To the annoyance of people around me I have no trouble sleeping on long haul flights. Having traveled a lot I've come to the conclusion that sleeping on a plane is a matter of attitude and a little preparation.This post is not for people who travel business or first class.

I typically use silicone ear plugs because they mould to your ear shape and then I wear Bose Quiet Comfort 3 headphones.

I'm not recommending specific brands though, just get good quality ear plugs and good quality headphones. Darkness Avoid the free blindfold that's given to passengers in economy class.

They are usually ill fitting and uncomfortable with tiny elastic straps. I fly with one sewn by a member of my family, but you can just go buy one.

Just buy a good blindfold which is wide enough to cover your eyes completely (including round the side of your head and above your eyebrows), that fits snugly around the nose (best if there is material that flaps down along the nose to keep out light) and has a wide, adjustable strap. Also make sure that the blindfold really cuts light: test it by shining a torch in your eyes while wearing it. I avoid the inflatable ones because they tend to be uncomfortable.

To create the conditions suitable for sleep you need: quiet, darkness, comfort and warmth.

These are all hard things to come by on a jet, but much can be done do get close to good conditions.

Quiet This is cheap and expensive: I use ear plugs plus noise canceling headphones.

Even with good quality ear plugs the noise canceling headphones will cut out sounds (particularly hissing sounds).

It's worth the carry on space to have a good neck pillow (and they squash easily). with the slot pointing backwards so that your head can flop forward onto it.