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

56 replies


Member since 03 Nov 2015

Total posts 11

Best over the counter options in the US are melatonin, Sleep Aid and ZzzQuil LiquiCaps. ZzzzQuil was developed by NyQuil which had products to help you sleep with you have a cold or flu, they apparently found out that a lot of people started taking the NyQuil night-time products just to sleep, so the ZzzzQuil in a spin-off which just focuses on sleeping.


Member since 03 Nov 2015

Total posts 11

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.

Being that heavy asleep at the end of a flight is NOT what you want! Look, as others have said here, different people are affected by different things. My own GP tells me that he takes stillnox and a glass of red without strange side-effects like sleepwalking around the cabin, but this is not the case for everyone, that's why any advice here needs to be treated as reflecting that person's individual experience, it won't apply to everyone. I myself would never mix prescription drugs and alcohol.

But thanks for the tip on the melatonin + anti-acid gummies, that sounds like a really good product for many travellers!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 13 May 2018

Total posts 24

I agree with Stilnox. That works very well for me. Used it very often, including with alcohol, and no side effects.

Take the normal/fast release version, not the slow release (with CR in the name). Initially my doctor gave me the slow ones, and recently another doc in the same clinic switched me to the fast ones - and those really make you very sleepy in a short time and let you quickly sleep.

Zopiclone is ok, but I never had that “sleepy” feeling with them, so never knew if they worked or I just fell to sleep by myself at some time.

Last editedby Hellboy666 at Apr 25, 2019, 02:29 PM.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 31 Jan 2016

Total posts 77

Self medication with 'vin rouge' in lounge and some fizz before dinner to SIN is really good for five to six hours, but makes SIN - LHR really crap. Oh well, at least the first bit of the trip is fine... ;)


Member since 10 Jul 2017

Total posts 86

zopiclone is amazing. wake up with no hangover feeling. stillnox, valium all make me feel like i have been hit over the head. melatonin - waste of time imo


Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 1,016

This is an excellent example of how different remedies work for (or not for) different people. Melatonin works a treat for me, albeit with extra-vivid dreams, but is more for pushing me off to sleep rather than keeping me there; valium is similar sans dreams, however I find it far more relaxing and can definitely feel it taking effect; Zopiclone is an solid all-nighter for me (so I use it only when I can be sure to get no less than seven hours of sleeping time) but definitely leaves me blurred around the edges for at least half an hour after I wake up.


Air New Zealand - Airpoints

Member since 26 Oct 2014

Total posts 3

It's Zopiclone 7.5mg for me. I do take a large dose (22.5mg) cause of other problems.

Anything over counter doesn't work on me, just gives me think head all of next day.
If you prefer soluble Oramorph 20ml should knock you out.
Oramorph is Morphine based so you can only get on prescription.


Member since 20 Nov 2015

Total posts 43

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.
HI there ABT. Do you know if this is available at any of the HKIA airside pharmacies? Thanks.

I doubt that, it's not even supposed to be sold over the counter but for some reason Fanda makes an exception, although I'm told that several other small pharmacies around Central have it and even cheaper. You could always ask at some of the HKG airport chemists for it just in case. Never hurts to ask!


Member since 17 Apr 2018

Total posts 1

I've got a high than normal risk of seizure when I sleep (although medicated now with no issues in 4 years, touch wood), and the risk is increased when I'm overtired. I travel a lot into Asia and the Middle East, so the Doc stressed that sleep on planes, even in Economy is key. For shorter flights like Jakarta or Bali to Sydney or Bangkok to Dubai, a take a couple of Advil PM's available when I visit the USA. They help we wake non drowsy, but I get a restful 3-4 hours. For longer flights of 8+ hours overnight, I take 1/2 a stillnox. I don't deliberately avoid alcohol, but never more than 1 glass on the plane if I've popping a stillnox. Never had side effects to date. I do feel a little groggy after a stillnox.

When I arrive, I try to avoid medicated solutions, so a melatonin helps, but like others, very vivid dreams...


Member since 24 Apr 2014

Total posts 231

I use Circadin (prescription melatonin). It's slow release, so you don't wake up easily. It also has no after effect or wooziness. Wonder drug! but natural!


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 26 Nov 2017

Total posts 17

Temazapam for me although you need a prescription. Find I get a good 7 - 8 hours and feel OK upon waking. Alcohol doesn't seem to interfere too much either - obviously within reason though.


Member since 08 Aug 2017

Total posts 46

Like AsiaBiz above: Zopiclone. In Australia branded Immovane. It is fantastic. Absolutely controllable. And dead to the world sleep but clear headed afterwards.

1/2 tab gives me 4 hours on the ground and 3.5 hours in aircraft.
1 whole tab gives me 8 hours on the ground and 7 in the air.
I use it primarily to manage timezone changes, not so much normal sleep-restlessness.
I get a script for 30 tabs and lasts me at least 6 months of travel.
The two traps for young players are:
- taking one without enough time to sleep it off: being woken midway through is a mind eff.
- taking one with too much alcohol. Ask me about that sometime!

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