Believe it or not, there’s an art to falling asleep on the London Underground.
It might not look that difficult, but achieving a successful nap on the tube is actually a carefully honed skill, and one that takes years of practice to perfect.
So to help you become a Tube Napping Pro, here are three common tube nap problems and how to solve them.
Problem: The Jerky Head Nod Solution: Strategic Rest Placement
1. Optimum positioning for a Tube Nap is the seat beside the glass separator, as it provides ample support for a dead-weight head, thus ensuring you don’t wake up every five seconds when it hits your chest.
Note: For hygiene reasons, you may wish to wipe the head grease of the previous Tube Napper off the glass first (Wet Wipes or a sleeve will suffice).
2. Failing that, you’ll need to enlist the services of a fellow commuter. Don’t bother asking if they mind, just allow your head to drift onto the shoulders of the person next to you and with any luck, they’ll be too polite to move away.
Note: This can also be a mutually beneficial position if they return the gesture.
Problem: Dribble on Self / Fellow Commuter
Solution: Automatic Insta-Slurp
1. At some point, every Tube Napper and their Human Headrest will inevitably have a stringy bit of dribble to contend with. If this happens, a short, sharp in-breath upon waking should take care of any danglers.
2. Failing that, have profuse apologies and a few tissues to hand. Prepare to change carriages.
Problem: End of the Line
Solution: Alarm Clock / Stickers
1. Anyone who has ever woken up in Watford instead of Wembley, Ealing instead of Earls Court or High Barnet instead of Highgate will tell you, coming round to find yourself in the arse end of nowhere can be a costly mistake to make.
So allow two minutes for each remaining stop and set an alarm for the approximate length of the journey, ensuring that you wake up just as the doors to your destination open. Et voila, mission accomplished.
2. Failing that, “Wake Me Up At…” stickers are your friend. Choose your station from the selection, or fill in your own (I recommend the additional attachment of the one marked “Anywhere but Brixton” just to be on the safe side) and rest assured that a fellow passenger will be entertained enough by your efforts to give you a nudge awake at the right time.
Follow these instructions, and you’ll never miss your stop on the last tube home again. Now go forth and have a bloody good weekend; your city demands it.
Feel free to add any additional advice, or regale me with your own Tube Nap story below.
the sister says
speaking from experence.
Fine points 1 & 2. Never felt the need for 3 since I always managed to wake up in time for the stop, except once when on my way to Leatherhead from London, I woke up a stop ahead at Ashford and proceeded to bound off the train on to unfamiliar surroundings. Needless to say, I got back on the train immediately and carried my journey to the next stop. Been on high alert since then.