When flying on a long-haul airliner flight in economy, often I find it very hard to fall asleep. 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? Have there been any studies about the effectiveness of these?
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, not 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.
Since a picture speaks for a thousand words...
These are often called "coffins" or "sarcophagus" around here... (Portugal)