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Even with the seat back lowered as far as it will go, my head droops forward when I try to sleep. This causes me to soon wake up with either a stiff neck or because of "the head jolt".

The neck cushions do not work. Putting one behind my neck is pointless because that does not prevent my head from drooping forward. And they are too small to be of much use in the front of my neck.

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6  
    
Hey Henry! :) There is no comfortable way to sleep on a plane unless you are lucky enough to be in first class. There is a pillow that you can blow up as a wedge to put in your lap and sort of lean forward on it. I have never had any good sleep as a result of that thing. Oh, and possible duplicate: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/4308/… –  Larian LeQuella Dec 24 '11 at 18:57
    
Why not turn the neck pillow around, with the opening behind you? –  Jonathan Landrum Jan 31 at 14:50

5 Answers 5

I have been known to use a neck pillow backwards - with the gap behind my head - or sideways, to prevent just this problem. But the best prevention is not to be entirely on your back. Turn a little in your seat so that your ear (or better still your cheekbone) is on the seatback, and your chin will not head towards your chest.

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On short haul flights I put the tray table down lean over and rest my arms on it to use it as a pillow not overly comfortable but I usually manage an hour or so of sleep.

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Don't know about you but my 5'nothing doesn't allow me to lean over when tray table is resting practically on my chest. –  Karlson Jan 30 at 18:42
    
Yeah its about ideal height when you are 6' so i can see how that would be an issue for you. –  Stuart Feb 5 at 12:08
    
I wasn't talking just about height but mostly about closeness of the seat in front... –  Karlson Feb 5 at 17:37

I haven't tried this method, but it's what immediately came to my mind when I saw this question:

Picture

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Love it! I may have to try that. –  mkennedy Dec 26 '11 at 18:47
    
This looks rather uncomfortable. –  Karlson Jan 30 at 18:41

You may wish to consider a pillow that is designed to let you lean forward into the tray table area while you sleep rather than reclining backward. One popular such option would be the Skyrest Travel Pillow from the SkyMall catalog. If you are short-torsoed, you might even be able to simulate such by simply rolling a jacket up into a ball on the tray table.

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nice idea but this pillow is damn huge! –  Geeo Jan 30 at 18:55

I have no personal experience, but the first thing that came to my mind when reading this question was this:

ostrich pillow in action

You may buy it from here

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