ambien or valium for fearful flyer

Nov 15th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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I have taken ambien at home but not on air plane trips where I am traveling alone.

Just one thought. I took a sleeping pill once on a boat trip. This was a night boat from Brindisi Italy to where ever it ports in Greece. This was years ago when you would boat over flying because of your money. Anyway, I did not have a problem falling asleep I had a problem staying asleep. I could not sleep in those chairs but was chemically altered to want to sleep. It was very much like drifting off into a deep sleep and having someone shake you awake. This went on throughout the night making it much more miserable than if I just stayed up and talked with someone.

I do plan on taking ambien on my Monday night flight but this memory has me second guessing it.

As others have posted don't do this without Dr. supervision and not without trying at home.
Sarah is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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Saraho, interesting comment about the nightmares with Ambien -- I have had the same thing with melatonin, an often-recommended remedy for jet lag (it helps to reset your internal clock). My DH had no such effect, but it happened to me often enough that I won't now take it.

Haven't tried Ambien, probably won't. There was much um, discussion, some heated, about Ambien on the (in)famous Barb in Italy report...
SB_Travlr is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 09:47 AM
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Taking a sleeping pill may cause more problems than help. I would prefer to "relax" than drugged sleep.

If your flight arrives in the AM, the long flight and sitting for a long time could make it very hard to get going that morning or afternoon. You do to need to sleep, but being overly groggy the will not help.

If it arrives in the PM, you would not be able to sleep that night. That would make the next day very bad.

Some suggestions. Mention your problem to the steward. Talk with the people around you, read, do puzzles, listen to music, anything to get you mind off of the flight. If arriving in the AM try to get some natural sleep. If the PM try to stay awake
JSLee is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 10:34 AM
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valium works well for me (but i've never tried ambien to compare)
suze is online now  
Nov 15th, 2005, 10:53 AM
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Ambien works well for me, but I usually split the pill in half and take it just after the flight meal. I can then sleep for four hours without feeling groggy. This was on my doctor's recommendation, and he also recommended that I try it first at home. Since then i've used it several times on flights and in some of those loud, funky hotels I've found myself in travelling.
zeppo2 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 10:58 AM
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Another vote for Xanax, just relaxes you but keeps you alert. I wouldn't want to be still be sleepy when I get to a new airport...bad enough to have jet lag, etc...
lyb is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 10:59 AM
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I have a hard time sleeping on planes, and Ambien works wonders for me. I take it as soon as I get on the plane for the long flight, and I'm up and ready to go by time the plane lands. The biggest benefit for me, though, is that it helps eliviate some of the jet lag on the first day. Before I started taking Ambien, I would be exhausted the first day of our trip and couldn't do much.

I would definitely try taking something like Ambien a day or two before your flight to see how you react to me. You definitely don't want a bad reaction on the first day of your trip!

tcreath is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 12:03 PM
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degas ...
Nov 15th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Hi mayall,
Of course, you need a rx and must speak with your doctor. On the rec of our doctor we have taken ambien. At first, I refused but thought about it and decided to try it AT HOME first. You could do this and just talk half a pill--which might be enough. We also have taken one the first night when the time change is a lot to "get on schedule". If you can stay awake all day the first day there though you can probably get yourself on their time. I do not like to take any medicine period. Happy and safe travels.
mimipam is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 12:42 PM
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You might consider Lunesta. It`s more long lasting than Ambien. And no, none of those pills knock you out to the point where you can`t wake up. It`s not general anesthesia! I took Lunesta on my recent trip to Croatia and it worked well. Normally, I can`t sleep on the plane. I have tried alcohol, benedryl, and none has helped.
pat is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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Ambien works great for me at home or in hotels, but never works on airplanes-must be I just don't want to lose control or become too relaxed other than in bed. I recommend Xanax also which I've used for claustrophobia on small planes-makes you sleepy if you start reading though.
moremiles is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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My doctor prescribes Ativan, which I take 2 of for overseas flights (us to Australia for example).. if I don't take something, I get sweaty palms, hyperventillation and severe panic attacks.. a couple Ativan's gets me through the stress. But I don't take them on short hops.. I spend the Los Angeles to Vegas route white palmed, and gripping the arm rests while sweat pours down my clothes.. Can't drink either, I get so stressed out that a few drinks makes me throw up. Ahh but I love to travel.. the curse of my life.
Thyra is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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Mayall, Hi. I have RLS (restless leg syndrome) which drives me insane on flights, but also hate flying even when we can bump up using our miles. I am not fearful but I do get bored out of my skull!. I have traveled for years, up to 26 hour flights to Asia and here is the thing that works best for me.

Valium just before you board.

I take an Ambien on an empty stomach just 10 mins before they serve dinner and no alcohol.

OUT until breakfast arrives in coach on a 9 hour flight to Europe. A full nights sleep to Asia.

Cant beat it with a big stick! Remember never take antihistimes when flying and you have to hydrate for the full week before flying, not just on the plane. You will be fine.
AnnieP is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 03:54 PM
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I've never taken valium, but have taken xanax when I was a very nervous flyer after 9/11. I'm more relaxed now and don't need it, but I do take an ambien on a night flight and to help me sleep through the night the first few nights in Europe. (It's awful to wake up and be wired at 3 in the morning!) The good thing about ambien is it is out of your system in 4 or 6 hours. You don't feel groggy, like if you've taken Tylenol PM or Benadryl.
dina4 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 04:32 PM
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I have been tempted to get an Ambien prescription, not for on the plane (I'm accustomed to just being awake the whole time!) - but for the first few nights of trip. However, since I have trouble sleeping at home these days, I'm afraid of getting hooked on it and using at might be too tempting if it works!
Sue4 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 05:07 PM
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Sue4: I thought so too, but when coming home you "lose" those extra hours. We live on the east coast. So, if we get up at 8AM in Paris and arrive home at 8PM, and don't sleep on the plane (which we typically do not since it's all "daytime"), we've been "up" for 18 hours. What with the packing, getting to/through the airport, waiting/standing around, enduring the flight, going through passport control/customs, collecting the bags, getting out of the airport and getting home, we are exhausted! Once home, we drop into bed and get back to "real" time real fast.

On our first trip to Europe, the jet lag was not hardly noticeable upon arrival and compared to "re-entry". Both of us called work when the alarm went off and went back to sleep!
djkbooks is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 05:49 PM
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Or ask your doctor about klonapin, a tranquilizing anxiety fighter that doesx not make you drowsy so much as shuts off the "racing" mind and lets you relax.

In any case talk to your dr about these prescription drugs, and try it out before the trip to see how you react in the safety of your home!
satnitcboy is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 05:50 PM
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Also, alcohol may release one from inhibitions at a party, but it does not alleviate anxiety - it can actually make it worse.
satnitcboy is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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Halcion keeps you lucid, buy you may not remember events later?
That sounds like a politician's dream-come-true!
platzman is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:58 PM
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oh, and one more thing... Do a practice run and take whatever you plan to take on the plane at home one night ahead of time, to make sure you don't have some awful reaction to it.
dina4 is offline  

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