Before you go on an airplane and nap, heed my warnings.


Take it from me, a professional napper.
Take it from me, a professional napper.


We flew to Cleveland this weekend, as mentioned before, and had the joy of airplane traveling.  Since we all know how much I like to nap, I figured I would make a guide to help any future airline travelers who are also nap-friendly folk.

When napping on a plane it is crucial to know the risks involved.  There are several ways to effectively nap with pros and cons for each.

Let’s begin with the “drool on tray table” method.   I think the cons speak for themselves in the name.  Pros, you don’t have to deal with the problems associated in methods two and three, as described below.  I tried this method for the first time this trip and it was highly effective.  This perhaps may not be a good choice if you think you might break the tray table structure with wild nap flailing or top-heaviness.

Secondly, we move onto “the neck-breaker” method of napping.  Cons, again, are rather clear in the name.  Be prepared for aches at best, paralysis at worst.  Pros include you don’t invade someone else’s personal space and there are two varieties of this method, to the left and to the right.  If one side becomes unbearable, there is an alternative.  This method is more highly recommended for the window seat traveler and not for the aisle seat traveler unless you like being at risk for a hit and run with a drink cart.

Lastly, there is the “meet your neighbor” method.  This one is a little more ambiguous in what is a pro and what is a con.  For me, having Adam next to me made this method innocuous.  However, if there were someone hostile or clearly uninterested in becoming a human pillow, this might not be the best method to pull out of your nap toolbox.

I’m not gonna lie, I took 3 naps on the way to Cleveland – one waiting to board the plane, one on the first flight, and one on the second flight – one in Cleveland on Saturday (that’s 4 total on Saturday for all you math fans), and one on the way back to Raleigh on the first flight.  I didn’t sleep on the second flight coming home since I was drawing this cattoon and reading a good book, but I think that all that napping should win me some kind of award.

I declare myself a nap victor.  You, too, can follow in my footsteps if you follow this guide and practice napping really hard.  So on that note, I wish you safe travels and happy napping.

5 thoughts on “Before you go on an airplane and nap, heed my warnings.

Add yours

  1. I’ve done 3 long-haul flights in the past couple of years and found there is no way I can sit there for 12+ hours and not doze off (I tried). The ‘neck-breaker’ was the only position that worked for me – but it really wouldn’t be so bad if the pillow supplied in-flight was bigger than a coaster! How is that lumpy little square supposed to improve comfort?


  2. I’m too tall for the tray table nap, my head hits the back of the seat in front of me even if I bend it to the side. 😦
    method two is impossible because I don’t fall asleep easily enough and I’ve never traveled with someone who would let me nap on them so 3 is out of the question.
    Therefore: I don’t get to nap on planes.


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