“Me? I can sleep anywhere,” you say.
But then “anywhere” turns out to be on a rock. Or an ironing board. Or the floor of a bus.
It could get even worse. How bad? Let’s let that be a surprise as you browse the tales from these-sleep deprived travelers.
If you think you could still catch your z’s in these conditions, you really can sleep anywhere. Even if you’re not in this category of power-sleeper, you can enjoy this new type of bedtime story…
35. When Carbon Monoxide Is A Welcoming Warmth
I was visiting my wife (then girlfriend) in England. I was disappointed that I was missing a Prodigy show at home (it was around the time Invaders Must Die came out), so we found one to go to in the U.K.
They were playing at a festival and we decided to go. We didn’t have a car and couldn’t rent one for a variety of reasons. We booked a bus to Inverness, Scotland, and took the festival shuttle from there. We didn’t have any place to stay, but I had been to plenty of festivals and I was sure we could find somebody to crash with. If that didn’t work, it’s a tourist town, right? I’m sure there will be a place to stay!
No such luck—much tighter security than I thought. And the surrounding village had a four-room bed and breakfast. We didn’t have much with us and it gets very cold at night that far north. We ended up sleeping next to one of the generators powering the festival lights to stay warm.
I woke up and my lips were blue. I was shivering for hours, even with the heat of the bus. I survived the combination of carbon monoxide and freezing cold weather by putting up with each in juuuust the right amount. It’s a good story, but I’m honestly pretty sure I almost died.
I don’t like Prodigy that much anymore.
34. This Is What Happens When You Snooze Through German Class
In the subway station of a foreign country.
Turns out my German is not very great when I am almost blacked out at four a.m., but I somehow managed to get on my train home I guess. I’m still a bit unsure of what happened.
33. More Importantly, Were Any Geese Deprived Of A Good Night’s Rest?
I slept on a concrete runway underneath the shade of the wing of a C-130 cargo aircraft. After being awake for over three days, it was some of the best sleep of my life.
32. This May Be The Same Way Certain Cartoon Villains Got Their Start
On a relatively flat rock during a backpacking trip. Not only was it uncomfortable, but I woke up the next morning with my face covered in mosquito bites. I’m slightly allergic so I looked like a horribly deformed monster for like a week.
31. Why His High School Was Constantly Running Out Of Toilet Paper
I used to work maintenance at a high school in NYC. The locker room had a little bench in front of the lockers that was pretty much a 2X4. On lunch, I used to sleep on that. That was until I got keys the giant storeroom where they kept the toilet paper. After that, I slept 12 feet up in the air on a pile of TP.
30. Look For A Cave, They Said, A Cave Should Be Safe, They Said
I was in a cave about five miles outside of town. I had broken my collarbone about one month prior and so my friends helped me get some of my stuff there and helped me up some slopes.
We were going to spend the night. Well, inside this cave was this straight-drop hole about 10 meters wide and 20 meters deep with jagged, sharp rocks at the bottom. I got last pick on where to sleep and the only flat place left was right next to it.
Well, my friend’s sister and her friend showed up. They ended up staying the night. The sister slept in my sleeping bag, which was weird with her brother there but he didn’t care. Her friend slept with her boyfriend in another sleeping bag.
Anyway, so two people in the same sleeping bag wiggle around a lot, especially when it’s cold in early march and you cuddle for warmth.
Turns out there was an imperceptible slope leading down into the hole. I wake up in the middle of the night, the fire’s low. For some reason, my feet were really cold.
WELL THATS CAUSE THEY WERE OVER THE PITCH BLACK HOLE OF DEATH. I called out to my friend and was like, “Kyle. I want you to come over to my head and pull me up. Just. Get over here.”
The chick was unconcerned but I thought I was going to die.
29. Bloodbath May Not Be Just An Expression
Cold and naked covered in blood in a bath. I’d just finished having a shower when I had an epileptic fit, when I came round enough to know that I was safe I just decided to curl up where I was. Several hours later I woke up cold and naked with a bloody nose (the blood had mixed with the water left after the shower to make it look 10 times worse).
28. Did You Wake To CB Radio?
Floor of a cab of an 18 wheeler. While traveling home from an out-of-state funeral, there was a huge snow and ice storm. Our car spun out into a ditch and got stuck, along with dozens of other drivers. The truck drivers in the area made sure every single person had a place to stay in one of their cabs. (So awesome!) I was a kid at the time and my mom and grandpa got priority sleeping spots, so I slept on the freezing metal floor, right next to the pee cup and dirty laundry.
27. If They’d Stayed Six More Days It Would Turn Into A Queen Size Bed
When my daughter was about six weeks old, she had to be in the hospital for meningitis. It was scary, and the room they had us in only had a chair. We were there for six days. On the fifth day of my husband and I alternating between the bed and the chair, the nurses told us the chair folded out into a single bed.
26. This Whole Train Was A Sleeper Car
I slept on a train seat (three-day trip) and spent the first night laying across a double seat with my knees bent over the arm rest. It was a comfortable sleep but cut off the circulation to my lower legs and I had really painful pins and needles for about an hour or two. It’s lucky I have a strong bladder because I couldn’t get up to walk to the toilet.
