How to Sleep Better on the Road

The Dirtbag Darling is back at KTV with some interesting tips about something we haven’t really touched on in our Hitting the Road series: sleeping. Do you have tricks for getting great sleep on road trips? Here’s what she does, but we’d love to hear if you have other ways of making sure you get enough solid sleep in your cross-country travels. 

It’s ironic that some of our worst nights of sleep happen when we’re outside—or maybe that’s just me. Developers rack in the big bucks for selling us sleeping apps that mimic crickets chirping and rain falling, but those same sounds can be like Chinese water torture when I’m actually sleeping in a tent. Since counting sheep doesn’t seem to help, here are seven tips I’ve learned for catching some Z’s when you’re out in the wild:

Get exhausted

If you’re in a tent or the bed of a truck, chances are you’ve been active all day in the Great Outdoors. Make sure you’re pushing your limits—surf longer, hike steeper, play harder. The more tired you are when you hit the hay, the more likely it is you’ll zonk out for a full eight hours.

Dress for the temperature

Read the weather forecast before you leave for your trip and make sure you’ve packed a sleeping bag with the right temperature rating. If you’re just using a quilt, wear fleece pants, a down jacket and a hat, and if it’s hot, ditch the layers.

Pack a pillow

If you can afford the space it takes up, an inflatable sleeping pad is essential. L.L. Bean and a few other outdoor retailers even make special camp pillows that pack up into small stuff sacks. It’s just nicer to lay your head on something soft at night.

Bring earplugs

Small, cheap and lightweight—earplugs are easy to get used to wearing and block out just enough noise to help you pass out. These are especially essential in case your camping partners snore.

Wash up

Freshen up (as much as you can) before you crawl into your sleeping bag. Bring moist wipes to clean your face, armpits and other smelly areas. Brush your teeth. Use deodorant.

Change your socks

Nothing is worse than soggy socks before bed. Always bring a spare pair for sleeping, and remember some camp shoes or flip flops for trips to nature’s bathroom in the middle of the night.

When all else fails…

Resort to Tylenol PM. It works.

For more from Dirtbag Darling on KTV:

How to Pick Out Kayaking Gear 

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