Make sure your sleep doesn’t run out on you when you go backpacking
Going backpacking is always really fun and exciting. It could be to the next town or halfway across the world. You see a variety of terrain and meet different people. The wonderful adventures you will have and all the new experiences and things you get to see. Everything is super-duper fun and awesome… till you have to actually sleep in a new place. That’s where the problem starts, because the quality and quantity of sleep that you will get will determine how you will feel about everything the next day! Without proper sleep, your trip can quickly turn from feeling like a breath of fresh air to a tedious trek through Mordor. If you want to fully enjoy backpacking, you need to make sure nothing gets in the way of your precious sleep. We will be giving you some tips and tricks to get a good night’s sleep without a backache, soreness or, sleep deprivation. Today we will show you How Backpackers Can Maintain a Good Sleep Pattern.
Get the Proper Sleeping Gear!
Most backpackers who have clocked considerable miles complain of posture issues and backaches after sleeping on their trips. One of the reasons for this may be packing up too much weight. Heavy and unbalanced backpacks can act as catalysts towards a bad posture. One way to keep your posture from changing is to make sure that your backpack is well balanced. Try buying a girdle strap for support. Your body will have trouble falling asleep if it’s racked with cramps and pain.
Getting enough sleep on a backpacking trip is key. Make sure that the sleep accessories you carry are light and of a good quality. A backpacker’s sleeping bag is among the four heaviest items in their backpack (Sleeping Pad, Shelter, Sleeping Bag and, Backpack). Sleeping bags aren’t something you can throw overboard to lighten the load, they are an integral part of backpacking. So it’s essential that you choose the right sleeping bag. There are four things you should take into consideration while looking for the perfect sleeping gear for your trip, the weight; warmth; functionality and comfort.
The 3 A.M. Hotel Room Ceiling Stare!
Lying in the hotel bed, staring at the ceiling, counting the hours left till sunrise? Well, the first trip I took with my wife sure ended up like that. It was 3 days of pure annoyance and unnecessary squabbles and to be honest by the end of the trip, we were so sleep deprived my wife didn’t even yell at me for leaving the toilet seat up, I knew something was seriously wrong. After this trip, I vowed to myself that I would not be going again unless I find a solution to the sleeping on time issue. Here is what helped me.
Before the trip
The change in time zones while travelling causes the body’s circadian rhythm to alter. Your poor body gets confused and is unable to distinguish between the differences in time, which leaves you grumpy and annoyed. Here are some tips which have allowed me to get control of my sleep while I travel:
- Adjust your eating and sleeping schedule at least two or three days before you intend to travel. This will start to trick the body into believing that you have already arrived to your destination.
- Include stopovers in between your journey, so you can give your body time to rest and adjust to the changing time zones.
- Prepare for the trip in advance to avoid last minute rushing. Being stressed is detrimental to your mental health and, consequently, sleep. Make sure you are calm and relaxed on the day you start your journey.
During the Trip
Now that we have successfully carried out all the necessary preps, let’s move on to Do’s and Don’ts during the trip to ensure you are mentally relaxed and able to maintain your sleep quality. Here is a list of what you need to do during your travel, be it by a bus, plane, car, or on foot.
- The most important thing is to wear comfortable clothes. Wear loose fitting and comfy clothes. Make sure you are wearing shoes that are comfortable and easy to slip off when needed. Just make sure you don’t slip them off just to annoy the person sitting next to you. If you are travelling at night, chances of you sleeping during the travel are higher if you are wearing comfy clothes.
- Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and smoking especially when it’s near your bedtime.
- Eat healthy and small meals during your travel period so as to avoid waking up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach. You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night during a camping trip with the urgent need to go to the bathroom.
- Keep stretching yourself regularly to avoid sore muscles.
- Stay awake until you reach your destination’s bedtime! This is extremely important. If you sleep before or after it, chances are that you will find it really hard to manage your sleep pattern during the trip.
- We love going on long backpacking trips with our friends, right? But do we love the snoring that we have to listen to when we are cramped up in motel rooms together at bedtime? No, we don’t. Make sure you pack earplugs to avoid being woken up in the middle of the night by someone snoring.
Eugene Gabriel is a passionate blogger. He has always been fascinated by sleep and how it relates to health and wellness. Read his post on Better Sleep Habits. You can follow him on twitter @eugenegabrielj.