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

56 replies


Member since 12 Nov 2018

Total posts 5

5-10mg of anything from the diazepam family, mixes nicely with the cheese plate and a glass of red... Valium, Tamazepam, Xanax. Took a Kolonopin once on a EWR-DUB and remember being shaken awake by the crew after the flight had landed and everyone had disembarked.

They make melatonin in gummy form combined with an anti-acid now. It’s a great go to for people who get indigestion with travelling and eating/sleeping at different times.

Notso Swift

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 06 Oct 2016

Total posts 32

10mg Melotonin from the States, over the counter, 99% of the time I break it in half, you can get 3mg on script here but it is a ripoff with PBS fixed rate (ie 2 times dearer than the 10's for 1/3 dose)
And I always keep some Tommies just in case (Temazepam)


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 04 Nov 2011

Total posts 232

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?

I wouldn’t use Stillnox, especially on a plane. For me personally, they were terrible as they cause hallucinations. I had kangaroos running through my bedroom...

Did you try counting them....?

Ha, maybe that’s how they work as a sleeping tablet after all.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 30 Jan 2019

Total posts 5

5mg of melatonin compounded. Doesn’t make me feel groggy next day and can still work without that hangover feeling, unlike others. Need a prescription in Aus for this. Ask pharmacist to compound as normally only 2mg available.

Try to exercise each day, especially at the start of a trip.
Also important to try and avoid the phone or laptop for one hour before bed. I try to read to switch off before bed, even only for 15 mins.
Difficult I know as we all need to check back into the office and touch base with family.
Phone on do not disturb between 10:30pm and 6:00am, except for wife. Don’t want to finally get to sleep and have the phone wake me.
Coffee and more coffee is still required, despite above.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Jul 2013

Total posts 24

I use the OTC generic pharmacy brands from CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid in the USA - they're all called "Sleep Aid" no matter which pharmacy you get them from. I find they're great because they're not habit-forming, non-addictive and if you do get woken up mid-sleep due to a mid-flight issue you're alert enough to function without feeling groggy or impaired in any way. For a short-haul, 5-7 hour overnight flight from the USA to Europe that departs late afternoon or early evening and arrives early morning the next day, I'll take one just to force my body clock into sleep mode. For longer 8-12 hour flights between Australia and UAE or North Asia or East Coast USA, I'll take two. I don't have more alcohol than one glass of champagne upon boarding and one glass of wine with my meal. If its a short flight (i.e. less than 5-7 hours) I won't eat a meal onboard so won't have any alcohol anyway so the interaction with sleeping pills is less of a concern.


Member since 16 Dec 2012

Total posts 3

I stay away from medication on flights too, too many risks. But, if you want to sleep, an amazing sedative that is over the counter is cetrazine, a supposedly "non-drowsy" antihistamine. Take 1 tablet and in 15 mins you will be ready to zzz away nicely.

Last editedby Auskiwiflyer at Apr 24, 2019, 06:57 AM.

Jon W

Member since 25 Feb 2013

Total posts 6

I generally don't like sleeping pills as though they let me sleep, I don't actually feel awake or refreshed if I wake up from a sleeping pill sleep. I don't use a sleeping pill but use Kava. It doesn't knock you out and put you to sleep, but relaxes you enough that you can sleep when you want to. It also is a muscle relaxant so helps avoid stiffness from being cramped in an economy long haul seat. It's non-prescription and you can get it in most pharmacies or health food stores.

I saw someone make a point about some sleeping tablets having a paradoxical reaction that makes people hyperactive and wired - Valerian has the same reaction in some people so good to test that out too (I am one of those people).

Even with some kind of sleeping aid I've found ear plugs are a must. I've found most of my disorientation was due to mild ringing in the ears due to loud engine noise exposure for 14hrs - which damage your ears whether you can "hear it" or not. Since noise cancelling headphones and ear plugs and natural sleep (I am practised enough to only use Kava one in four times or so now) my jet lag has all but disappeared.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 27 Jun 2013

Total posts 14

We always use melatonin - 10mg & sleep soundly, anywhere! Whenever in USA we always buy lots of bottles to bring home


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Sep 2017

Total posts 11

Any sedative/hypnotic should not be combined with alcohol, particularly the benzodiazepines and “non” benzo’s including temazepam, zolpidem (Stillnox) and zopiclone (Imovane). Not to mention, some countries are very dodgy for flying through with drugs of dependence.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Jun 2017

Total posts 9

I travel to the UK or US every month and don't use any form of drugs but instead use a specific fit bit type device to monitor my sleep / eat / wake patterns. Very little if any jetlag.


Member since 14 Dec 2018

Total posts 1

‘Restravit’ does the trick for me. Over the counter and available at most pharmacies in Australia. Recommended by my GP and haven’t looked back since.

Half a tablet is just enough to take the edge off, or a full tablet to have me sleeping soundly. Also find no noticeable effects out the other side.

With the above in mind, proper planning of sleep times and hydration throughout a flight always yield the best results for me.


Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

Member since 19 Mar 2016

Total posts 53

Seriously, you need to ask??

If in doubt speak to a medical professional who knows you. You must be able to react at any time on a flight to the directions given to you by the crew. If you take a sleeping pill or a herbal pill it doesn't matter, what matters is YOUR ability to react if anything goes wrong or if directed.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 18 Feb 2017

Total posts 60

Please please realise that any sleeping tablets is designed to depress (as opposed to stimulate) your system. Alcohol is also a depressant, and so combining the two is not wise. I am concerned by people’s very casual (and probably unqualified) advice to others.


Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 1,016

There’s plenty of excellent first-hand advice here from readers, spanning the gamut from ‘natural’ supplements such as melatonin and valerian to prescription tablets (and several other practical tips as well) so we’re not removing this thread.

However, readers should note some specific suggestions made here by others: trying any sleeping pill at home to assess it before your flight, and ask your GP for their advice when it comes to prescription medication.

Susan White

Member since 13 Sep 2016

Total posts 2

I use Nature's Own Valerian pills. I find that valerian is effective without being overpowering and it doesn't leave me groggy when I wake up. I used to use prescription tablets but they always made me feel very zonked out when I woke, and that's NOT what you want on a flight. Sure, you can get a really deep sleep, but once I was still cloudy in the head when we landed because I'd slept most of the way through from Singapore and even with the seat in landing position I was still dozing, and when I got up I was on auto-pilot and completely forgot that I had bought some duty-free at Changi and it was in the overhead bin. I just grabbed my rollaboard bag and handbag, the two things I always travel with, and walked off the plane and only later did I remember having the duty free.

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