Here’s what we did:
Put kids to bed at home before the flight. Our plane took off at 11 p.m. We didn’t need to leave for the airport until 9 p.m ., so I put my kids, ages 7 and 8, to bed at home at 6:30 p.m. My 7-year-old son fell asleep immediately and got in a good two-hour powernap. My 8-year-old daughter only got about an hour, but every little bit counts.
Pack pillows and blankets. I stuffed our carry-ons with two snuggly blankets and my daughter brought her favorite Pillow Pet. These came in handy at the airport, where my kids set up beds on a row of chairs and got in another hour of sleep.
Sleep on the plane. Unfortunately, our flight wasn’t nonstop. We had a four-hour trip to Chicago and then another two hours to Charleston. The kids slept on both flights. We stuck them in window seats so they’d have a place to rest their heads. I took half a sleeping pill (ask your doctor) to make sure I got some rest as well.
By the time we arrived in Chicago, my son had slept about eight hours, not the full 10 hours that he really needs, but not bad for a red eye. My daughter only slept about six or seven hours.