July 26, 2021 3 min read
Nature offers something city life does not: natural light, fresh air, and tranquility. These things should normally help you get the best sleep of your life. But if you’ve ever tried to sleep in the great outdoors, you know it isn’t exactly like sleeping in the comfort of your air-conditioned bedroom with the white noise machine on.
Buzzing insects, spooky sounds, anduncomfortable temperatures are challenges of camping that can make it hard for you to fall asleep. And if you’re new to camping, it will probably take time for you to get comfortable with sleeping in an unfamiliar setting. To avoid restless nights under the stars, follow these camping tips for better sleep.
There’s some debate whether pillows are really necessary. But if you’re used to sleeping with one, then you’re more likely to sleep well if you bring one with you on your camping trip. Either bring the one you normally sleep on or purchase an inflatable camp pillow if traveling light.
The quality and type of your camping gear can make a big difference in the quality of your sleep. Campers sleeping in colder environments are better off with mummy sleeping bags than rectangular ones, for example. The same holds true for sleeping pads, tents, and underwear.
Especially if you’re camping in warmer weather. Bug sprays and creams will help you avoid mosquito and flea bites. Mosquito coils and lanterns work well too. Campfire and keeping food well-sealed and away from your tent can also help keep critters away.
While it’s generally quieter in the wild, frogs, crickets, nearby creeks, and rustling leaves can end up bothering you if you’re normally noise-sensitive. Bring earplugs with you just in case and a sleep mask if there’s a full moon out or you’re sleeping where the sun sets late.
If fear of wildlife is keeping you awake, then proper food storage can help put your mind at ease. It’s common camping advice to keep the campsite odor-free by sealing food and keeping the area clean. That’s because smells can attract bears and other wildlife.
Sure, camping is a change in routine. But that doesn't mean you shouldn’t stick to your usual nighttime activities, like brushing your teeth, winding down, avoiding heavy meals, and other common sleep hygiene practices. After all, routines are proven to help us sleep better.
If you or your camp buddy snore habitually, you might want to try snore solutions like earplugs, limiting alcohol, sleeping separately, or even snoring mouthpieces. Also, consider ourGood Morning Snore Solution tongue-stabilizing devices, which prevent snoring by keeping the tongue slightly forward.
And if you find yourself wide awake because an over-active imagination is unlocking some of your primal fears, try to distract your mind with a favorite book, star-gazing, or mindfulness. Don’t let your fears prevent you from enjoying nature and getting the kind of sleep you can only get in a natural setting.
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
Is It Better For Your Neck And Spine To Sleep With Or Without A Pillow? Sleep Advisor website. June 2, 2020.https://www.sleepadvisor.org/sleep-with-or-without-a-pillow/
How to avoid encounters with black bears while camping. Ontario.ca/bearwise.
Zisberg A, Gur-Yaish N, Shochat T. Contribution of routine to sleep quality in community elderly.Sleep. 2010;33(4):509-514.doi:10.1093/sleep/33.4.509
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