How do you sleep in a tent when camping? Most people think that they can just lie down on the ground, but this is not the best way to sleep. Sleeping on the cold, hard ground will make your back very sore and uncomfortable.Here are a few tips on the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent!
There are plenty of camping essentials for sleeping in a tent that you should bring with you so that you don’t have to spend an unpleasant night trying to get some rest.
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Don’t forget to grab your camping planner so you can organize all the details of your tent camping trip!
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Most Comfortable Way to Sleep in a Tent
Choosing the right tent
Using a tent that has room darkening walls will help you to sleep better in a tent while camping. The dark walls will block out light from outside the tent, making it easier for you to get to sleep at night, and stay asleep when the sun rises. Most tents today will have these walls as an option, but be sure to check before you purchase your tent.
If you plan on having more than one person sleeping in the tent at night, you want a wider tent so that everyone has more space without feeling cramped up against each other or another object inside of the tent such as your backpack.
Additionally, ensure your tent has proper ventilation so that it doesn’t become stuffy and hot at night. Most tents made today come with mesh vents built into the rainfly so you can allow fresh air to flow through your tent while still protecting yourself from bugs, mosquitos, or other pests. (Read our guide for more tips on how to keep bugs out of your tent when camping!)
By doing this, your body heat will escape out of the top of the tent rather than accumulating inside of the tent which will make it feel hotter at night.
Most tents on today’s market are designed with proper ventilation in mind, but if you find that your tent is not allowing enough air to flow through and feels overly stuffy or hot while sleeping at night, try opening up all vents as well as both doors to let in some cool night air.
Need a more affordable tent? Check out these tents under $100!
Get an air mattress to provide extra comfort and insulation from the ground
The most comfortable way to sleep in a tent when camping is by using an air mattress. No one wants to sleep on the cold, hard ground of a tent.
To make sleeping in the outdoors more comfortable and warm, consider getting an air mattress that can be used inside your camping tent to provide extra padding and insulation from the ground. Most people find it easier on their bodies when they sleep on an air mattress than directly on the floor of a tent.
Most camping mattresses are designed to be thick and provide insulation from the cold ground. This will help keep you warm and comfortable while you sleep.
Most air mattresses are also designed to be long, so you can stretch out your legs in your sleeping bag or lie on your side without feeling cramped in the tent space.
Get a camping cot to sleep on
If you don’t have an air mattress, consider using a cot to sleep on. Most cots are made of lightweight metal that folds into a small, easy-to-carry size.
They’re more comfortable than sleeping directly on the ground because they elevate you up off the dirt or rocks by about three inches or more. Most come with an inflatable mattress, but if not, be sure to bring your own air mattress for extra comfort while camping in a tent.
You can also find camping cots that are self-inflating, which makes your camping trip much easier. These cots typically come with a built-in pump that does most of the work for you at the push of a button.
Most self-inflating camping cots can be ready to use in under two minutes, which makes sleeping on them much more convenient than other types of inflatable beds when going out into nature.
Place a foam sleeping pad under your sleeping bag for added warmth and softness
If you don’t have a camping cot or air mattress, then simply use a sleeping pad to elevate yourself off the ground. Most sleeping pads are just as comfortable and will provide the elevation that makes it easy for you to sleep in a tent overnight comfortably.
A foam sleeping pad or a mattress topper is a great option since they’re inexpensive and will add a little bit of warmth to your sleeping bag. Most sleeping pads can be squished into any size space in your backpack, making them an easy option for comfortable sleep on any camping trip.
For even more comfort, place something soft on top of the sleeping pad before your sleeping bag, like an extra blanket. Most people don’t consider this step, but it will make your camping trip much more comfortable and enjoyable.
If you are camping with your dog, check out these tips so he can sleep comfortably too!
Get a sleeping bag that is appropriate for the temperature at night
One of the most important tips for the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent is to use a high quality sleeping bag that is appropriate for the temperature of your location.
If it is cold, make sure you have a sleeping bag that can keep you warm throughout the night. Most sleeping bags are rated on comfort for certain temperatures so be aware of this before making your purchase. The tag should tell you the temperature rating of the bag.
Zero-degree mummy sleeping bags work great for cold weather camping and they come in a variety of price ranges. We use these when camping in high elevations and they keep us warm in below-freezing temperatures. You can also use a sleeping bag liner to help add some warmth. Bag liners are a great option if you already have a sleeping bag you like.
It is also important to choose a sleeping bag that can keep you cool during hot summer nights in your region. The majority of lightweight sleeping bags are created for this type of weather and usually include mesh panels to allow air to flow through them while keeping bugs out.
When you are not using your sleeping bag, make sure to open it up to reduce moisture and to allow it to dry. Moisture in a tent is a recipe for disaster as it can cause mold and mildew to grow quickly, and also make you feel colder during the night.
If you are camping as a couple, you can always get a double sleeping back to snuggle up in together!
Bring earplugs and an eye mask to block out light and noise from other campers
You might also want to consider bringing ear plugs and eyemasks to help you sleep in a tent. These will block out noise and light from other campers.
Most people can’t easily rest with a bunch of strangers nearby, so wearing earplugs is important to be able to sleep in a tent without being woken up by every little sound from your fellow campers.
You can also bring noise-canceling headphones. These won’t block out all noise, but they will help you get to sleep easier with less disturbance from other people around you and keep you asleep in the morning once neighbors start to wake up.
Most earplugs are designed for blocking high-frequency sounds like voices and snoring, while headphones can better muffle lower pitch sounds like cars driving by or animals.
