Who doesn’t love the great outdoors? Basking in nature, listening to birds chirping, or even sleeping under the stars and moonlight after snacking on some toasty s’mores. Sounds fun, right?
Going on camping trips is a great way to find some peace and quiet necessary to recharge your energy and reset your mental health, and it’s a great escape from the hustle and bustle of living in the city. Think of it as deep breathing for your brand and soul!
Camping has its faults, though. You’re pretty much expected to settle with a few minor inconveniences in your daily routines, but that adds to the charm of getting closer to nature. We’re talking about extreme weather changes, mosquitoes and other insects, and the danger of wild animals.
When camping or backpacking, one of the hardest things to achieve is a good night’s sleep, especially when you’re used to sleeping on a comfy mattress, switching that to a sleeping bag is not an easy choice to make!
Luckily, there are many ways for you to overcome sleeping hurdles. Continue reading to learn more about how to improve sleep in the outdoors and elevate your camping experience. Don’t forget the mosquito nets!
How Do Campers Usually Sleep?
There are many ways to set up camp and establish a proper bedtime routine when you’re out in nature, but here are some common ways campers get good sleep.
Using a Sleeping Bag
Sleeping bags are number one on a camping gear list. Even without a tent or a roof, sleeping bags can protect you from the elements and give you enough comfort when sleeping outdoors.
But sleeping bags aren’t perfect and come with a few inconveniences. One of the most significant issues is the lack of muscle and spinal support.
Apart from not having enough cushioning to support the back, you may also feel the cold ground’s roughness when you opt for thinner sleeping bags. This leads to discomfort during sleep and possible body pains the next day, whether you’re a back or side sleeper.
On the other hand, opting for thicker sleeping bags often feels too hot and traps body heat inside the bag. Sleeping too warm may disrupt your sleep cycle and wake you up sweaty in the middle of the night, even in cold weather.
On some nights when it’s freezing outdoors, the warmth of a sleeping bag can be helpful. The temperature can also be made warmer by adding heat packs inside the bag.
While sleeping bags are the easiest to pack, they’re not necessarily the best sleep solution for camping and are better paired with a mat, added foam pads or blow-up mattress for more comfort.
How to Elevate Your Outdoor Sleeping Experience
Cancelling Out the Senses
The outdoors can get loud and distracting at night, hearing rustling leaves, the flow of a river stream, the hoots of an owl and sounds from critters.
For some people, the sound of the outdoors serves as calming white noise, but those used to sleeping in quiet environments can find it distracting.
Using earplugs helps cancel out the noise from your environment, giving you the silence you need to reduce the distractions from the sounds.
Apart from the noises, the moonlight (especially during the full moon) can be bright. Likewise, the campfire that brings you warmth is another light source that can be annoying for those who prefer complete darkness.
Wearing an eye mask helps block out the light, allowing you to get some shut-eye and a better night’s sleep.
Find a Better Surface to Sleep On
Sleeping bags, although convenient to bring, are only made for warmth and aren’t the best surface to sleep on. You can use many alternatives, especially if you’re not taking a long hike or you’re just out car camping.
Using a self-inflating sleeping pad or an air mattress as your bed can be a great way to make your sleeping conditions more comfortable. This allows you to sleep better. We won’t lie, air mattresses aren’t THAT comfortable, but they’re 100 times better than the floor.
Snoozing on sleeping pads or inflatable beds may seem like cheating for some outdoor lovers, but who’s to stop you from getting a great night’s sleep while being in touch with mother nature.
Alternatively, you can use a memory foam mattress topper as a makeshift bed for your camping trip. You get the support and comfort of memory foam without taking up too much space in your camping gear.
Camping pillows are also a great addition to your sleeping area. If you want to be a bit more extra about it, you can also bring your Ecosa Memory Foam Pillow, as this comes with a compression bag to easily allow it to fit inside small spaces.
Stick To Your Bedtime Routines
If you go to sleep at 9 pm every day, you should sleep at 9 pm when you’re camping.
Veering away from your regular sleep pattern and body clock may make it hard for you to sleep during your camping trip and maybe even affect your sleeping after the trip. You can go to sleep and wake up a maximum of 1 hour before or after your regular routine without disrupting it too much.
Suppose you have bedtime rituals like drinking chamomile tea before bed, playing soft music or diffusing scents. In that case, you can also do it when camping to give your brain the association of rest from familiar routines.
When you find it difficult to wind down and get ready for bedtime, after a long day of being outdoors, you can take a melatonin supplement half an hour before bed just to help you get sleepy. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements.
Enjoy Your Camping Trip!
Regular campers who are used to sleeping outdoors can handle a range of different conditions, but those that are just starting out can find it to be a difficult task.
In reality, sleeping while camping shouldn’t be hard, and it shouldn’t be inconvenient. Don’t be afraid to try out different sleeping pads or mattresses, and don’t hesitate to block out the lights and sounds of nature.
After all, even adventurers need to rest, and you might as well get the most out of it. Happy camping!