Monday, January 30, 2023


Don’t skimp on sleep! Tips to get better sleep in your RV

By Gail Marsh
You’re away from home and surrounded by the wonders of nature. The only thing you don’t particularly love is the fact that you have trouble sleeping when you’re in the RV. You are not alone. Many RVers struggle with getting a good night’s sleep. While I’m not offering any guarantees here, I’ve found several techniques that help me rest better and wake up refreshed. Maybe they’ll help you, too.

Make it just like home

I’ve discovered that the more you can mimic conditions at home, the better you’ll sleep. Try to:

  • Bring your favorite pillow and pajamas or purchase duplicates
  • If you use a pillow between your knees, be sure to pack it along
  • Pack your CPAP machine or oral appliance if you use one
  • Upgrade your RV mattress to match more closely the one you have at home, or try a mattress topper or foam insert on top of the RV mattress
  • Use familiar sheets, pillowcases, and blankets
  • Spritz lavender linen spray on bed linens. A lavender scent can help promote relaxation.

Away from home

Even if everything inside the RV bedroom is identical to what you have at home, the fact remains that you are not home. (Well, unless you are a full-time RVer.) Being away from home means you may want to:

  • Park in a quieter section of the RV park, if possible
  • Be sure the RV is as level as you can make it
  • Before bedtime go outside: Stow away furniture, double check the campfire, and secure all food so critters can’t get into it. (In other words, eliminate potential sleep-depriving worries.)
  • Dim lights an hour or more before bedtime to regulate your circadian rhythm (this means getting off of electronic devices too)
  • Pull down the blackout shades on all windows and/or use an eye mask
  • Use a white noise machine and/or earplugs to muffle noise
  • Make sure RV doors and windows are secured (you don’t want to fret about personal safety)
  • Make sure window screens are secure so mosquitoes and other bugs won’t interrupt your sleep
  • Set thermostat at 60-65 degrees or your optimal temp for sleeping
  • Use an oscillating fan to circulate air
  • Avoid horror stories around the campfire or scary TV/movies before bed
  • Have pets sleep in their own beds if that’s your routine at home
  • Eliminate heavy foods/snacks well before bedtime
  • Position the alarm clock so that you can’t see it and worry about the time


Whether you’re trying to sleep in your bricks-and-sticks home or the RV, a routine is important. For consistently better sleep you can:

  • Get plenty of exercise during the day
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine after 5 o’clock. Instead, drink chamomile or herbal tea
  • Don’t nap during the day
  • Limit liquid intake after 7 o’clock
  • Eliminate “screens” 30 minutes before bed. Instead read or listen to music
  • A warm shower may relax tense muscles
  • Melatonin supplements can enhance your body’s sleep rhythms
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends

I hope this helps you have a good night!


“To sleep, perchance to dream …” — but not behind the wheel


If you value what you learn from, would you please consider becoming a voluntary subscriber by pledging your support? Every contribution, no matter how modest, helps us serve you better. Thank youLearn more here.

Facebook Groups you might like
RVing with Dogs
RV Tech Tips
RV Advice
Towing Behind a Motorhome
RVing Over 70
. . . and the official Facebook page

Winterizing your RV this season? Amazon has a wide choice of RV antifreeze.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Lazy Q
1 year ago

I get at least an hour more sleep when camping so no worries there.
Why would you set up an alarm clock when camping? Don’t think so.

1 year ago

Article writer you are full of the funnies. 🙂 where do you get such notions. I ask again where do you come up with this foolishness? We were just stalking about our group of RV’ers and just returning from 10 nights at the beach with the rain and the wind? We were the same there as we would have been at the beach.
funny, you must write fill articles just for the space .

are you an RV’er? If you don’t sleep well than why o. Earth would you RV?

(here it comes I can almost here it now.) if you don’t sleep well then come to Walla Walla to the Sleep Center. They will find out what your problem is……..

Stuart Spillman
1 year ago

Get some pairs of the soft ear plugs to shut out the annoying sounds like birds, frogs, insects, and loud neighbors.

Richard Hughes
1 year ago

It seems the first night out, I don’t sleep well. After that, I sleep better than at home. However, that may change because we are off for six days starting today and since I said this, I may not sleep good all week.

1 year ago

Without exception, I always sleep better in the motorhome than I do at home. It doesn’t matter if we’re in a Wally World parking lot or boondocking in the middle of nowhere. Knowing that I’m waking up in the motorhome means a new adventure. Also, getting rid of the adjustable airbag mattress that came with the motorhome and buying a real mattress was the best upgrade we’ve ever made.

Ed Thomas
1 year ago

when we bought the TT, I replaced the mattress with one similar to the one we have at home. Crank the AC down below 68 and sleep like a baby, sometimes better than at home. Less worries!😊

Chic Sanders
1 year ago

One more thing that works for me, sleep on the same side of the bed.

1 year ago
Reply to  Chic Sanders

My wife makes me swap so she can be closer to the bathroom, no matter if in the RV, hotel or visiting family. It is annoying, as we have a bath and half, so there is a toilet on both sides, she prefers the full bath one. Not a hill I am willing to die on, sleep as best as I can and get used to swapping.

1 year ago

What’s an alarm clock?

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

I sleep better when camping than I do at home. All those chores and responsibilities don’t go camping with me. I usually do not watch television and reception is awful for the phone. The sound of the wind in the trees, a stream in the distance, a prayer before bed, zzzzzz

1 year ago

Good advice Donald. In the article, I’ve found Melatonin works for me when I really need to sleep. It begins taking effect about 2 hours after I take it. Also, in my case, I can’t take it repeatedly for several nights in a row. Even on the second night it is far less effective. The way I feel is this: if you can’t sleep, get up and read or something until you’re tired. Your body will tell you when to sleep and a nap every now and then is fine if you need to catch up. I’m a little like a kid…when we go rv’ing sometimes I’m so excited about things that sleep isn’t important.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.