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Old 12-10-2017, 01:42 PM   #1  
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Default Insomnia and the FAA?

I have had two episodes of "transient" insomnia in the last few months... usually brought on by periods of stress and/or change in environmental factors, but not due to any underlying medical issues as I am fit as a fiddle. In my first case, it just went away after a couple days. However my second case was very recent and has lasted three nights, and I did go to my PCP for an Ambien prescription. Because I will have to report this visit on my next medical application (due several months from now), will it open up a can of worms for me? Will the FAA want more information? In the FAAs "Guide for Medical Examiners" it says "Medical conditions that CHRONICALLY interfere with sleep are disqualifying", yet they list insomnia as a "primary sleep disorder" without classifying it into different levels of severity. According to other information I have found at leftseat.com, there are 3 levels of insomnia, ranging from transient (lasts a few nights, not related to underlying medical conditions), short-term, and chronic.

The FAA does allow occasional use of Ambien on their accepted medications list. Currently I do not fly, so the time interval from use to flying isn't relevant for me. Also, assuming my insomnia disappears again as before, then at my next medical I would not have to report anything on Box 17a, "Do you currently use any Medication?", correct? Does transient insomnia need to be reported in Medical History section as a "mental disorder"? I am certain that chronic insomnia would, but not sure about transient.

Last edited by sealandair; 12-10-2017 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:53 PM   #2  
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I have had two episodes of "transient" insomnia in the last few months... usually brought on by periods of stress and/or change in environmental factors, but not due to any underlying medical issues as I am fit as a fiddle. In my first case, it just went away after a couple days. However my second case was very recent and has lasted three nights, and I did go to my PCP for an Ambien prescription. Because I will have to report this visit on my next medical application (due several months from now), will it open up a can of worms for me? Will the FAA want more information? In the FAAs "Guide for Medical Examiners" it says "Medical conditions that CHRONICALLY interfere with sleep are disqualifying", yet they list insomnia as a "primary sleep disorder" without classifying it into different levels of severity. According to other information I have found at leftseat.com, there are 3 levels of insomnia, ranging from transient (lasts a few nights, not related to underlying medical conditions), short-term, and chronic.

The FAA does allow occasional use of Ambien on their accepted medications list. Currently I do not fly, so the time interval from use to flying isn't relevant for me. Also, assuming my insomnia disappears again as before, then at my next medical I would not have to report anything on Box 17a, "Do you currently use any Medication?", correct?


I donít know the answer to your question but you could try this for a non RX solution.

https://www.grc.com/health/sleep/hea...ep_formula.htm




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Old 12-10-2017, 02:25 PM   #3  
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Switch to melatonin instead.
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:39 PM   #4  
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Switch to melatonin instead.


This stuff gives me wicked dreams! Not necessarily bad, but definitely bizarre.


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Old 12-10-2017, 02:49 PM   #5  
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I tried melatonin the first time, I wasn't too impressed. Tried it again recently, at 5mg, didn't do anything for me.

What's done is done, already been prescribed Ambien.
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:01 AM   #6  
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You'll want to be careful with sleep aid drugs, including melatonin.

The big issue is that you risk becoming dependent on them, even if just from a psychological point. You begin to train your mind to think you can't sleep without them. Then your body gets used to it and you need more and more.

Best thing to do for your long term wellness and sleep quality is to address the underlying stress causing your insomnia. Talk to a counselor or clergy if applicable to you.

Do this, as well as diet modification (no sugar/alcohol/caffeine) and exercise and these will begin to help. Consider maybe trying acupuncture too.

Further, maybe listen to a podcast while trying to sleep. There's one called "Sleep with Me" where a guy drones on about stuff but it helps distract your mind and is effective. I've used it on nights where sleep is tough (short night or before all-nighter, etc).

Good luck to you. I've talked to people with insomnia and it's not fun though in most cases it will pass with a little extra effort on your part.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:09 AM   #7  
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Originally Posted by Burton78 View Post
This stuff gives me wicked dreams! Not necessarily bad, but definitely bizarre.


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I thought I was the only one with this problem
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:24 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by WhisperJet View Post
You'll want to be careful with sleep aid drugs, including melatonin.

The big issue is that you risk becoming dependent on them, even if just from a psychological point. You begin to train your mind to think you can't sleep without them. Then your body gets used to it and you need more and more.

Best thing to do for your long term wellness and sleep quality is to address the underlying stress causing your insomnia. Talk to a counselor or clergy if applicable to you.

Do this, as well as diet modification (no sugar/alcohol/caffeine) and exercise and these will begin to help. Consider maybe trying acupuncture too.

Further, maybe listen to a podcast while trying to sleep. There's one called "Sleep with Me" where a guy drones on about stuff but it helps distract your mind and is effective. I've used it on nights where sleep is tough (short night or before all-nighter, etc).

Good luck to you. I've talked to people with insomnia and it's not fun though in most cases it will pass with a little extra effort on your part.
Thank you, and I really appreciate the alternatives you offer. To be sure, the last thing I want to do is get hooked on sleeping meds.

I just found this online, and though it does cost a little bit of money, the reviews have been fantastic. 100% natural, cognitive-based therapy:

www.sleepio.com
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:21 AM   #9  
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Iíd seriously stay away from Ambien.
https://americanaddictioncenters.org/ambien-treatment/side-effects/
That stuff is no joke.
Hot tea, warm coco,white noise apps, porn, try whatever but pharmaceuticals.
Personally I wouldnít be concerned about a couple of nights of insomnia.
We all have it at some point.
Itís called life.
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:38 AM   #10  
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5mg of melatonin may not be enough, especially if it's used irregularly. 10mg usually works for me. If you decide to use melatonin remember that it only brings on the initial drowsiness. It does not keep you asleep. As such, you need to be cognizant of when it starts acting and be ready to let the drowsiness to envelope you. If you fight it for whatever reason (i.e just want to finish out the paragraph of the book you carry with you on layovers), you just missed your opportunity. The onset of the drowsiness, is relatively quick but it doesn't last should you get distracted. And yes, your dreams may become "interesting".
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