Using an eye mask will also help you get some rest in a tent and block out light in the morning so you won’t be woken up by the sun.
Be sure to read these tips for organizing camping equipment so you can keep your campsite and tent neat and orderly!
Make sure the tent is set up in a level area
For quality Zzz’s in a tent, ensure your tent is set up on level ground at your camping location. If you park your tent in a depression or on an incline, the ground may feel uncomfortable and cause back pain.
No one wants to rest on an incline or on uneven terrain, so do your best to find a flat spot to set up your tent. A patch of soft grass is also a good option.
If there is no way to level out the site completely before setting up camp, try adding some logs under one side of the structure to compensate for any unevenness.
You can also use any available objects to prop the tent up on one end. These tricks may not be as effective as having a perfectly level site, but they will still help you have a more comfortable snooze in a tent.
If your tent inevitably ends up on an incline, make sure you sleep with your head closer to a higher end. This will help prevent the blood from rushing to your head, or feeling like you are rolling down a hill all night long.
You can also use a tent cot which raises your tent off the ground. This is a good option if the ground is very uneven or rocky. This will help keep your tent from sitting on a huge incline.
Bring a pillow from home or use an inflatable one
The most comfortable way to sleep in a tent is to bring your own pillow! Everyone gets better sleep when using their own favorite pillow, so bring yours from home!
This will help you feel more at home and get a good night’s sleep. If you do not have one, try an inflatable pillow or compressible pillows to keep your head elevated and comfortable while sleeping in the tent.
You can even bring a special blanket or pillow that you use to sleep at home. Bringing some small comforts from home will make your sleep more comfortable and help you feel like you are in a familiar place.
Sometimes sleeping on an inflatable mattress or sleeping pad can be uncomfortable, so consider bringing extra pillows to help support your body and make you feel more comfortable.
I often find I need an extra pillow under my head when sleeping on an air mattress. You can also use an extra pillow to put in between your knees which can be a comfortable way to sleep!
Bring extra blankets in case you get cold at night for on top of your sleeping bags
Before leaving for your camping trip, make sure to check the weather, especially the overnight lows. Most camping trips take place during the spring and summer months when it is warmer, but there are some cases where you may need to bring along a lot of blankets, such as if you are winter camping.
If you are camping in high altitudes, make sure you are prepared for sudden temperature changes and low overnight temperatures.
If you are uncertain if you will need more warmth, always bring more blankets anyway. It never hurts to have too many, and you’ll always have the option of staying warm!
We love using these camping blankets on top of our sleeping bags which always keep us warm and cozy when sleeping in our tent!
Pro Tip: Did your sleeping bag, blankets, or pillows get dirty during your camping trip? Check out this guide for doing laundry while camping so your sleeping area is always fresh and clean!
Consider bringing a fan or heater depending on the weather to help sleep in a tent
If the temperatures are really cold at night, consider bringing a portable propane tent heater. It is never easy to get good sleep when it is freezing at night, and it is even worse when the cold air (and condensation) is blowing directly towards you, reducing your precious body heat.
A heater will solve this problem and make your night more comfortable, while also taking some of the edge off freezing temperatures without having to leave the tent for a fire or portable stove.
You can also consider using a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag to keep you warm. A hot water bottle is a great option to keep you warm at night, but it can take a long time to heat up.
Most people prefer the heating power of a portable propane tent heater over a hot water bottle because they are faster and easier to use – plus you don’t have to constantly monitor the temperature on your water bottle throughout the night.
On the flip side, if it is too hot to sleep comfortably, consider a portable tent fan. Most camping tents come with a small opening at the top to allow for some airflow, but this is usually not enough.
Most people sleep comfortably in cooler conditions so being too hot all night can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay that way. A fan will provide just enough relief without having to leave the tent or deal with any bugs.
Check out these tips for how to keep warm while tenting!
Set aside everything you will need at night by your sleeping space
How often have you woken up in the middle of the night needing to drink a gallon of water? Maybe you need a tissue or an extra blanket.
Make sure to set these items within an arms reach from your sleeping bag or tent bedding for easy access during the middle of the night.
Here are a few things you might need during the middle of the night near your sleeping area:
-Extra blankets or pillows
-Hat, gloves, or extra clothes to stay warm
-A warm beverage in a thermos (Learn how to boil water when camping here so you can have a nice hot cup of tea!)
-Snacks – Check out these camping snack ideas for a quick midnight treat!
Stay Hydrated and eat healthy food during the day for a good night’s sleep
In order to have a good night’s sleep (regardless of if you are camping or not), staying hydrated and eating proper meals during the day are extremely beneficial.
You should keep yourself hydrated during the day, but also avoid consuming too much caffeine or other stimulants which can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
Avoiding alcohol can also help with rest, as it can lead to disrupted sleep and even prevent you from getting quality Zzz’s.
If your trip includes a long hike or other physical activity, it is a great idea to refuel at regular intervals during the day because consistent energy is key for comfort and sleeping well. Most importantly, avoid eating too close to bed time in order not to disrupt sleep by digesting food.
Here is a list of no-cook camping meals to make eating healthy while camping a breeze!
With the right skills, you can sleep in a tent more comfortably. By preparing yourself ahead of time for what to bring and how to set up your campsite before bedtime, you’ll be able to get better rest while camping than if you just showed up with nothing but an idea of where you wanted to camp!
Get started on planning your next outdoor adventure by downloading our camping planner here!
We hope that this article has helped answer any questions about sleeping in tents so that when it comes time for your trip, all you have left is packing and enjoying the great outdoors!