How Can I Sleep Better While Camping [ 13 awesome tips ]

How can I sleep better while camping

Sleeping outdoors when you’re camping can be difficult for some people especially if you’re a light sleeper.

You may find it either uncomfortable or too noisy and it can only be expected when we’re so used to sleeping soundly in our own warm, comfortable beds at night away from the elements outside.

There is just something about sleeping in the outdoors that really is just magical and lets you appreciate the nature around you.

So, here I am going to provide 13 top tips on how you can sleep better while camping so you can wake up well-rested, ready to take the day on and actually enjoy sleeping outside!

Now, don’t doze off on me here! These tips will allow for a greater and more restful sleep.

sleep better while camping

Choose the right spot to pitch your tent

You want to choose a spot that is flat with no lumps or bumps on the ground as this will just make for the most uncomfortable night’s sleep!

Clear the ground of any debris such as loose sticks, twigs or leaves.

Try to avoid any spots that are on a slope as you don’t want to be falling asleep, and then changing sleeping position only to be rolling down to the bottom of your tent.

High quality sleeping bag

Purchasing a really good sleeping bag is essential for a good night’s sleep, especially if you’re camping on a cold wintery night.

There are some really good sleeping bags that provide optimal warmth and comfort in temperatures into the minus.

They are made of durable and very comfortable polyester that is awesome for retaining your body heat so you can stay warm throughout the night!

Get hold of a good air mattress

Choosing a good air mattress will certainly allow for a more comfortable sleep while camping. It helps to keep you off the ground so you’re not feeling the hardness and coldness of the ground below you.

You can purchase an air mattress that blows up within a minute or so. They’ll inflate up to a few inches, providing that extra cushion to make sleeping a lot easier.

They are cheap and lightweight so they are very easy to carry around in your backpack.

Use a camping pillow

If you want, you can use a pillow from your bed but then you have the whole process of cleaning and washing it out after your camping trip.

You’re best investing in a camping pillow. They are very cheap and essential to provide that good night’s sleep you’re after.

They take seconds to blow up and just offer that neck and lumber support so you can rest easy at night.

Hot water bottle

If you’re after the most comfortable night’s sleep, then you may want to consider a hot water bottle.

It doesn’t have to be full size; even a handheld hot water bottle will provide that extra warmth in your sleeping bag.

So, 30 minutes or so before bedtime boil some water up in your pot and pour into your hot water bottle. Sit it inside your sleeping bag 10 minutes before your climb in and it’ll be toasty warm for you.

It’s a great item to have especially if camping on a cold night!

Drink some sleepy time tea

Something I always carry in my camping backpack!

Sleepy time tea is a herbal tea made of Chamomile, Spearmint and Lemongrass. It’s great to have that simply helps to induce sleep and makes you feel more relaxed.

Boil up some water and throw in a teabag, I guarantee that you’ll have a much more restful sleep!

Eat well in advance

Having a nice meal or something wholesome will make you feel fuller for longer which in turn will help you to sleep better.

Anytime we’re out camping, I’ll bring a couple of packets of porridge oats. I’ll cook them up about 1 hour or 2 before bed which we’ll have along with some sleepy time tea.

It just helps your body rest better and fall into a deeper sleep.

Have a swig of whiskey

So, if I’m not in the mood for any sleep time tea, I’ll substitute this for a few swigs of whiskey.

Whiskey is a great relaxer that will certainly keep you warm during the night. Only a couple of sips of this from a flask and you’re promised a great night’s sleep.

Perfect nightcap!

Use ear plugs

If you are a light sleeper and feel that the noises of the outdoors will keep you up at night, I advise taking some ear plugs with you camping.

I myself do actually prefer the noises outside my tent, it actually helps me to fall asleep but I do carry ear plugs just in case.

If you’re camping on a really windy night and your tent is flapping away, it can become quite noisy so ear plugs can come in handy here.

Keep those pesky bugs away

Having some bug spray packed away in your backpack is always useful when camping.

There’s been many a time when I’ve been out camping in the woods, on the beach or by a river and constantly being pestered by flies and bugs, sometimes wakening up in the morning covered in bites.

I do recommend bringing bug spray; this will keep you protected and ‘itch free’ so you can relax whilst you sleep.

Natural lavender products are also an excellent way of deterring any flies.

Try and stay active during the day

During the day, try and keep yourself active by doing tasks such as collecting wood, hiking, cleaning your camp area, swimming or just some form of exercise.

This helps to burn energy gradually through the day and when it comes to the night, you’ll knock off like a light bulb!

The more energy you expend during the day, the more tired you’ll become just in time for bed.

After a day of using up so much energy, the body needs sleep to recover and replenish itself and this can only be done when it’s in a form of deep sleep.

Deep sleep is when you can really get a good night’s rest, keeps away the grogginess so you wake up refreshed in the morning.

—–> Check out the 16 incredible benefits of camping <—–

Sit next to the campfire at night

There are studies that show sitting next to a campfire helps to promote melatonin (the hormone used to induce sleep).

It is believed that the colours of the red and warm glow produce more for of the hormone as it readies the body for sleep.

The warmth of the fire will also keep you warm and promote a sense of cosiness – which is always great to have for bed.

Get as much sunlight as you can

Natural sunlight has a massive impact on your sleeping patterns.

Your body has its own self regulator that tells itself when it’s morning and when it’s the evening.

By being out during the day, you’re increasing your presence in the natural sunlight which tells your body that this is the morning, then the afternoon, then the evening and finally night.

At this point your body knows that as the sun has gone down, it’s time for bed soon and naturally starts to wind down so you can sleep easier and better.

