Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sleeping at what cost?

Some international travelers swear by taking pills to help them sleep on long flights.  These might range from prescription Ambien to Excedrin PM.  
My daughter recently asked if we were planning to make our 15-hour flight from JFK to Hong Kong drugged.  I had never considered the possibility since I generally sleep quite easily on flights of any length.
But then I read this article about someone who took a sleep-aide and ended up dying from deep-vein thrombosis -- blood clots that formed in her legs and lodged in her heart and lungs.  One problem is that by going to sleep so soundly you tend not to get up and stretch periodically.  The chances of thrombosis are slim, but the consequences are serious.
While flying I will be wearing compression stockings to lower the possibility of blood clots.  Ever since I contracted septicemia (blood poisoning) while flying to Paris, I have taken this precaution.  I hope never again to have to deal with the uncomfortable swollen legs and ankles this can cause.
So once again I am going undrugged as we embark this week on our Thai adventure.  I will have a set of ear plugs just in case I happen to be sitting near a screaming baby.  I will drink lots of water and no alcohol.  I know that’s not everyone’s approach to the challenge of crossing 11 times zones, but hopefully it will work for me.


Blogger Merle Sneed said...

My best wishes for a wonderful trip.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I've never taken a trip drugged and I've had flights as long as 19 hours. For me, I prefer to sleep when I can, read when I can't and spell out the alphabet with my feet in my seat.

Travel safe and have a wonderful time. I really can't wait to read all about it.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

I never fly drugged. (Well, I sometimes have alcohol, and I definitely have coffee -- but no prescriptions!)

6:56 PM  

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