Life on the road in an RV brings freedom and experiences you can't get any other way. However, no matter where your wheels are parked, you still need sleep. Adults require at least a full seven hours but some need up to nine. You need the right conditions to get that much rest. RVs present a few challenges to the traditional bedroom, but a sleep-supportive environment can be done with the right planning.
Windows can cause two problems when you're trying to sleep—light and heat exchange. Light, especially sunlight, suppresses sleep hormones. That's perfect during the day, but come nighttime, it works against you. Artificial sources of light like the light at an RV park or along roadways can cause the same problem.
Window treatments and coverings make all the difference. If your RV doesn't already have blinds, which most do, they're worth the investment. A second curtain barrier can provide added privacy and light blocking. Curtains add some sound absorption and insulation as well.
Sound distracts and startles, which can be problematic when you're in the lighter sleep stages. Whether you're sleeping on the road or at your favorite destination, soundproofing provides a barrier to outside noise. Soundproof mats on the floor and door (or insulation) cut down on road noise and block outside noise for better nighttime rest.
Soundproof mats and insulation aren't the only way to cut down on sleep-disturbing noise. Anything that absorbs sounds reduces echoing and the spread of noise. Your space may be limited, but a blanket folded over the sofa, a small pillow or two, carpet in the bedroom, and rugs in living spaces soak up sound.
Your body temperature drops at the onset of sleep. It fluctuates throughout the night but doesn't reach your daytime temperature until it's time to wake up. To help maintain that lowered temperature, most people sleep best in a room that's 60 to 68 degrees. Temperature regulation isn't always easy in an RV. Check seals and upgrade insulation at window and door seams. Proper weatherproofing every year can protect you against air and water leaks as well.
Perform regular maintenance on your air conditioner (if you have one) and heater. They're more likely to run properly if you're changing filters and checking hoses at regular intervals.
Your body has to be able to fully relax to fall into deep, restful sleep. That means you might need to upgrade your mattress, especially if it's one that came with your RV. A good mattress will support your weight and meet the needs of your preferred sleep position. For example, side sleepers need more cushioning and pressure relief at the shoulders and hips while stomach sleepers need a firmer surface to prevent back pain.
Also, think about the furnishings in the bedroom. Plush bedspreads, blankets, and pillows are inviting and absorb outside noise. Opt for natural fabrics for their breathability and inherent softness. A room that feels comfortable and cozy will be more welcoming and encourage you to go to bed on time.
A full night's rest lets you enjoy everything that RV life has to offer. It might take a few tweaks or changes to your model, but it's usually worth it to get in a full seven hours of sleep. Start small and work your way towards a home that fully supports your body's need for rest.
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