By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 22, 2015
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Woman sitting with pillow on airplane
Once they started charging for snacks, it was only a matter of time before airlines began charging for another gross thing: airplane blankets. JetBlue charges $7 for a blanket and pillow. At the very least, they say it's "eco-friendly," warding off dust mites, pollen and mold. Which forces the question: Do we need protection from mold on JetBlue?
| Credit: Frederick Bass/getty Images

I am writing this post while sitting on a plane. I am going to California and have been up since 4:18 a.m. I got five hours of sleep last night (not nearly enough for me, not by a long shot) after staying up to pack and then being awakened by a 3-year-old who needed his mother to turn on his closet light (our makeshift, only-on-demand night-light; we boycotted regular night-lights once my husband saw some study someplace that said sleeping with a night-light on adversely affects a child’s vision).

Everyone around me on the plane is asleep. In fact, the woman in the seat next to me put on an eye mask the second she sat down, and has been out ever since.

And me? I just sit here, exhausted, unable to fall asleep. What is wrong with me?

I have always marveled at strangers/fellow passengers/certain sisters I know who can fall asleep anywhere, whenever the moment presents itself. And I mean even if that moment comes 15 minutes after a venti coffee.

What gives? Do I just need to “empty my head,” as my husband has unhelpfully suggested countless times in our 19-year marriage? Or is everyone else just bored most of the time, and on the verge of falling asleep anyway?

Now I’m off to read my new book, which I am very excited to start. And I can all but guarantee that it will not put me to sleep.