Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 08-13-2012, 01:56 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,324
What is the best OTC medicine to cause sleep (for adults) on long flights?

I have 4 red-eye flights in the next two weeks (3 trans-pacific and greater than 10 hours). It takes too much alcohol to make me drousy to make it worthwhile. I had a vicodin that I had to take after some dental work which resulted in the greatest flight (non)experience ever. So do you have any suggestions about alternative methods to aid in sleeping?
#2
Old 08-13-2012, 02:07 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: California
Posts: 9,408
Last time I had an 11 hour red eye, I was certain I'd need something, so I bought the generic version of the Tylenol Sleep Aid-- it was $2 or something like that. I do know that Nyquil recently came out with their own sleep aid, so you might look into that, but most drug stores have their own cheap, generic, in house brand for a fraction of the price.

Anyway, before those two red eyes, I made a point of only getting a few hours of sleep the night before, then drinking some coffee to power through the day. When the plane took off, I fell asleep before I had time to take the pills. I woke up every couple of hours, stretched my legs, then immediately fell back asleep. So, if you're like me, you won't even need the sleep aids.

That said, I've taken that generic stuff when I've had to crazily switch up my sleep schedule and it works just fine.
#3
Old 08-13-2012, 02:54 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 9,797
There are two primary OTC sleep aids, and they are both essentially antihistamines: Doxylamine and Diphenhydramine. The second is the most common, but carries the risk of an opposite effect - some people (myself included) experience restless legs and an overall "itchyness" from it. (Not really an itch, but that's the closest description I've heard.)

Doxylamine (Unisom, etc.) is far more restful IME, but everyone is different. I strongly recommend buying a sample of each and trying them out before your trip.
#4
Old 08-13-2012, 03:08 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 14,770
Quote:
Originally Posted by TruCelt View Post
There are two primary OTC sleep aids, and they are both essentially antihistamines: Doxylamine and Diphenhydramine. The second is the most common, but carries the risk of an opposite effect - some people (myself included) experience restless legs and an overall "itchyness" from it. (Not really an itch, but that's the closest description I've heard.)
There's also Hydroxyzine, another common OTC drowsy-making drug. It's another antihistamine also.
#5
Old 08-13-2012, 03:39 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,324
Thanks for the insights. Generally sleeping isn't a problem for me- in a previous job, I would fall asleep during my 15 minute breaks. My fear is getting an uncomfortable seat with a non-extendible headrest and just being miserable and frustrated. The travel is for business (in sales) and as such I need to be in my best form shortly after landing.
#6
Old 08-13-2012, 03:41 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: N.O.T. Land!
Posts: 6,061
Quote:
Originally Posted by TruCelt View Post
Doxylamine and Diphenhydramine. The second is the most common, but carries the risk of an opposite effect - some people (myself included) experience restless legs and an overall "itchyness" from it. (Not really an itch, but that's the closest description I've heard.)
Wow, never heard anybody else get that before! I had tried the doxylamine type first, and it did absolutely nothing for me, then started using <generic> pm stuff. The itchy thing didn't start until after using it about 10 years or so; I thought maybe it was a weird tolerance build-up, 'cause that prevents me from sleeping. >.<
Going to try the Doxy stuff again and see if that works any better now.


On the same note: it blew me away to discover that the diphenhydramine just Benadryl. How do people take Benadryl every day and stay awake?!

Last edited by Taomist; 08-13-2012 at 03:42 PM.
#7
Old 08-13-2012, 03:48 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Down the rabbit, whole!
Posts: 12,535
Gravol works wonders.
#8
Old 08-13-2012, 03:56 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,106
My favorite sleep aid is Melatonin (preferably the sublingual liquid drops, it kicks in quick). I never feel hungover after a Melatonin nap, whereas Benadryl definitely does give me that drowsy hungover feeling--even after a full night's sleep. YMMV! If you go with melatonin, you will want to take a very small amount, though. The recommended dosage is usually way too high, but not all manufacturers have caught up with that yet:

Quote:
The problem with melatonin is that it was discovered long before scientists really understood what it does and how much you need... In addition, tablet sizes average 3-5 mg. New evidence shows that adult males only need 150 micrograms, and the average female needs only 100 micrograms (a microgram is 1/100th of a milligram). So the average melatonin supplement is 20 - 50 times more than we need!
I got a bottle of liquid melatonin off Amazon for 5ish bucks, and it's lasted for several months so far. I just hold a very tiny amount of liquid under my tongue for as long as I can before I swallow it. I don't use it every night, but when I have trouble getting to sleep. It helps!

I think it would also help to get one of those bean-filled squishy neck pillows, so you can tilt your head to the side while sleeping upright--unless you're traveling business class, you can't count on being able to recline to any significant degree. I would have liked to lean over sideways and sleep with my head on the window sill the couple times I've flown, but of course there wasn't one. I don't know about you, but I can't sleep with my head straight up, because it will tilt and bob and wake me up every time I nod off.

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 08-13-2012 at 03:57 PM.
#9
Old 08-13-2012, 04:34 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 18,902
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disheavel View Post
The travel is for business (in sales) and as such I need to be in my best form shortly after landing.
I'd be reluctant to try any of the suggestions offered in that case, except maybe melatonin. I get a pretty bad hangover effect from older antihistamines, though. Kind of a toss-up whether partially rested and still drugged is preferable to unrested but undrugged.
#10
Old 08-13-2012, 07:10 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Montreal
Posts: 7,930
I use Gravol as a sleep aid here on the ground. It may work in a plane too.
#11
Old 08-13-2012, 07:21 PM
BANNED
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,991
You're American. Demand your right to benzodiazapenes!

