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When flying on a long-haul airliner flight in economy, often you find it very hard to fall asleep (at least I do). However, when off cockpit duties, they still have to get rest so that they are able to control the aircraft without being exhausted and collapsing on the controls when they are on duty. Are there are any specific methods of helping pilots to gain the rest required on board an aircraft? Has there been any studies about the effectiveness of these?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Unlike passengers in economy who are trying to sleep in sitting position in seat that can be only partially reclined, the pilots sleep lying in a bed. Long range aircraft have a crew rest area. They are often above or below the main cabin and therefore low, now allowing standing up, but they always have beds or fully convertible chairs. The flight crew rest area is most commonly for 3 and separate cabin crew rest area for whatever is the usual number of flight attendants in given plane.

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This also goes by the name of crew rest compartment(s) (google reveals some interesting images). –  yankeekilo Feb 13 at 7:09
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Since a picture speaks for a thousand words...

This are often called "coffins" or "sarcophagus" around here... (Portugal)

crew rest area

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Ahhhh... blue light makes everything better :D –  yankeekilo Feb 13 at 12:50
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