25. When Arm Rests Mean No Rest
Floor of the Salt Lake International airport before they opened to start screening passengers for the day. (I thought all of the “big” airports had screeners 24/7. Guess not.)
The airport made sure that their benches had “armrests” between the individual sitting spots, apparently specifically to prevent people from sleeping on them—though in the entire terminal I was the only passenger there so it couldn’t be that big of a problem.
24. And I Just Kept Wishing I Had Packed Fluffier Clothes
On my pants and some wadded up t-shirts.
I flew into Detroit for an AmeriCorps flood relief project. I showed up at the monastery dorm we were staying at at about 1:30 a.m.; I hadn’t packed a sleeping pad since they assured us there were FEMA cots to sleep on. I went into my room, found no cot, looked around as quietly as I could and couldn’t find anything.
I slept on my double fronts and t-shirts with a smoke detector chirping every minute or so fitfully for about three and a half hours before waking up to get my bearings from some other crew leaders the next morning. No coffee filters, so it was the kind of morning you have when you get to drink Yuban Special Dark from an old machine dripped through single-ply paper towels.
23. At Least They Didn’t Lose His Luggage
On top of my luggage in the Newark airport. I got stuck there for 30 hours. I finally couldn’t stay awake anymore so I made my luggage into a chair, thinking I’d wake up if someone tried to steal it. The security guards woke me up every hour or so and yelled at me but I did manage to get maybe five hours or so, enough to face another day.
22. Still Better Than Sleeping On Cactus
I’d say mine was on the floor of a friend’s house. Now, it’s not that I was in a bad spot or anything, I had quite a nice spot on the floor. It just happened to be where her pet hedgehog wanted to sleep as well. It crawled out of its cage at three a.m. and joined me in my sleeping bag and you can easily guess how I woke up.
21. Sometimes Sleeping Arrangement Drama Reminds Us Of “Frozen”
So one summer here was so hot that the entire city’s power went down (it was regularly topping 110 degrees, and all the transformers just kinda exploded). I had gone to a friends house because she had power at the time, but by the time I got to her house, her power was out too. It made sense to stay there because we were going white water rafting in the morning anyway, so I stayed on her couch and sweated it out overnight.
Probably around three a.m. all the power turned back on, which meant blessed AC. My tired butt crawled across her living room and slept on the floor with my face firmly planted on top of the air vent. I woke up with a lovely filigree on my face, and I couldn’t feel my left check because it was pretty much frozen solid.
20. The Only Time Your Cat Was In A Position To Fix Breakfast In Bed
In a hedge outside my parents house because I forgot my keys and nobody was in.
To make things better, my cat came and slept with me though.
19. Dirt Nap, Meet Tundra Nap
During a search-and-rescue training mission, we set up for the night in 16 degree Fahrenheit temperatures with no tents, sleeping bags, blankets, or pads—just sitting on the frozen dirt, leaning on trees, wrapped in our coats. After an hour or two, when it was clear absolutely nobody could sleep, we huddled around and lit our stoves for light and a bit of warmth. It was cold enough that one of the stoves had an inch-thick disk of ice form on the underside of the lit bare metal burner.
18. Turns Out It’s Not Just Darkest Before The Dawn, There Can Be Other Issues Too
Gravel, with a thin backpack and a rock under it as my pillow. I was above the cloud level, so the Moon shining in my face was not a plus either.
It was near the top of Teide volcano in Tenerife, we wanted to see the sunrise so we walked during the night. We laid down for a couple of hours because we had time to spare.
17. Always Double Check Your Hotel Reservation Before Ordering The Pirarucu At Lunch
On the bare concrete floor of a little shed of some sort on the lot of a ranch located about 20km north of the town of Alenquer on the Amazon River. There was cat poop scattered about the floor. And my travel buddy was burping loudly all night from the pirarucu we ate for lunch. And then there was the taxi driver who got us into this mess by getting his car stuck in the mud—he took the sole mattress in the room.
16. But Were They Able To Make It To Class On Time?
In a parking garage in Beijing. My friends and I left the club at five a.m. on a Thursday and decided to just head straight to class. Genius. So we end up walking around town doing god-knows-what until we came close to the office where we had classes. We try to find somewhere appropriate to sleep until Starbucks opened, and the best thing we found was a parking garage. We probably got around an hour of sleep before we got kicked out, at which point we went to sleep standing up with our foreheads against the window pane of Starbucks.
15. The Ultimate Excuse To Jump On The Bed
Slept on a trampoline one night, after getting wasted with friends. We all slept on it. It wasn’t uncomfortable or anything, quite the opposite actually. The problem was that it was the middle of summer, and the evening. We got eaten alive by mosquitoes, woke up with dozens of bites, and itchy as all hell.
