We all live difference lifestyles whether we're traveling and staying at an RV campground or plugging away at our 9 to 5 jobs. Some of us thrive on 5 hours or less while others need to get 9 hours to feel rested. Most of us require 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
Anyone who travels and camps regularly, either in a tent or an RV, knows that it can be hard to fall asleep sometimes. When we do finally doze off we wake up often due to noises or awaken too early. Dealing with fatigue while you're camping among family and friends can put a damper on any camping trip.
For active adults, stress, anxiety, painful conditions and prescription medications can contribute to insomnia and create racing thoughts that eat away at our ability to get restful sleep. A big downside is that this insomnia leads to reduced concentration and slow reaction time, poor driving performance and accidents. For full-time RV couple and families that's a dangerous combination!
Sleep occurs in various stages, starting with light sleep. As we progress into deeper sleep, our brain activity slows. About 90 minutes in, we experience "REM" (rapid eye movement) sleep. During this stage our brain waves, heart rate and muscles become more active and most dreaming occurs. Many experts think deprivation of REM sleep is the most harmful aspect of insomnia.
Insomnia speeds up aging and can worsen chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity. In addition, it can lower the immune system, making us more vulnerable to disease, and can affect metabolic activities such as the processing and storing of carbohydrates, the regulation of hormones and the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels.
You might not be at home in your bed (or maybe your RV IS your home) but you can still use traditional exercises to help you fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep.
Create a better sleep environment when you're camping by relaxing and focusing on deeper breathing. It can also be helpful to spend quiet time before you sleep in a meditative state. Focus your thoughts on something pleasant - like your next destination!
Traveling in a well-equipped RV has other benefits that can help with insomnia; turn on soothing music to help calm you, drink a warm drink, and make sure your RV is stocked with a comfortable mattress. A great addition to a standard mattress (or a replacement of it) is a memory foam bed that contours to your body.
While it might be difficult for some to quit, you can improve your sleep and boost your energy on your RV camping vacation by reducing the amount of caffeine, food, alcohol and nicotine you consume in the evening hours.