Otherwise I find promethazine a better "sleeper" than diphenhydramine. No experience with doxylamine (or even heard of it) and melatonin is prescription only here.

edit: a bit of goolging shows that doxylamine is over the counter in the US and prescription only here, while promethazine is over the counter here and prescription over there. Sorry!

Last edited by Simple Linctus; 08-13-2012 at 07:24 PM.
#12
Old 08-13-2012, 07:37 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: N.O.T. Land!
Posts: 6,061
Yeah, melatonin used to give me big 'hangovers', while tylenol pm <or the generic> is verifiably wearing off for me after a couple of hours. I went to sleep with it once, to be woken up by my sister in labor; got her to the hospital just fine. Never had a hangover from it, so people's mileage may vary. For the record, melatonin doesn't give me a hangover any more, at least not after a couple day's usage. For a one-time use...I dunno. I'd be wary.
#13
Old 08-13-2012, 07:56 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taomist View Post
Yeah, melatonin used to give me big 'hangovers', while tylenol pm <or the generic> is verifiably wearing off for me after a couple of hours. I went to sleep with it once, to be woken up by my sister in labor; got her to the hospital just fine. Never had a hangover from it, so people's mileage may vary. For the record, melatonin doesn't give me a hangover any more, at least not after a couple day's usage. For a one-time use...I dunno. I'd be wary.
If you're following the dosage listed on your melatonin bottle, you are probably taking WAAAAY too much. Like I quoted above, many/most melatonin bottles recommend an unnecessarily vast amount of the drug. Of course, it couldn't hurt to test it out for a couple nights so he knows how it will affect him on the flight. But melatonin shouldn't cause a hangover, that only happens after a real whopper dose (particularly a time-released whopper dose). That's why I prefer the drops over the pills, because drops aren't time-release and you have full control over dosage.

IANAD

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 08-13-2012 at 07:58 PM.
#14
Old 08-13-2012, 08:12 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Nevada
Posts: 2,326
why does it have to be OTC?

I get Ambien from my doctor and this is one of the reasons: if I need to sleep on a plane it works and I don't feel drowsy when I wake up like I do with benedryl.

Meletonin didn't have any effect on me, not sure why. off to google Gravol!
#15
Old 08-13-2012, 10:06 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: OHBama Country
Posts: 10,098
Be careful with Ambien if you get it, and try it before the plane trip. You can get hallucinations or sleepwalk on it.

I get generic Benadryl. Same stuff as OTC sleeping pills, but cheaper.
#16
Old 08-14-2012, 07:10 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: usa
Posts: 4,802
My experience has been that doxylamine works better for me than benadryl. In your situation I would probably talk to a doctor about a prescription sleep aid, though, and I'd test it out ahead of time to make sure it works for you since people are so different in how they respond to sleep aids.
#17
Old 08-14-2012, 11:04 PM
MLS MLS is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,841
I've found that whichever ingredient is in Bedadryl prevents me from sleeping. I told my doctor about it and he said "Yeah, it does that to some people."
#18
Old 08-15-2012, 12:58 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,010
Meclizine, the active ingredient in many OTC non-drowsy motion sickness medications like Bonine lets me fall asleep easily, yet is much gentler than dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl). The later two drugs usually leave me feeling pretty groggy the next morning, but with meclizine I'm bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after a cup of coffee and a shower. But antihistamines seem to have a wide range of effects on different people, so perhaps you're best off experimenting beforehand.

As someone else has already said, why OTC? Two weeks should be plenty of time to get a prescription sleep aid from your doctor. There are many for him/her to choose from, they're more effective than your OTC options and they're not expensive. If your job has you traveling across the Pacific three times in two weeks, surely an extra $20 on sleep aids isn't going to break the bank.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:06 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: toothpick people accountant green visor dore yahd cat sex toy neti pot hurt swag gays outback commercials pools painted black man wearing tampon hydraulic clutch cable rotgut vodka road signs hm silver spoon babies andrew weil quack maria mariah ginger black person tolnaftate vs terbinafine aftermarket wiper blades 210 pounds gg slang translucent red tape motley crue pentagram bjs renewal longest newborn transformers blowing up button pronunciation refrigerated milk truck green potato chips max ac number cube whats the vig genghis pronunciation corporate assholes fleet farm logo where to buy seltzer water sneed's feed and seed explanation what does ss on a boat mean golden crisp vs honey smacks how to lower shower head why do girls play softball richard nixon aroo real life bony protrusion below knee second molar extraction recovery change on a dime why do people look at me can you od on amoxicillin how to find a leak in an air mattress muscle car hood pins young adults with dentures what does refrigerator coolant smell like revenge of the nerds tricycle race who is spanky ham based on how long is doxycycline good for is the boondocks racist can you lay a chest freezer on its side it is being returned if appropriate information is available. is a flask an open container natural red hair and brown eyes reset car computer to pass inspection there are 12 state quarters and 5 regular quarters in a jar is boxing considered a martial art why does my pee smell like what i eat smoke and a pancake meme sun vs moon roof red bull original flavor should acronyms be capitalized gurgling in throat when swallowing