How to Ensure a Good Night Sleep While Camping

good night sleep while camping

Can’t get a good night sleep while camping?

Even though camping often requires going without certain home comforts, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice sleep. Here are just a few tips that I use to ensure a good night sleep while camping. 

tent camping

Choose the right place to pitch your tent

If you are sleeping in a tent, especially without an air mattress, it’s super important you pay attention to where you pitch your tent. When staying in an established campground, there are usually tent sites already prepared. If not, you need to find a flat area of land that is not immediately next to any trees or bushes. Before you set up and place your tent, inspect the area for roots, sticks, and rocks. Remove any loose debris that will be in the area where you place your tent. Also, avoid pitching your tent near standing water, indented ground (where water can gather), or too close to a campfire.  

When in a situation where sleeping on a slope is your only option, position your sleeping bag so that your legs are facing downhill. If your head is facing downhill, blood will rush to your head, which can cause you to become lightheaded, can fatigue your heart, among other health dangers.

If you’re staying on a campsite and you can choose your site, you may also want to consider proximity to toilets/washrooms. Some see being near restrooms as a convenience, but you will have to deal with more noise, more foot traffic, and possibly odors. Camping near entrances, exits, and central areas may also be noisier sites. 

good night sleep while camping

Upgrade your bedding

There’s no need to ‘rough it’ just because you are sleeping outside. Why settle for a cheap sleeping bag and a thin foam pad when there are much better options available today? 

If you’re someone that goes camping regularly, it could be worth investing in seasonal sleeping bags. Winter sleeping bags are warmer and heavier since they trap heat more effectively, while summer sleeping bags are lighter, breathable, and help you stay cool. Alternatively, you could pack cozy sheets and blankets that remind you of home. I definitely would not recommend blankets if you’re backpacking (pack light!) but there are appropriate lightweight thermal blankets to purchase for camping. 

Also, an inflatable mattress could be a nice upgrade, instead of a sleeping pad. Inflatable mattresses come in all sizes and are super portable. I recommend one with a foot or electric pump, to make blowing up these mattresses much easier. 

You could even look into camping hammocks and camping cots. Camping hammocks simply require two trees that are close enough to secure your place to sleep for the night. Read more about camping hammocks from a previous post of mine here.

Camping cots can be quite comfortable and easily portable for car camping.  These beds are convenient because they keep you off the ground, allowing you to camp on rougher terrain without tossing and turning all night. There are various sizes and styles of cots to choose from. Be sure to do your research online to find the best camping cot for the money.


Block out noise and light

In order to get a good night sleep while camping, you have to mimic your usual sleeping space as much as possible. If you’re a light sleeper, it’s worth taking extra steps to block out any potential noise and light at the campground. The simplest option is to bring earplugs and an eye mask. Make sure you have tested them out beforehand and are comfortable wearing them. Earplugs and eye masks should help you sleep through all the ambient outdoor sounds and will keep you from getting woken up by the early morning sun.

Another option could be to seek out a specialty tent. Retailers now sell dark colored tents that help to block out light, while other tents in this category are made of fabric that absorbs and diffuses any light that hits your tent. In addition to having a darker interior to your tent, your tent will also be cooler inside, without the hot sunlight. There are also tents out now that claim to be soundproof. These insulated tents provide quieter atmospheres and are especially helpful at festivals and full campgrounds. 


tent camping

Other tips:

  • If you’re worried about not getting a good night sleep while camping, be sure to have a full day of activities to help tire you (and any kids!) out. It’s always easier to fall asleep when you’ve had a long day.
  • Pack Benadryl, melatonin, or sleeping pills just in case. It’s not a bad thing to take a sleeping aid every now and then, especially when you’re in a new environment.
  • Even though you’re camping, some people still like to bring their pillow or blanket from their bed at home. This can make you more comfortable at bedtime.
  • If you have a smart phone, you can download an app to provide you with white noise to block outside sound.
  • Be sure you are warm or cool enough when you go to bed. If you’re camping in hot weather, spray yourself down with a mist of water to help cool your body temperature. If it’s a bit cold, be sure you’re wearing dry clothes and a hat. You can also add a warm water bottle or extra clothes into your sleeping bag to add heat and insulation.

No one will truly enjoy camping if they can’t enjoy the entire experience of living and sleeping outside. All it takes is a little extra planning and packing to ensure that you can get a good night sleep while camping.

What are your tricks to getting a good night sleep while camping? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Travels!


good night sleep while camping


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