5 Tips for Better Sleep in the RV

This post may contain affiliate links.

James and I have both had our fair share of sleepless nights in the RV.

Asleep at Walmart

Photo Credit: NY Times

Walmart parking lots, while a great boondocking option, might as well hang a disco ball at 3am. And then there are those nights at RV parks when the neighbors seem to invite the whole town for a loudest laughing competition around the campfire.  Or those little campground surprises…your site happens to be directly next to a loud highway, a buzzing electrical facility, or a bright neon sign that’s so bright even the blackout blinds do no good (all of which we’ve experienced).

For RVers, getting a good night’s sleep can be quite a challenge.

Good sleep is at the core of a healthful and enjoyable life, yet it’s so easily neglected in our quest to stay well.

WJames Stefany Adinaro Fit RV Das Buse tend to focus our efforts on eating well and exercising. Hubby James is a great example of this. He’ll spend 3 hours training on his bicycle without batting an eye…exercise, check. He will always (well, almost always) choose healthy foods first…nutrition, check. But then he’ll be up till the wee hours of the night staring at the computer…sleep, uncheck.

Let’s look at some things you can do to set yourselves up for better sleep in the RV.

1.  Travel with sleep-friendly accessories:

Earplugs: They can make all the difference when you’re parked near noise.

Sleep mask: If you find yourself reliving a Seinfeld moment and sleeping under a neon Chicken Roaster sign, a sleep mask can be your most valuable sleep aid.

Mini fan: A little white noise can help drown out the party going on over in row B site 51.

Lavender: Research has shown lavender helps with insomnia and anxiety. Dab a little essential oil on a tissue, and stuff it under your pillow OR use a lavender linen spray (here’s the one I got my daughter for her birthday last month).

2.  Upgrade your RV mattress:

If your RV mattress makes you wake achy and un-rested, fix it. Find a good mattress topper or even replace the mattress altogether. Without a good mattress, every trip you take in the RV could leave you feeling extra tired, grumpy and sore…and yes, I’ve been there. James and I had all the foam replaced in our class B bed just for this reason. RVing is MUCH more pleasurable now that we are well-rested happy campers.

3.  Get tired.

If you get lots of physical activity through the day, you will sleep more soundly. Exercise is a sleep aid. Sitting in the lawn chair all day is not. Just make sure you aren’t exercising right before bed, since your body needs time to wind down and relax.


4.  Get the RV temperature comfy and cool:

Sleep experts recommend a cool 65 degrees for sleeping, but this isn’t going to be the ideal temperature for everyone. Find a temperature where you aren’t waking up during the night feeling too cold or too hot. And hopefully, that temperature is the same for both you and your spouse.

5.  Create a separate bed for Fido:

A Mayo Clinic survey found that over half of people who share beds with pets have disrupted rest. If you want to sleep better and improve your health, Spot needs a new sleeping spot in the RV. How about a luxurious and cozy bed of his own like this one

dog in bed

Regardless, sleep is quite personal for each of us. Some people can sleep through a police drug sting going on right outside the RV (James actually did this once!), while others wake up each time their spouse rolls over. No matter which extreme you’re at, find ways to make sure your RV trip is restful and relaxing. After all, good sleep = good life.

Nighty night, folks!

After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

    2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Better Sleep in the RV

    1. Tom Boles

      Hi Stef,

      Liked your piece on sleep. I’ve had my share of bad nights in a trailer, but I sleep using a CPAP machine, and that makes me sleep very very well..

      But, I was curious about you all getting new foam in the rig and getting rid of your memory foam mattress topper. James makes mention of it this installment and I wonder if you could say more about that?



      1. Stefany - Post author

        Hi Tom!
        Ugh…that AWFUL memory foam mattress topper. So here’s the deal on it, but first I should clarify:
        The foam in Das Bus is A-OK. We upgraded the foam when we had her re-upholstered, so we don’t need a mattress topper there.

        The memory foam topper James is referring to is something we bought for our “regular” home. We got it from the local discount club. 2.5″ thick and a great deal. We noticed the noxious smell to it right away, but thought it would dissipate. James wound up with a raw throat, swollen sinuses, and headaches. We put it out in the shop to try to air it out, but even after a week, he couldn’t get near it! We couldn’t enter his shop, the whole thing stunk so bad. So! We returned it, and replaced it with a latex foam topper…NO ODOR! He thinks that memory foam one came from the same Chinese factory as the poison baby food, and those flip-flops that were dissolving people’s feet…


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear once we have had the chance to review it.