While living life in the back of a van for a few weeks may seem like the perfect trip it does come with some impracticalities.
Limited space, unpredictable temperatures and a change of scenery can play havoc with your sleeping pattern.
Here are some top tips for getting the best sleep when you take your life on the road.
1. Make The Perfect Nest
Falling asleep in an unfamiliar setting can be difficult at the best of times, so it’s important you make your camper van bed the perfect place to lay your head after a long day of exploring. Invest in a high quality mattress and good bedding that reminds you of home. While forking out a lot of money may feel like a blow at the time, your sleep will thank you for it in the long run. If your bed is not comfy, then you may start to dread your trips in the beloved camper.
2. Get Busy
Making sure your days are action packed will help you get a better sleep at night. Try and incorporate a high energy activity into every day of your trip from hiking, walking or just taking a morning jog.
3. Escape The Noise
Anyone that has ever done any kind of camping will know that nights are never silent – whether your in a tent or a camper. The sounds of nature and noisy neighbours can often steal your sleep. However the solution is relatively easy and cheap. Invest in a comfortable pair of ear plugs to block out the background noise.
4. It’s All In The Location
If you know you’re a light sleeper then you might want to research parks that are known for being quieter and less busy. Also check that they are far from main roads. While it’s not very rock and roll, you might want to start thinking about your sleeping situation as soon as you arrive at your destination. Also once you arrive at your chosen park it might be a good idea to scope out your new “neighbours” before settling on a spot.
5. Keep Cosy
Even if you travel during the height of summer, you can not guarantee that the nights will be warm. As soon as the sun goes down temperatures drop and there is nothing worse than getting into a cold bed. Before settling down for the night pop a hot water bottle to the bottom – this will ensure your toes stay toastie all night long. Another way is to get your heart rate up just before going to bed, so take a brisk walk or light jog.
If you’re travelling out of the summer season it might be best to invest in some thermal underwear to wear to bed. Extra bedding is also key.
6. Drink Less
Everyone is guilty of indulging a little when on holiday, but drinking and dining can actually effect our sleep more than we think. Drinking alcohol will break your sleep routine and cause you to be dehydrated throughout the night, as well as making you need more bathroom breaks. It’s a good idea to minimise alcohol and caffeine intake an hour before bedtime.
7. Food For Thought
Like alcohol, food can keep us up at night. When camping it’s easier to cook during the day light, so the chances are you will have eaten long before bed. But if you are peckish before hitting the hay, graze on something that is low in protein- as protein is harder to digest and can delay sleep.
8. Stay In Routine
More often than not it is the break in routine that causes us to lose sleep when in a new environment. So where possible it is a good idea to carry on your daily habits as usual. So for example, if you usually brush your teeth just before you get into bed, try and do this while your away too. It will keep your internal clock on track.
9. Wind Down
Lavender is known for it’s relaxing properties so it might be a good idea to put a few drops of the essential oil on the pillow of your new home.
10. Level It Off
This may seem obvious, but make sure that your motor home is level. You can do this through the use of levelling ramps. Not only will this stop things rolling around, it will just add to your general level of comfort. Our bodies are very clever at detecting when things aren’t quite right and most of us are used to sleeping in a completely flat bed.