Best Sedatives for Airplane Anxiety (15+ List)

Here, we are going to discuss various sedatives that can help you deal with airplane anxiety. This blog will first educate readers about everything they need to know about taking sedatives for this condition. After that, we will list the best sedatives and natural sleeping aids for airplane anxiety.

What are the Best Sedatives for Airplane Anxiety?

The best sedatives that help with anxiety are:

  • Diazepam
  • Alprazolam
  • Zolpidem
  • Lorazepam
  • Clonazepam
  • Tylenol PM

Do Sedatives Help with Airplane Anxiety?

A sedative modifies certain nerve communications in your nervous system to slow down brain activity. They target specific neurotransmitters like GABA to be more active. 

By doing this, the sedative makes your brain gradually fall into a resting mode and you fall asleep. Sedatives are usually prescribed as they are an important part of treatment for various health conditions. However, they may not be the best solution for airplane anxiety.

Things to Know Before Taking Sedatives for Airplane Anxiety

Taking sedatives for flying has a couple of disadvantages that make them backfire. Physiologically, they increase your sensitivity to plane noises and motions. They also impair cognitive ability, psychomotor functions, and can be addictive. 

A sedative is more of a quick-relief short-term solution with long-term costs. It prevents you from ever getting used to flying and from figuring out any underlying causes of your anxiety. 

But we understand that sometimes, you just need to pop a pill and get a long journey done smoothly. If you’re sleeping throughout, there’s no way you can have an anxiety attack. Here are the best sedatives for airplane anxiety:

Diazepam

Diazepam is more commonly known as Valium, a medicine prescribed for a long list of psychological conditions, including anxiety. It belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines or tranquilizers. 

It causes chemical changes in your body to make you feel drowsy, relaxed, and inactive. Psychiatrists sometimes give diazepam to stop or prevent panic attacks. This sedative works for airplane anxiety because it’ll get you fast asleep.

Alprazolam

Another tranquilizer is Alprazolam, which is often used to treat anxiety disorders. This works in a similar way and increases the production and activity of GABA. As a result, your brain slows down and you feel like taking a nap. 

This drug is known to help with general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. It is also administered to treat sleep disturbances and alcohol withdrawal.

Zolpidem

Better known as Ambien, Zolpidem is classified as a sedative-hypnotic. It is generally used as a treatment measure for insomnia and other sleep-related disorders. Some doctors use Zolpidem as a sleep aid to help their patients with anxiety as well. 

This is a good sedative for short flights if you have extreme airplane anxiety. But if you have a long flight, it may not be the best since in some cases it can cause sleepwalking.

Lorazepam

Lorazepam too is a benzodiazepine used in the treatment of anxiety and sleep disorders. This drug is often administered to help patients relax before being operated on. That’s why this is a good sedative for airplane anxiety. 

It will help you calm your mod and relax your muscles to avoid any heightened arousal or panic. In tablet or liquid form, this takes up to 20 to 30 minutes before you start feeling the effects.

Clonazepam

Clonazepam is a common medicine for the treatment of seizures as it releases all tension in muscles. Taking clonazepam is an effective way to let loose and start yawning. This is slightly less addictive than other tranquilizers if taken for a short duration of 2-4 weeks. 

That makes clonazepam an ideal sedative for airplane anxiety. If your travel plans aren’t that frequent and you want a sedative to lower anxiety, this drug is for you.

Tylenol PM

Tylenol PM is typically a pain medication meant for injuries or physical discomfort. A lesser known benefit of this drug is that it can also reduce anxiety and its physiological symptoms. 

This is especially true if the anxiety is related to existential dread or worry about life and death. Isn’t that exactly what scares people with airplane anxiety? The best thing about Tylenol PM is that you don’t need a prescription to get it.

Natural Sleep Aids for Airplane Anxiety

All the sedatives we have mentioned so far come with their own set of side effects. These are prescription drugs because they can be addictive and unsafe to take in large quantities. You shouldn’t mix them with alcohol or other substances either. 

If sleeping in a flight is your go-to strategy for dealing with airplane anxiety, there are safer alternatives to sedatives. Many amino acids, adaptogens, and supplements are equally capable of inducing a calming and resting sleep. 

Since they are derived from natural ingredients, they’re non-addictive and safer to consume. In the rest of the blog, we’re going to talk about natural sleep aids that can help you deal with airplane anxiety.

Melatonin

In 2015, researchers gathered evidence that melatonin can attenuate anxiety in preoperative adult patients. The authors even write that it can be equally as effective as standard treatment with midazolam, a psychiatric drug. 

Melatonin can be taken orally via capsules but you should consult your doctor to find out about safe dosages. Occasional use may be beneficial but long term use can cause excessive production of the hormone.

Our top 3 Melatonin Recommendations

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Eleuthero Root

Eleuthero is another plant from East Asia and is also referred to as the Siberian ginseng. The root of this plant is highly popular in the use of herbal adaptogens for environmental stress. 

There have been plenty of scientific discussions on the positive effect of eleuthero root on sleep and stress issues. This 2012 publication says that it is a safe and effective treatment option for anxiety and insomnia.

