Camping Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Dr. Dan JensenLifestyle, Sleep

Camping Tips for a Good Night's Sleep
Dr. Dan Jensen

The fall is a great time to head out camping with the family, and your kids have been talking about the upcoming trip for weeks. If you’ve been worried about getting a good night’s rest when sleeping under the stars, here are some of our best tips for feeling refreshed and well rested when out camping.

Take the Right Bedding

Never underestimate the power of a great air mattress. If you’re going to be sleeping in a tent for a few nights, the extra padding of a good quality air mattress will make all the difference in ensuring that you feel comfortable, and have no trouble drifting off to sleep. Need something more light weight, and easier to carry around? You can also invest in a quality sleeping pad. They’re thinner than air mattresses, but still provide enough padding to keep your shoulders or hips from getting sore.

Along with a good mattress, buy the right sleeping bag. You can get a sleeping bag that’s mummy shaped and very warm, or a rectangle shaped bag that can be unzipped to create a blanket. If you’re camping in cold places, the mummy bag will keep you toasty warm, but if you’re car camping, or in very warm areas, the rectangle bags will give you a bit more wiggle room.

Test out all your bedding before you head out into the woods. Inflate your mattress, open your sleeping bag, pick a pillow, and make sure it all works. Try sleeping on it for one night at home, and be sure you’ll have a comfortable tent before you set off on your adventure.

Pack Earplugs

Nature sounds can be very relaxing, and in the middle of the night the only sounds you’ll hear will be the hum of the cicadas. However, the nature sounds you’ll experience on your camping trip aren’t the soothing sounds you hear when you select the nature setting on your white noise machine. Nature can be a lot louder than you think, night animals will scuttle near your tent, and the wind in the trees can be quite loud. The birds wake up with the sun, and start calling shrilly back and forth across the treetops. Having earplugs with you will help you sleep through the night with ease.

Drink Tea Around the Campfire

You may be tempted to make a cup of coffee or hot chocolate when you’re sitting around the campfire in the evening, but choose a sleepy-time tea instead, like lavender or chamomile tea, as this will help you sleep better, and won’t give you a sugar or caffeine rush right before bed. Having this warm tea rather than making s’mores will put your body into sleep mode, and you’ll fall asleep easily.

Maintain Your Usual Bedtime

Sitting around the campfire until 3am may be appealing, but if you want to get a good night’s sleep try to stick to your usual bedtime. Your body has become accustomed to sleeping and waking up at the same time, and one way to ensure you’re sleeping well during the camping trip is to allow your body to maintain the same sleep rhythm. As well as going to bed at the same time, follow your normal routines as much as possible, brush your teeth before climbing into bed, and practice your relaxation exercises.

Allow Yourself to Relax

Sleeping in a strange place can be stressful, and away from the comfort of your own bed sleeping can be harder. You’ll hear different sounds, worry about the kids in the tent beside yours, and stress about sleeping outside. Stay calm and relaxed, and practice deep breathing and relaxation exercises. Pack a book and read in your tent for a few minutes if you’re struggling to fall asleep. After a night or two your body and brain will be used to the new sleeping conditions, and the last few nights of your trip you should have no problem falling asleep and staying asleep.

Sound Sleep Medical

If you’re worried that you haven’t been sleeping very well this summer, visit us at Sound Sleep Medical for more tips on how to sleep during the summer months, or when out on a camping trip. We have the expertise and advice you need to have a great rest every night.