close-up of feet of two people lying down on sleeping bags inside tent

6 Tips to Help You Sleep Better While Camping

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/ June 3, 2021
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After over a year of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, getting out and seeing the world has never looked so good. But things aren't 100% back to normal quite yet. If you choose to travel this summer, you still have to be sure that you're doing it mindfully, and for some, that may mean finally taking that road trip you've been putting off for years.

Road trips can be safer than air travel since you're only traveling with your immediate family or close friends without having to touch dozens of surfaces and interact with strangers. But even though it may be safer, traveling on the road still comes with its challenges. 

One such challenge is making sure you get a good night's rest. Whether you're taking your car across the country, going camping, or even renting a tricked-out RV to save on hotel bills, these tips will help make sure you stay on your rest schedule even when you have to sleep in unfamiliar places.

How to sleep better while camping

Follow these tips to catch adequate Z's when sleeping outside in a tent:

Block out the noise with earplugs

Sure, you escape to the great outdoors to hear the calming sounds of birds chirping and the wind rustling the trees—but when you're trying to sleep while camping, every little noise can turn into an unnecessary reason to stress. 

If you've made sure your camping area is clear of food and you're secure in your tents, chances are, you don't have to worry about what's going on around you as you sleep. Grab some earplugs so you can block out the sound of animals scurrying at night or even the other campers around you.

Get comfortable on a mattress pad or inflatable air mattress

Throwing a sleeping bag on the ground and calling it a "camp bed" just doesn't cut it anymore. This may work for your kids, but anyone over the age of 15 knows sleeping on the floor can be miserable if you don't have the right gear. 

Invest in a high-quality mattress pad or even a roll-up inflatable air mattress made just for the outdoors. Your back—and your energy the next day—will surely thank you.

Protect your sleep space from bugs

Nothing ruins a trip spent outdoors like annoying bugs and pests. Take matters into your own hands and protect your space as you sleep. Get a bug zapper that also doubles as a flashlight so you can pack less, stress less, and sleep better.

How to sleep better in an RV

Take these steps to make your RV feel like home so you can sleep better on the road:

Choose the right mattress and sheets

If you're renting an RV, who knows where that bed has been! You can easily swap in the mattress of your choice and upgrade the sheets to boot. You can't go wrong with a classic innerspring mattress, which also happens to be the most affordable mattress type. If you're road tripping in the summer, linen sheets are a great way to stay cool at night without having to overdo it on the air conditioner. 

Wear a sleep mask 

This is one of the most affordable ways to get a good night's rest. Most RVs don't have light-blocking curtains or shades, so take matters into your own hands by sliding your personal blackout curtain right over your eyes. Most sleep masks retail for under or around $10.

Keep your neck supported with a comforting pillow

Just because you're traveling doesn't mean you have to skip small luxuries like a comforting pillow. Sleeping on a stiff neck for one night can quickly turn into a bigger problem. Using a down-alternative pillow can help your neck stay supported all night without causing allergies or irritation.

The bottom line: No matter how you choose to spend your summer, make sure healthy sleep is at the top of your priorities list. You can't enjoy everything the day has to offer if you cut corners on your bedtime routine. Quality sleep on camping or road trips is quite literally the key to being a happy camper—pun intended.

Headed to your summer rental? Here are tips to sleep well in an unfamiliar place, starting on night one. 

Brittany Leitner

Brittany Leitner

Brittany Leitner is a freelance writer, editor, and poet based in Brooklyn, NY. She was previously the senior lifestyle editor at Elite Daily and managing editor at The Dr. Oz Show. Her work covers health, wellness, beauty, and travel. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @britariail.

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