By - ollie_k
I could never sleep, until I went out for more than a couple nights.
Same here! I ALWAYS sleep horribly the first night. The subsequent nights are fine!
When camping I drink before bed, and if I wake up in the middle of the night I might take a pull. I also have a decent pad.
Username checks out
I think the pad is more relevant here. Drinking is a sure fire way to sleep shitty.
I have the same issue. I try not to use electronics when I’m out, but I’ve found that having a familiar show or movie playing, preferably something boring or at least not suspenseful/scary, provides more familiarity and helps with sleep. I’m a grown man and I’m not afraid to admit that my go to is Ratatouille.
Melatonin extended release
This might be silly, but do you bring a pillow? My sleep still isn’t nearly as good as at home, but the pillow paired with a newer 3”ish thick sleeping pad was a game changer for me.
I’ve done so many car trips where we forget pillows and it’s just sad, because we could have brought them and just… didn’t.
What pad do you have?
I have thru-hiked the AT and still never really get a good night sleep when camping. I always toss and turn. Here’s some thing to try that have helped me: Benadryl before bed
Try hammock camping.
So this is from a pod cast I heard, don't remember which one, so it's as best I can recall.
This is it for me.
I heard a Radiolab that said something similar/the same thing?
Funnily, I sleep way better in those situations and finding out that info was how I realized I needed to start taking a stimulant before going to sleep.
It’s not uncommon for me to be more restless, but i’m in my sleeping bag longer than i would be in my bed at home, so that kind of counteracts the restlessness in terms of length of sleep.
I just unzip my tent and hang my dick out lol
I've also had a lot of trouble sleeping while camping, though not so much due to sounds/vigilance. Not sure what your sleep setup is like, but I feel like temperature regulation and having a setup that allows me to toss and turn have helped the most.
You can try sleeping naked in your bag it’ll help regulate your body temp.
I suggest trying hammock camping for comfort and like others have said a drink before bed does help. When I’m camping alone I pack Tylenol PM just in case, but that shouldn’t be taken with alcohol.
I never sleep well the first night or two. That’s usually the case in a new place indoors or outdoors, but it’s worse camping. Practice and good gear. A different set of nighttime sounds is the biggest factor for me if I AM in comfortable sleeping gear. Last time I was camping it was too damn quiet!
Hyper vigilance is a real MFer, does this occur with fellow campers present. Also maybe try a little bit of exhaustion to where your body will require sleep, but even then sometimes the body can be dead tired yet if the mind isn’t you’ll stay up. You might have to condition your body to sleeping. I would recommend doing some heavy mental exercises and working to exhaustion then sleeping. Keep doing this type of gig until your body becomes accustomed. You might be SOL as you said your schedule is heavy so no muscle memory type effect. Good luck my fellow outdoors person.
One thing that helps me is just the acceptance that you’re going to hear unknown things in the night because there’s wildlife all around you, but that’s just because it’s their home and animals are doing what they do every night.
My trouble has always been insects. Every twitch of the leg hair makes me think I've got a tick. But over the years I've gotten over that somewhat.
I have had the same problem over the years, but it's improved a lot thanks to a few things.
I'm pretty similar also but it's more to do with comfortability. Pot also helps me..
I have never slept good in the woods, I’ve extensively backpacked to the point where in the summer I’m sleeping in my tent more than I do in my bed. I just accept I won’t sleep good. I usually take some melatonin or an edible or something to help me sleep and just accept I won’t be very well rested.
I eventually got a sleeping pad. Yet I can sleep in a bag using a coat or pants as a pillow and wake up fine in the morning. It's crazy, I can sleep through night noises, cars, trains, thunderstorms, yet if people are talking, good luck falling asleep. Or staying asleep
It's quite common for the first couple of nights. Because of the new surroundings your brain won't fully switch off.
The best help for me has been doing it often enough. And of course making sure your pad and other sleep-related gear is comfy.
I used to have this problem too. I would fall asleep normally but then wake up and have trouble going back to sleep. I tried hammocks and it solved for me. It’s not for everyone but give a wide 11’ hammock a try and see how it works for you.
Try setting up in your backyard or living room for a week or two. Play around with your set up to see what Is comfortable for you. Sleep in your tent.
Avoid coffee. Maybe that helps
Happens to me over around 10K. I'm no fan of pills but a couple of OTC sleeping pills put me right out.
Have you tried sleeping in a hammock?
What helped us (sorta) was switching to a hammock. Not always practical if there aren't trees but more comfortable than the ground. Although if your car camping you could be glamping with a blow up mattress. We use 'Alps' self-inflating sleeping pads.
For me, I always hear every little crick and crack and I want to go out and investigate it.
If pot isn't the vibe because you're with other people, try an edible. No one will know.
I live in NYC. Definitely used to noises but of a very different variety lol
Thanks for your input, everyone. I went out last weekend and have come to the realization that my sleeping pad isn't really as comfortable as I thought it was. I have the REI stratus and have always described it as "fine." The main issue is still with being overly alert, but I'm sure a comfier sleeping pad will help too. Recommendations appreciated, though I'm not sure I can stomach spending $200 on a pad.
I bring a gun. My mind overthinks the sounds nature makes