There’s nothing quite like sleeping under the stars in the great outdoors. The chirping of cicadas, brilliant night sky, and expansive stillness is enough to help anyone relax.
However, not everyone is as clued up as they should be about how to experience proper rest when camping. There are many mistakes to make when it comes to setting up a tented bed, and many of them come with a lack of experience.
Pitching your tent on a downward slope, not bringing enough blankets, and thinking you can survive without a decent pillow are common camping blunders. Everyone should be able to venture into the great outdoors with the intention of sleeping properly and getting the rest they need to enjoy their camping adventure.
Studies show that sleeping under the stars can provide us with many health benefits. Decreased anxiety, better circulation, and a sense of belonging tend to arise when we spend prolonged time in the wilderness, alone or with loved ones.
Getting outside is important for everyone’s health and sense of adventure. So, let’s find out some ways you can a good night’s sleep next time you find yourself under the stars.
Research The Weather Beforehand
If you want to sleep well when camping, you need to do some research on the expected weather patterns before you leave. The more information you have about what to expect from your environment, the easier it will be to prepare for it.
For example, if high temperatures and low winds are predicted, you can ditch the comforters and opt for a lighter sleeping bag instead. Similarly, if the weather is predicted to be very cold and rainy, you’ll sleep much better piled under a few extra layers.
Pitch Your Tent On Flat Ground
Too many camping experiences are ruined by an ill-placed tent. Whether you plan on sleeping on the ground or inside of a tent, you’ll need to do some pretty thorough adventuring before finding the perfect location to set up camp.
Sleeping on a downward or upward slope can make your night very uncomfortable, and it will be difficult to relax properly. Aim to set up your sleeping area on as flat a surface as you can find for the best result possible.
If there’s one way to ruin a night of camping, it’s suffering from dehydration. Shivering, dizziness, dry mouth and restlessness are bound to occur if you do not consume the right amount of water during the day. Hydration is imperative to good health, and consequently, good sleep.
We sleep better when our bodies have received the right amount of water during the day. Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Having to get out of a sleeping bag every five minutes for a full bladder is no one’s idea of fun.
Eat Well And Listen To Your Body
When it comes down to it, the main thing that’s going to help you sleep through the night while lying beneath the stars is optimal health and wellness.
If you want to experience a good 7-8 hours of deep, restorative rest, remember to listen to your body for any signals of discomfort that can be alleviated.
One way to do this is by eating proper meals throughout your camping trip. A well-fed body tends to sleep better and for longer periods of time. Don’t skip any major meals and make sure you get your veggies in for a good night’s rest that will last throughout your starry adventure.
Tire Yourself Out
People with insomnia are sometimes encouraged to tire themselves out with exercise before bed in order to sleep longer and deeper through the night.
You can apply this same technique while camping to ensure a long, restorative night of rest under the stars. If you struggle with restlessness or too much mental activity at night, it might be helpful for you to give yourself a very physical task to complete before climbing into your sleeping bag.
Things like going for a hike, swimming in a lake, or rock climbing can safely exhaust your body, allowing you to enjoy the supreme relaxation and coziness that often follows exertion.
Invest In A Good Pillow And Mattress
You never know what the terrain is going to be like—rocky, leafy, soft or spiky, but you do know in advance exactly how comfortable a good quality mattress and pillow are.
The padding provided by both of these things can make the world of a difference to your sleeping experience, and it’s an investment you won’t regret making. The consistency of softness they provide will keep your body feeling safe and warm all through the night.
Bring Plenty Of Comfort
A little bit of comfort goes a long way, especially when you’re staying outdoors for an extended period of time. While you want to refrain from over-packing, deliberately bringing items from home that improve your quality of life will make your overall camping experience much sweeter.
We always sleep better when life is easy, and you can make your life easier by packing in some of your favorite home comforts. Even if you’re not going glamping, take along a small rug, an extra pillow, some hardy slippers—things like these are designed for physical comfort that translates to mental comfort when you need it most.
Use Insect Repellent
Everyone knows how disruptive sleep becomes when a mosquito has decided that you’re its dinner. The high-pitched humming of a mosquito (or any buzzing, night-time critter) is enough to drive anyone crazy—and prevent them from sleeping throughout the night.
Bringing with a strong insect repellent could mean the difference between a night of itchy, broken sleep, and a night of peaceful, comfortable sleep.
An all-purpose spray can help you to fend off against more than just mosquitos—you can repel any unwanted bugs such as spiders, centipedes, or beetles. Just make sure it’s biodegradable and safe to use in the wilderness without damaging the air for local flora or fauna.
Sleeping outdoors is a wonderful experience—but it takes careful planning to enjoy its benefits. Plan ahead and you’re far more likely to get a good night’s sleep!