Like always, any questions you may have. Drop it below and I’ll be sure to get back to you!

16 comments Add yours
  1. Hi there thanks for the informative post about getting good sleep when camping. The only time I tried camping I remember sleeping on lumpy ground and having freezing feet during the night. You have some great tips which would have prevented that e.g., pitch the tent on level ground, get an air mattress, a hot water bottle (genius would never think of that on a camping trip). Next time, thanks to your article, I’ll be prepared. 

    1. Exactly Ann, it’s items such as a good air mattress and a hot water bottle will really make the difference just allowing you to get that bit better sleep when your out in the wild. 

  2. You have provided some great tips to help people to sleep well when they are camping.

    I completely agree that it is essential to provide as much comfort fo yourself as possible, and you have offered really good advice here. Unless you are warm and comfortable you will not sleep well, and therefore you will feel exhausted the next day, and that can spoil your camping trip! There is nothing worse than continually waking in the night feeling cold and stiff because you do not have the right equipment.

    As you say, a hot water bottle is great to have when camping – such a small extra can make all the difference!

    Many thanks for your really helpful post.

    Chrissie 🙂

    1. Hi Chrissie,

      I’m glad this provides some insight into the small changes and things you can take that’s going to improve your sleeping pattern when camping.

      Your right, the hot water bottle is something I always bring!

  3. Dear Ronan,

    Thanks a lot for the awesome and great tips on getting better sleep while camping.

    I go for camping every month with my friends and I got new insights from your post. 

    Normally my friends use to say because of the new place they are not able to sleep and they struggle to sleep. So I am going to share your post to my friends and I am sure they gonna enjoy reading it. I strongly believe by implementing your great tips going forward they won’t find difficulty to sleep while camping.  

    Thanks again and wishing you great success!

    Paul

    1. Hi Paul,

      I’m glad this helps

      Sleeping when camping can be difficult but these tips will definitely change how you sleep when outside in the wilderness – guaranteed! 

  4. A good night sleep is always amazing and even better is having a good night sleep camping. I can tell you that the experience is just amazing. With the fresh wind that blows just makes it even better. But like you have said the bugs are not a good experience because they really can ruin ones relaxation.

    Also the type of tent one makes use of is also another issue because there are some tents or shelters that are very open and some are closed. For example tarps though they are spacious and allow proper air passage they have the disadvantage of been open to bugs making the experience to be tainted.

    As for tents although they are spacious they come enclosed and don’t really allow for good passage of air. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. The most important thing is just to make sure you enjoy your good night sleep.

    1. Hi Jay

      Your right, different tents have their own advantages and disadvantages so make sure to choose a tent is best suited for your needs, size and where you feel you will be camping. 

      If your after a tent with greater air flow, try a double wall tent. Fresh air is able to ventilate the tent better. Check my post about it here: https://campkayakcanoe.com/cam

  5. A few years ago I went on a camping trip by myself in the middle of December, it was just for fun to see if I could handle the cold. These are definitely really great tips for how to sleep better while camping. Putting a hot water bottle in your camping bag before bed is a great idea, I didn’t think to do that on my last trip. Also I’d definitely remember to bring a bottle of Whiskey next time. These are all great tips for a cold camping trip, thank you for this great article.

    1. Hi Kent,

      haha I do recommend a flask of whiskey, it has definitely kept me warm during a cold nights camping. It’ll keep you’re belly warm and tastes great!

  6. I sleep like a rock, except in new environments, so this guide is perfect for me!.I am definitely one of those people who would be rolling down the slope so thats a good point for me to remember. Everything on this list is on point.

    Keeping out pests, comfortable sleeping equipment and enough sunlight. I also find that I sleep better when I physically tire myself out, but not like to the point of exhaustion. I think it is the same principle as walking a dog (or a child). You can get rid of all your excess energy and sleep soundly at night.

    Thanks for the info! 

    1. Hi Renton,

      I’m the same, it can be difficult getting to sleep in a new environment especially outside! Although just applying these small techniques listed will certainly improve your sleeping behaviour when camping.

  7. Hi Ronan,

    At first, I was really intrigued upon learning the article’s tittle considering the privacy, enough water for shower and some other hassles just to have a shower in a camping.

    However, as I went thru your article, my curiosity suddenly silenced me then laughed at my self as I didn’t realize there’s such a portable shower bag already around. OMG! I under-estimated technology!

    Anyway, thanks for introducing that and glad if you can suggest any good brand as I wish to grab one because I really love camping and the only thing I hate is that sticky feeling which makes me sleepless at night.

    Thanks really for this article as It makes me feel like I’m just with nature savouring that fresh air while listening to the sweet tweets of the birds.

    Have fun with your next camping and be safe always!

    -julius

    1. Hi Julius,

      Your right, it just shows how much the technological world has advanced. You’re now able to take and use everyday things you use in life into the outdoors such as a warm shower.

      These portable shower bags are incredible, I’ve tried and tested them myself. It’s basically the same shower in a house, only with a better view.

  8. Hi! Yeah, I have gone through that experience of wanting to rest but not being able to fall asleep. I greatly appreciate the tips you outline here. I agree with most of them and must say that I hadn’t thought in, let’s say half of what you have mentioned. Things like sitting next to the camp fire at night for a better nights sleep would have never occurred to me. I’ll try that next time! Thanks for this post!

    1. Hi Henry, 

      Just by sitting next to the campfire helps to promote that sense of cosiness and warmth and I must say I really enjoy the noise of a crackling fire – it’s something I would even listen to on Youtube in the house before dozing off to sleep.

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