Updated: Sep 28, 2020
A misconception is that camping means 'roughing it'. That shouldn't be the case, and one way to ensure you have a good camping experience is to get a good night's sleep. Here are 5 tips to help you doze off when camping:
1). Pitch your tent on level ground.
There's nothing worse than sliding down your sleeping mat and ending up crushed against the bottom of the tent all night. Keep an eye out for flat ground when looking for a place to camp. Quite often I set my tent up and then lie in it before I fully peg it out. If there's a slope or rock, just move it to the left or right a bit until you've got a comfy spot. If you can't avoid a slope, I sometimes tuck a few items of clothing under the edge of your sleeping mat that create a big enough lip to stop you rolling onto the ground!
2). Don't drink too much.
Maybe you've had a long day hiking in the outdoors, you've pitched your tent, made a fire (following the Leave No Trace ethics), eaten dinner and now you're sharing a few drinks around the campfire. When you drink alcohol before bed you may fall into deep sleep quicker, and some people find drinking alcohol helps them drop-off to sleep. But after drinking, you spend more time than usual in this deep sleep and less time in the more restful, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. This can leave you feeling tired the next day no matter how long you stay in bed. You can read more about this here.
3). Take a sleeping mask.
Order one online here or get one next time you're on a flight. In the UK, summer days are long and so a mask is a great way to get a bit more kip if you'd rather not get up at at 05:30!
4). Take some foam ear plugs.
Ideal if you're sharing a tent with someone that snores, or if you're on a campsite (or with campers) that may be noisy late at night or early in the morning.
5). Let nature do it's thing!
Research has shown that camping can help reset your body's natural body clock (your circadian rhythm - as sung about in the song 'Daysleeper' by REM!) and helps you get more sleep. You can read more about it in this article by the LA Times, or come and find out for yourself at our Camping for Beginners event in May 2020.
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