This review discusses sedation for regional anaesthesia in the adult population. The first section deals with general aspects of sedation and shows that the majority of patients receiving sedation for regional anaesthesia are satisfied and would choose it again. Methods of assessing the level of sedation are discussed with emphasis on clinical measures. The pharmacology of the drugs involved in sedation is discussed, with propofol and remifentanil appearing to be the combination of choice for sedation in regional anaesthesia. The techniques for administering sedation are discussed and replacement of the traditional repeated boluses or continuous infusion with pharmacokinetic and patient-controlled systems is supported. Patient satisfaction studies suggest that patient-controlled systems are preferred.