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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Flying with Sleep Aids

Wednesday Wellness is back, if only for a day:



Apparently we can fly with sleep aids but...

You need a letter from the doctor prescribing your pills, to your AME.  Letter needs to say this is NOT for a chronic condition but for occasional use when the patient is required to sleep outside of their normal sleep cycle.

You must also annotate this on your application, and your AME needs to annotate in Block 60 ... I believe... that he/she has counseled you about the use and required time from use to flying.


So there ya go...

Fly safe. Get your sleep. But watch the warnings...

What do you to get a good night sleep? Do you fly with sleep aids?

I was once told by my doctor that it didn't matter what we took because "when they drug test, they only test for specific narcotics." If they aren't looking for something, they will never find it. Does anyone know if there is truth in this?

XOX Karlene

10 comments:

  1. Several of my fellow pilots use melatonin. If you don't want to go the authorized drug use, melatonin seems to work pretty well, and I believe there are fewer side effects.

    Ryan (ryanthepilot)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melatonin is actually good for you as you age. It's a natural hormone that our bodies need to sleep. But the only time our bodies produce it is while we're sleeping. But we age and don't sleep. Fly and don't sleep. So as we age (or are missing sleep while flying) we aren't producing it. Then we can't sleep. We don't make it. A vicious cycle. A supplement is a good thing.

      Delete
  2. Yikes, really?! This terrifies me. Then again, a pilot with no sleep kind of terrifies me even more...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh... so basically, it's just a terrifying life. ';) Don't be afraid.

      Delete
  3. I've heard pro and con stories about prescription sleep aids. . . kind of extreme ones. Maybe best to try them out when not flying first?? Melatonin sounds like a good, safe choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes... melatonin is a good choice. But I think if we can drink and have sex on ambien we should be able to fly planes, too. Thoughts?

      Delete
  4. I didn't sleep well the night before a recent flight with my family in the back, and I made 3 distinct and not-very-smart errors on the 2 legs OI flew the next day. It makes a difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It makes such a difference. But, the sleep aids... we just don't know the long term effects of the drugs. So what's worse? I do know how many errors we make when fatigued. I'm glad you're okay.

      Delete
  5. I listen to 8 hrs of FO stories...puts me out like a light. (the ones that start out with "I outta write a book..." really do me in.)

    The ones I really like are the folks who fly N-S/S-N and don't change a time-zone yet complain about 'the Lag'.

    Speaking of FO stories...check your email for a PDF of an old NWO 727 "2nd Thoughts" handout for blog fodder.

    Time to rest...pond jump tomorrow.

    Tim 8DME_W_ORD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tim, "I outta write a book!" Oh wait... :)
      Reminds me of my sister who has flown a Mexico turn. So exhausting. I smile after I've been on a 12, 6 crossing extravaganza. It's all good. But now, I need sleep.

      Delete

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