July 25, 2022 3 min read
Camping is a great opportunity to reconnect with nature and reset your body clock for more restful sleep. But there’s a catch: extreme temperatures, critters, and rocky grounds are realities of camping that can interfere with your sleep. And if you’re not camping alone, noise from neighboring campers can be another issue.
To avoid waking up groggy and bleary-eyed at dawn, you need to be well-prepared with the right camping gear. Sure, “roughing it” is an essential aspect of camping, but that doesn't mean you shouldn’t bring a little bit of comfort with you for better sleep. With that said, here are X products to help you enjoy your nights in the wild trouble-free.
You could sleep directly on the ground if you’re feeling adventurous. But to ensure restful sleep, it’s a good idea to invest in a foam or inflatable pad, air mattress, or camping cot, like this one by FE Active. Which camping bed you should choose depends on whether you’re backpacking or car camping. You should also bring a blanket or sleeping bag to go with your camping bed and depending on local temperatures.
You could also just roll up a towel to place under your head and call it a day, but a good camping pillow is more likely to help you sleep uninterrupted. Pillows are necessary for cushioning and spinal alignment. Camping and backpacking pillows like Nemo’s famous pillow are designed to be portable, adjustable, and tough for pain-free outdoor sleeping.
It’s hard to predict what the night temperatures will be like where you're camping, so bring both lightweight, cotton pajamas and a pair of long johns or cheap fleece-lined leggingsjust in case. Being too hot or too cold can both disrupt your sleep, but studies show that warmth promotes vasodilation and sleep-inducing body cooling. In other words, it’s better to be comfortably warm than cold for restful sleep.
If anything can get in the way of your sleep, it’s noise and light. While it’s generally quieter in the great outdoors than in busy cities, light sleepers might find the ambient noise of the forest and creek too distracting for sleep, so earplugs are a must. A blackout eye mask like this affordable one by PeNeed is a must-have while camping in the summer when daytime is longer and curtains aren’t an option.
Despite what you may think, you’re never really alone while out camping. Spending your days and nights in the great outdoors means that bugs are a constant companion. But to keep critters from disrupting your sleep, bring a mosquito net or bug repellents with you. This Mosquito Repellent Lantern by Thermacell offers 12-hour, scent-free protection.
If you or your camping companion snores, earplugs can only help so much. Studies show that severe snoring can reach loudness of over 70 dB or more. This level of noise is considered moderately damaging to the human ear and is the same level produced by a washing machine or telephone ringing. An anti-snoring device like the Good Morning Snore Solution stops snoring by keeping the tongue in place.
Stothard ER, McHill AW, Depner CM, et al. Circadian Entrainment to the Natural Light-Dark Cycle across Seasons and the Weekend.Curr Biol. 2017;27(4):508-513.doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.12.041
Harding EC, Franks NP, Wisden W. The Temperature Dependence of Sleep.Front Neurosci. 2019;13:336. Published 2019 Apr 24.doi:10.3389/fnins.2019.00336
Litovets TS, Krasnozhen VN. Kolichestvennaya otsenka gromkosti khrapa po dannym Watch-PAT-200 i ee vzaimosvyaz' so stepen'yu vyrazhennosti sindroma obstruktivnogo apnoe sna [Quantification of the loudness of snoring according to Watch-PAT-200 and its relationship with the severity of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome].Vestn Otorinolaringol. 2021;86(2):38-42.doi:10.17116/otorino20218602138
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