14. A Minor Problem With Missing A Plane
Once I missed a connecting flight in Denver that was the last flight of the day. I was 17 and the airline will not put a minor up in a hotel. So, I slept on the floor of the Denver airport. In case you weren’t aware, the airport doesn’t turn off the lights at night, people ride huge vacuums, and the carpet is not soft. It was 10/10 worst sleep of my life and I’ve taken a two-week road trip in a 2004 Jeep…
13. Survive This And It Can Lead Off Your Resume For Cirque De Soleil
The woods near Crater Lake in a “hammock tent”. I wanted something small and enclosed that could easily fit in my backpack. But it didn’t dawn on me at the inception of this plan and purchase that I have a very difficult time sleeping on my back. Ever try to sleep on your stomach in a hammock? If you can, I heard the Russian circus is looking for contortionists. Also, the Oregon wilderness is surprisingly noisy in late summer. And even in late summer it can still get miserably cold overnight.
12. Where Snow Angels and Guardian Angels Meet Up
In a cemetery, while it was snowing out.
A few friends and I were pretty wasted and walking back from a college party when we decided to dip into a cemetery to make some snow angels. While laying down after we finished making them, I just sort of fell asleep while my friends kept going. They eventually figured out I wasn’t with them and ran around trying to find me. I ended up waking up right before dawn and wandering back to my dorm. Pretty good sleep honestly.
11. That Waking Up Freshly Pressed Feeling
On an ironing board in a hotel room. I was wasted, to be fair.
10. The Kind Of Guy Who Lives, Breathes And Sleeps Work
Under my desk at work. I worked in a 24-hour call center that was in another town. The drive was usually about 45 minutes one way. At the time I was working nights till about one a.m. The following day was Thanksgiving and I just so happened to be scheduled a shift from eight a.m. to five p.m. so that I could get out in time for dinner with family. So instead of driving home, I just crawled under the desk and slept. Apparently, I scared some other coworkers when my chair just pushed itself away from my desk and I came crawling out half asleep.
9. We Don’t Care Whether You’re Gents Or Ladies, Snakes Must Stay Out Of This Loo
On the floor of a public toilet on the edge of the outback. We wanted to avoid the snakes as it was hot out and we had no camping gear and the toilet had a door that closed.
8. Always First In Line For The Shower, Though
I once woke up in a cupboard under the sink in a friend’s bathroom. It was very disorienting because there were no windows in the room and once I climbed out of the cupboard it was pitch black. Still makes me laugh.
7. Sleep Running Could Become The Next Fitness Trend
On a treadmill at the gym at a Coast Guard Station.
It was the night before I was supposed to go to in-process for the Army. My recruiter and I were concerned about my making weight, so we did everything possible to help me be under the limit, which included me staying overnight at the gym to work out as much as I possibly could before morning.
By about three a.m., I was exhausted, so I crashed for a few hours on the treadmill (which was slightly softer than the floor).
6. File Under “Seriously?”
At one of my old jobs, there were certain files that needed to be filed away in cabinets in the basement of the building. Occasionally when I was really tired, I would pretend I was going to do some filing and sleep. At first, I would sit on this stool with my back propped up on some boxes with folders sitting on my lap and a filing cabinet drawer open in front of me, so if someone walked in it would be easy to pretend that I was filing. Later on, I would just lay on the concrete floor.
5. Maybe They Were Trying To Make Sure Freshman Year Was Great By Comparison?
The first time I went camping, I was 18 years old and was just starting college. My college, for its orientation week, had you sign up for either a week-long outdoor adventure or volunteer work. I volunteered to go hiking and camping on a five-day, 25-mile trek.
It rained every day we were out. One night, there was a torrential downpour. I woke up, submerged in a several-inch puddle of water with no sign of the rain letting up. Since it was an extensive backpacking trip, we didn’t have fold-em-up chairs and since it was a college-sponsored trip, zero alcohol. All there was to do was hike, sit, and sleep in muddy, inches-deep puddles of rain, sober, with strangers.
The only thing worse than waking up in the puddle was resigning myself the next night to laying down the puddle again for another night’s “sleep.”
Oh, and my shoes were a half-size too small, causing my toenails to break off. Break. Off.
4. Glad You Specified That The Box Was Empty, Dude
On the coffin box (empty) of a distant aunt. What happened was, my family and I were in her town a day before the funeral was to take place. Her whole house was crammed up with relatives and we had to stay there till late. So my cousin and I lean ourselves against the coffin box kept in the garage and start chit-chatting. We lost track of time and the next thing we remember is us waking up all sprawled out on that coffin box.
3. Some Moms Don’t Care If You Get Your Rest
My mom and I rented a car for a seven-hour overnight trip moving to college. I didn’t have a seat to sleep on, actually. I was on my knees on the seat leaning sideways on the backrest, because the boxes took up the entire back. I got a short nap in the front seat when my mom stopped to have coffee at a rest stop.
2. That Time You Slept In Melted Snow But Others Were Worse Off
I slept in the back of a small car for a field exercise once during break-up (break-up is when the snow starts to melt) in Alaska… Pro: it wasn’t muddy. I could wake up 30 minutes early and start the vehicle and turn the heat on. Con: There are tie downs that are really uncomfortable to lay on. It’s cold as hell at night.
1. You Have To Hope They Don’t Let People Ride Bikes On The Sidewalk In This Town
I slept on a sidewalk because I told my parents I was staying at a friends house just to go see a girl late at night. All went well until I had nowhere to go afterward.