Who doesn’t love the great outdoors? Basking in nature, listening to birds chirping, or even sleeping under the stars and moonlight. Sounds fun, right?
Going on camping trips is a great way to find peace and quiet, and it’s a great escape from the hustle and bustle of living in the city.
Camping has its faults though. You’re pretty much expected to settle with a few minor inconveniences on your daily routines, but that adds to the charm of getting closer to nature.
When camping or backpacking, one of the hardest things to overcome is getting a good night’s sleep, especially when you’re used to sleeping on a comfy mattress.
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.
How do campers usually sleep?
There are many ways to set up camp and to establish a proper bedtime routine when you’re out in nature, but here are some of the common ways campers 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 they come with a few inconveniences. One of the biggest issues is the lack of 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.
On the other hand, opting for thicker sleeping bags often feels too warm and traps body heat inside the bag. Sleeping too warm may disrupt your sleep cycle and may also wake you up sweaty in the middle of the night.
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 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 also 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 also 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 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 in inside small spaces.
Stick to your bedtime routines
If you go to sleep at 9pm every day, then you should sleep at 9pm when you’re out 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 maximum 1 hour before or after your normal 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 in the 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 in the 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 of it. Happy camping!