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Your Best Sleep in Your RV – Part 2

Your Best Sleep in Your RV – Part 2

This is part two of our ongoing quest for great sleep in your RV. You can view part 1 below.

Your Best Sleep in Your RV – Part 1

Moving right along, here are more valuable tips for getting your best rest possible whether you are in your RV full time or just for vacations.

Watch what you eat (and drink) in the evening.

There is nothing like a rousing case of heartburn to keep you up at night. If you are prone to acid reflux, indigestion, or heartburn, be careful what you eat in the evening. Overeating can also cause these conditions so take it easy at dinnertime, especially if there are only a couple of hours between dinner and bed. If you drink alcohol, stop drinking about three hours before lights out. Alcohol may make you sleepy at first, but it inhibits the REM stage of sleep – which is where all the health benefits occur.

Related Read: RV Health: Staying Healthy in Varying Climates

Make your bed.

When you are traveling or RVing, making your bed may not be at the top of your list – but it should be. Getting into a made bed at night makes for a more peaceful sleep. I make our bed every morning and spritz the sheets with a fabric refresher (I make my own fabric freshener with essential oils) in between washings. We sleep much better. There is science behind this. Studies have shown that a clean bedroom and made bed facilitate better sleep. Try it for yourself.

Shut down the devices!

We live in a mobile world. With smartphones, iPads, and laptops we are always connected. For many people our devices have become more of an appendage – the last thing we look at before bed and the first thing we check when we wake up. In fact, 80 percent of smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 44 report that they check their smartphone within minutes of waking up. Here’s the problem with that. Most mobile devices that are backlit emit daylight spectrum light, or blue light.
Looking into this light tricks the brain into thinking it is daytime so it does not produce the sleep hormone melatonin. This means it could take you longer to get sleepy or fall asleep. Shut down about an hour before you go to bed or pick up a pair of glasses with orange tinted lenses which block the blue light. If you wear prescription glasses, you can also get clip on orange tinted lenses. As an added benefit, they also cut down on eyestrain.

Think happy thoughts.

My mind never shuts off. When I lay down to sleep, it seems like that is when all my thoughts come out to play. We are full timers so now it isn’t as bad, but when we first got in our travel trailer, the moment I laid my head on my pillow, the thoughts would come rolling in: Did I lock the door? Did I shut off the gas on the stove (even if I hadn’t used the stove that day)? What if there’s a fire? FYI, when you are in bed, trying to go to sleep, that is NOT the time to make your fire escape plan. I didn’t have these thoughts when I lived in my DC apartment. It was only when I became an RVer that these things began to dominate my brain.
It took some work but I managed to train my brain to move away from troubling thoughts or things that would keep me up. Here is what I did:

  • Created a system so that I do the same things in the same order each night. Take the dog out, put him in his kennel, lock the door, check the stove, etc. It is always in the same order so I have that peace of mind that I didn’t forget anything.

  • Speak to my troubling or stimulating, racing thoughts. When it starts, I say aloud, “I won’t do this, not tonight.” Sometimes I say, “I am changing this thought.” The saying it aloud part is important; words are powerful, especially the spoken word. My husband is a light sleeper so I have to whisper most of the time, but just saying the words and hearing myself usually curbs them.

  • Find good things to think about and focus on them. My advice is the come up with several happy thought montages during the day then focus on them at night. If you like nature (and what RVer doesn’t?), think about your perfect park. Explore that park in your mind, paying attention to every leaf, every blade of grass. Really flesh it out. If other thoughts try to come in, stop them. Stay focused on your happy place.

What are your best sleep tips, especially in your RV?

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Stephanie A. Mayberry

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Stephanie A. Mayberry

Stephanie A. Mayberry escaped the hustle and bustle of city life in Washington, D.C. where she worked as an analyst, FOIA officer, and technical writer for the U.S. federal government to pursue her first love, freelance writing, full time. She has been a writer, author, public speaker, and photographer for more than 25 years; now she, her husband, and little dog Gizmo enjoy the laid back lifestyle as RV full-timers going wherever the wind takes them. Learn more about Stephanie at stephaniemayberry.com

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