It’s summertime once again! The season for vacations, trips to the beach and, for many, adventures in the great outdoors. One of the major reasons why we venture outdoors is to get in back in touch with nature. To take joy in simpler things, breathe in the fresh air and to sleep beneath the stars. No memory foam mattresses and specialty down pillows. No 1000 thread-count sheets, nights stands or alarm clocks. All it takes to sleep outdoors is a sleeping bag, a tent (unless you go Cowboy-style) and the cozy blanket of a star-lit night sky.
Although you may think Sit ‘n Sleep is just a mattress store that only knows about sleeping indoors on comfortable mattresses, we also know something about how to get the best sleep possible outdoors as well. So, here are our ten tips to help you get the best night of sleep possible in the great outdoors.
10. Don’t Drink Before Bed Time
Keep hydrated during the day but avoid drinking a lot of fluids at night. That’ll keep you from waking up and having to use the restroom and avoiding any unnecessary encounters with the creatures of the night.
9. Nap Early or Not at All
Camping usually involves days of hiking, swimming or climbing which can be tiresome. It’s fine to catch a brief nap during the early afternoon, but if you take one after three it can be difficult for you to fall asleep at night.
8. Avoid Alcohol at Night
Drinking alcohol can help people fall asleep, but the body’s detoxification process can wake you up later, making it difficult to fall back to sleep. Also, drinking alcohol disrupts sleep patterns and makes it difficult to reach the deeper, more restorative sleep phases, leaving you tired and cranky the next day.
7. Wear a Knit Cap
A knit cap or “beanie” is great to wear when sleeping outdoors because while you’re sleeping heat leaves through your head. By keeping your head warm, your entire body will stay warmer throughout the night.
6. Keep Your Food Stored in Air-Tight Containers
This tip has a lot less to do with sleeping than waking up to the horrifying sight of a bear or other predator lurking about your camp site in search of food.
5. Block Out the Sounds of Nature
It may sound antithetical to the camping experience, but if you get spooked easily, bring your headset and mp3 player or some earplugs. Most people aren’t used to the sounds of hooting of owls, wrestling leaves or babbling of brooks and can find these noises rather frightening at night.
4. Ward off the Pesky Bugs
Remember, just because you’re not traipsing though the forest you’re still in danger of being stung by mosquitoes. Be sure to re-apply bug repellant before bed time, lest you wake up with red, blotchy, itchy bites the next morning.
3. Wear a Sleep Mask
If you intend to sleep past sun up, you should be prepared with a sleep mask or bandana. When the sun rises at 5:30 in the morning, you may not be able to escape the its powerful glare without the aid of an eye shield.
2. Build a Fire
A nice, warm, smoldering fire is great for keeping you warm and to ward off bugs and predators. Be careful though, you don’t want to let the fire get out of hand and inure anyone or start a forest fire.
1. Wear Socks
Your feet are the first part of your body that will get cold on a chilly night. A good pair of socks will go a long way towards making it a comfortable night in the great outdoors.