Researchers at the University of Colorado have come to the conclusion that most campers are already aware of: camping is good for your sleeping health.
In the study conducted by Kenneth Wright, Jr., Ellen Stothard, and Andrew McHill of UC Boulder, and published in Current Biology, they concluded that camping for even just the weekend shifts a person’s bedtime to nearly 2 ½ hours earlier than being at home. This is due mostly to the lack of illuminated screen time and the body’s response to seasonal changes in daylight.
Usually, a dose of fresh air, exercise, and being in nature will bring on good sleep, but DIY RV has even more ways you can doze in peace and comfort in your RV—without being a college test subject.
1. Be aware of how you park your rig
We all know that the ideal camping spot can be a gold mine for sleep, but did you know that how you park your RV can also help? Granted, many campsites only allow for a specific camping location, but make sure your bedroom or sleeping area is farthest away from the road or your nearest neighbor.
Find out about prevailing winds and keep your bedroom window away from them. Even parking your camper at a bit of an angle to avoid noisy areas, morning sunlight or public bathrooms can help. If all else fails, bring earplugs.
2. Choose the right bedding
Most of us campers supplement rock hard RV beds with mattress toppers made from memory foam. However, your choice of blankets will also affect your sleep.
Feather comforters and fleece sheets are wonderful on colder fall nights, but you will kick them off in the summer. Sleeping bags are nice for purists but have a tendency to rustle and make noise all night.
Store several different types of blankets and sheets to use throughout the year and supplement with an extra blanket or two on colder nights.
3. Utilize nightlights and flashlights
Don’t upset your sleeping partner. Rather than flicking on a reading or overhead light when heading to the bathroom, utilize an LED nightlight or a small flashlight.
Life Gear Glow Sticks are a nice portable option for finding both an RV bathroom and a campground toilet without blinding everyone—including yourself.
4. Shade your sleep
Having the right shades will make both your night and early morning sleep much more pleasant. Regular blinds or curtains are nice for privacy during the day but can let in light from headlights or the sun.
Camping World sells custom day/night shades that complement your RV interior and allow you to control the amount of light that comes into your rig. You can even adjust them if you want to get up with the sunrise.
5. Add in some throw pillows
Even in our tiny teardrop trailer bed, we make room for a small throw pillow. Not only are they great for reading in bed, but they can act as a knee pillow, a neck pillow, or even a surrogate sleeping partner. Just give it a hug while snoozing if you left your teddy bear at home.