We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Along with whatever meds you usually take (I do BP pills, a statin, and baby aspirin for good luck), I always carry a bottle of amoxicillin, a Z-pak, and about ten 10 mg Ambiens (Zolipidem). I break Ambiens in half as needed.
Flying west to east, I need them to help me recalibrate my sleep. 5 mg works like a dream. I get on local time overnight.
Any doc who knows you will give them to you for travel. Lots of people use them to sleep on planes but neither wine nor Ambien help me do that. Nothing works on planes for me. Torture.
Flying east to west is no problem for me. Going home feels good!
(Caveat: Some people, very few, have strange reactions to Ambien. Just to make sure, try one before your trip if you have not used them before.)
I flew the N. Atlantic in the low/slow days, before the world became medicated. A lot of pilots had sleeping problems whether on the road or at home, and many used alcohol to get to sleep on layovers. Don't know what they used at home. I was blessed by being able to go to sleep just about anywhere at any time, and if unmolested, stay asleep for a good eight hours. Still can for that matter, 60 years later.
Amoxicillin is what dentists prescribe for toothaches. If you have a toothache, the change in pressure at altitude will make the pain worse. I buy mine at the local feed store. Since I'm at the controls, I don't use Ambien (LOL!)
Ambien was invented by Satan. I have a spouse that is addicted to it and knows that they will never sleep again without it. Once tolerance is built up it will not last more than 3 hours and another one is the only solution. It is very easy to find a doctor that will prescribe more.
Drugs are bad mkay
No actual experience with Ambien. However, I've been hearing that ANY amount of alcohol with it can result in your own personal disaster.
The "strange reaction" comment is well-heeded. Ambien, Lunesta, Ambien--they all work in putting me to sleep, but for two to four hours after I wake up, I am in an absolute rage. I can barely control myself. It takes all my will not to go berserk at the slightest annoyance. And so you know: I am known for being an extremely easy-going person, and I really am; it takes a lot to rile me up, but these pills--sheesh! I will say that Klonopin works like a dream, though.
I'm not a good sleeper on airplanes, especially going east. My doc and his wife travel very extensively, China alone 23 times. He gave me Ativan and told that's what he uses. 1 to 2 of them and 2 glasses of wine and he says he can sleep for 10 hours.
As far as availability Ambien or Ativan are available in most of the islands, Central American and South American countries over the counter. Mexican Amibian is expensive, $5.00 a pill, but in Belize, it's $1.50 a pill. I usually stock up on them.
For plane travel Jet Blue has video on the back of every seat. I watched 4 full length movies on a flight to Australia. I also bring decent earphones and an MP3 player, not just music but also audio books. And I save great book finds to read on these occasions, books that hold my interest and make the time fly. I also have one of those book lights so I don't have the too bright overhead on when everyone else is trying to sleep. I bring a handful of my favorite snacks, just small things like a small box of raisins or a cheese and cracker snack (like they sell to put in your kids lunch).