11 Ways to Sleep Better in an RV

Tips and tricks for sleeping better for life on the road

Couple lying at the back of a van looking at ocean, personal perspective
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Falling into bed after a long day on the road or adventuring is one of the happiest moments for many RVers. For others, sleeping in the RV means tossing and turning and waking up groggy for a day of activities and that’s no good for anybody.

Like sleeping at home, there are many ways that your activities and environment can have an impact on getting a good night’s rest. To help you get a better night’s sleep on the road, we have come up with 11 ways to sleep better in an RV

Upgrade Your RV Mattress

Stock RV mattresses are notoriously thin, stiff, and generally uncomfortable. RV manufacturers have gotten better over the years, but many RV beds and mattresses are still not up to the task of giving a good night’s sleep. If you have cursed your RV bed before, it is time to upgrade. Try a local camping store or a big box such as Camping World to find a mattress that fits your needs and the RV. 

Choose a Quiet Site

This one is not always easy but if you can choose a site, choose a quiet one. Campgrounds can get crowded, and while you may want to sleep, your neighbors may want to party well into the early morning. If you have the chance, choose a site that is away from the bulk of the action.

Consider Blackout Curtains or Sleep Mask 

Sunlight plays a significant role in our sleep/wake cycle. Some people find it impossible to find sleep even when a small fraction of sunlight leaks in through the windows. For those who have this problem, you can try a sleep mask or black-out curtains. These can also filter out excess light from the campground itself to help you get a good night’s sleep. 

Avoid Screens Altogether 

Computers, television sets, and cell phones all give out blue light. Blue light tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime and that you should be awake. Experts recommend turning all screens off at least an hour before you get in bed to help your brain power down for the day.

Keep the Same Sleep Schedule 

What’s true at home is also true on the road. Keeping the same sleep schedule finely tunes your body’s internal clock for a healthy sleep and wake cycle. It may be tough to not sleep in on certain days, but you’ll be thankful every time you fall asleep easily at night.

Upgrade Your Sheets or Pillows

You may have a great mattress, but it won’t matter much if you have lumpy pillows and scratchy sheets. Many people use old or worn out sheets from their house, but you don’t have to live like that! Treat yourself to some new pillows and sheets along with your nice mattress for a comfortable rest.

Pro Tip: Make sure to wash your pillows before each RV trip to keep them fresh if they’re washable. This will also fluff and help them regain their original shape.

Level Off 

It is difficult to fall asleep if your trailer or motorhome rocks every time someone gets up to use the restroom. Using your rig’s levelers and stabilizers will also help you fall asleep easier by giving you a level surface to catch some Zs on. 

Consider an Ambient Noise Machine or Earplugs

Campsites can be quite noisy even during quiet hours. If excess noise keeps you up a night, consider investing in some good old-fashioned earplugs, or even better yet an ambient noise machine that can mask the sounds of the outside world.

Pro Tip: Consider Melatonin, or other sleep supplements, to help you sleep in conjunction with a sleep mask, earplugs, and other aids.

Don’t Drink Alcohol Right Before Bed 

It is certainly nice to grab a cold one around the campfire, and most people swear by a nightcap, but alcohol can throw off your natural internal rhythm, causing difficulty falling and staying asleep. Try to hold off on alcohol right before bed to promote more natural sleep. 

Keep Things Cool 

A hot RV will keep you up all night. Lower the temperature at night to help lull your body into a peaceful night’s sleep. This could be a good reason to finally fix up that AC unit that’s been giving you trouble. If you’re RVing without AC, consider opening the windows, keeping the air flowing through the rig, and dress lightly to stay cool.

Keep the Pets off the Bed 

You and Fido do not belong in the same bed together. While this may be one of the more difficult tasks for some pet owners, both you and your pet will get better sleep if you sleep in separate areas. 

Following these tips is a surefire way to promote a healthy and restful night’s sleep. So hit the hay and do it right so you can have plenty of energy for the next day’s adventures.