super sensitive to benadryl.

But when I go to the dentist, I have to have double the normal dose of anasthetic because I process it so quickly that the normal dose wears out before the dentist is done.

So point is, you should talk to your doctor and just tell them "Hey, weve got a long trip coming up, I'd like to try an Ambien to see if that will help me sleep and not leave me feeling hungover".

Other things to try:

Lunesta (but it's longer lasting)
Restoril (also longer acting)

OTC:
Sometimes 30mg of melatonin usually will help me as well.
I've tried Valerian, but hate the aftertaste it leaves.

Also, I sleep with a set of Bose QC-20is in so the noise is kept to a minimum, YMMV. Point is, go ask your doctor about good ideas for sleep aids. My GP is pretty good about recommending both prescription and OTC remedies where appropriate.
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Old Mar 14, 16, 9:03 am
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ABSOLUTELY try everything at home first! And don't you and your spouse try something new the same night, either

My mom has a very bad reaction to ambien and was worried I would too, but I do not - I made sure to test at home on a weekend though!

Also, for drugs that are longer lasting - you might be able to take a half dose (depends on the formulation). For instance, my Big Boss takes half an ambien for trips to Europe and a full ambien for trips to Asia. But that's the regular not extended release formulation.

(yes, apparently all we do at work is talk about what sleep meds work best for us ;-)
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Old Mar 14, 16, 9:13 am
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So many options and the potential for an interesting weekend or two before we travel!
I have a lot of research to do - problem is, on the weekends, I naturally sleep 10 hours per night - my body just requires it. Eight hours leaves me miserable, and I am healthy, exercise, eat well, etc. Years of battling this, conferring with doctors, have resulted in acceptance. But I still envy those of you for whom 5-6 hours works. Husband is one of them. Much more productive.
I will definitely talk to my doctor, who unfortunately will prescribe just about anything. I call him the drug lord of the neighborhood. I do like him a lot, but he's too easy to write a prescription.
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Old Mar 14, 16, 9:13 am
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DEA gives you a number for the scrip pad, and a PDR.

Only cost $500,00 a year..

Drugs have side effects, and a 7 hour flight is not that long...
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