Our top 3 Eleuthero Root Recommendations

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Reishi

Ganoderma lucidum or Reishi is a mushroom that grows in hot and humid areas. It is kidney-shaped, red in colour, and looks like it has a coat of varnish. 

People take reishi mushrooms to enhance their immunity, improve sleep, and help with high blood pressure or cholesterol. Ali, Muhammad, and Akbar (2016), found that reishi mushroom has anxiolytic activity which is comparable to 1 mg/Kg of diazepam. 

Our top 3 Reishi Recommendations

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L-Tryptophan

Using tryptophan as a dietary additive has been shown to decrease anxiety in healthy young adults. The body uses tryptophan to make important molecules like serotonin and melatonin. 

The former is instrumental in mood changes and feelings of wellbeing. The latter plays a big role in sleep-wake cycles. Tryptophan supplements may help with sleep disturbances and stress caused by anxiety.

Our top 3 L-Tryptophan Recommendations

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Threonine

Threonine is an amino acid taken as a dietary supplement for many health benefits. It has positive effects on immunity, digestion, liver function, bones and tissues, nerve disorders, and absorption.

Threonine is also said to have a beneficial impact on sleep and anxiety. Since anxiety, stress, and immunity problems tend to co occur, threonine may prove to be an effective strategy to target them all.

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Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Lactium

Lactium is a product derived from milk compounds that is meant to help people calm down. It was discovered by its creators when they observed that digested milk has a soothing effect on infants. 

Research studies have examined the effectiveness of Lactium in inducing sleep. While subjects did get more relaxed, further studies are needed to confirm this effect. Lactium is advertised as an all natural nutritional ingredient that is non-addictive and anxiolytic.

Our top 3 Lactium Recommendations

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Bach Flower

A Bach flower solution is water containing extreme dilutions of flower material collected from the dew found on flower petals. These dilutions are mixed with brandy to create remedies for alternative healing practices. 

Bach flower remedies were developed by Edward Bach, a homeopathic doctor from the UK. Recently, Siegler and others wanted to investigate the effects of Bach flower on menopausal symptoms and sleep patterns. 

Their findings suggest that Bach flower is able to relieve menopausal symptoms like mood changes, sleep trouble, and anxiety. 

Our top 3 Lactium Recommendations

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Lemon Balm

Clinicians often prescribe lemon- balm as a mild mood elevator and calming agent for patients who have anxiety. This is a perennial herb that is part of the mint family. Along with anxiety, it is believed to help with stress, insomnia, indigestion, and dementia. 

Abascal and Yarnell (2004) discussed in their article that nervine herbs like lemon balm are safe and non-addictive. They suggested that these should be used instead of addictive benzodiazepines.  

Our top 3 Lemon Balm Recommendations

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Sleep Support+

Sleep Support+ by MBG (Mind Body Green) is a non-prescription supplement you can take to induce sleep. It consists of magnesium, which research suggests makes it easier for people to sleep. 

These pills use a formula that combines magnesium compounds with GABA and jujube extracts. When put together, the Sleep Support+ formula calms the overactive mind of an anxious person and promotes relaxation. It can help you sleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling replenished.

Naturelo Sleep Aid

This is a plant-based formula with algae magnesium, valerian root, chamomile, passion flower, lemon balm, and hops. It also contains mellow compounds like GABA, 5-HTP, and melatonin. 

These natural ingredients make Naturelo Sleep Aid non-addictive and safe for consumption. This formula is packed with sleep-inducing substances that help you relax and rest well. 

This product is vegan, non-GMO and free of soy, gluten, flavours, colours, and preservatives. Try one of these pills instead of a sedative the next time you need to sleep for an anxiety-free flight.

Conclusion

Here, we discussed various sedatives that can help you deal with airplane anxiety. This blog first educated readers about everything they need to know about taking sedatives for this condition. After that, we listed the best sedatives and natural sleeping aids for airplane anxiety.

The sedatives we mentioned were Diazepam, Alprazolam, Zolpidem, Lorazepam, Clonazepam, and Tylenol PM. Since these sedatives have many undesired side effects, we also listed some safer, natural options.

The non-addictive sleep aids we listed were melatonin, eleuthero root, reishi, L-tryptophan, threonine, lactium, Bach flower, lemon balm, Sleep Support+, and Naturelo Sleep Aid.

FAQs (Best Sedatives for Airplane Anxiety)

How do I get over flying anxiety?

Flying anxiety can be treated using psychotherapy like CBT, trauma therapy, and systematic desensitisation. Outside of therapy, some things you can try for yourself are: 

  • Understanding and preparing strategies for triggers 
  • Educate yourself about airplane mechanics 
  • Inform the flight attendants of your fear 
  • Distract yourself with entertainment 
  • Relax yourself using guided meditation

How do I calm myself down before flying?

You can calm yourself down before a flight using the following techniques:

  • Regulate breathing
  • Relax your muscles
  • Get a massage
  • Talk to an airplane representative
  • Listen to soothing music or sounds
  • Eat or drink something that relaxes you
  • Avoid caffiene

Citations

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