woman in sleeping bag / tent

How to get a good night’s sleep while camping

Worried about how restful it is sleeping outside?

Studies show sleeping away from artificial light and waking up with natural sunlight can reset your circadian rhythm which will help you feel refreshed after a better night’s sleep.

But to get a good night’s sleep, it’s important to stay warm, dry and comfortable.

Here are some tips for comfy sleeping while car camping:

1. Find the right spot for your tent

couple set up tent

Pitch your tent in a flat, level spot. Clear the area of rocks, sticks and other poke-y objects before you get set up.

2. Choose the right shelter and bedding

When choosing a tent, temperature (three-season vs. all-season) and capacity are must-considers.

But it’s also key to choose the right tent for you. Do you prefer a tent with a fly? Is fast-pitch important for your crew?

Not keen to wake up with the dawn? Need to put the kids to bed while the sun’s still up?

This new “Darkroom” tent might be for you, say our friends at Coleman®.

black and green tent

Nifty Dark Room™ technology blocks 98% of sunlight to keep the tent darker while the sun is up. It also reduces how much the tent heats up during the day.

If you’re opting for an air mattress, look for one that’s easy to inflate and capable of keeping you off the hard ground.

Coleman recommends their All-Terrain™ airbed with Puncture Guard Technology, calling it a “comfort revolution.”

airbed Coleman

pumpThese high beds come in single high or double high styles, and keep you elevated from the ground on ComfortStrong coils. It’s easy to inflate the bed with the included 120V pump, and the factory-tested AirTight system is guaranteed to be leak-free.

You’ll also need to choose the appropriate sleeping bag. Consider temperature rating, shape and insulation type as you shop, and keep an eye out for nifty “extras” like pillow sleeves and stash pockets.

3. Stay warm

Go to bed fed and hydrated to fuel your internal furnace. Be sure to hit the washrooms before you hit the sack.

A key to warm sleeping is staying sweat-free. Change into fresh clothes before bed. Dress in layers, but not so many that you work up a sweat while asleep.

*Protip* If the temperature drops, wear a tuque or sleep with your head inside your sleeping bag. We lose a lot of heat through our heads.

4. Don’t invite nocturnal visitors


This means all food and toiletries should be securely packed away outside your tent before bedtime. Car campers should put everything that might attract wildlife inside their vehicles.

5. Go to bed tired

Dog sleeping

One reason camping often results in sound sleeping? People are often more active while camping.

To ensure you’re sleepy come sun-down, spend the day hiking, swimming, cycling, learning and paddling. No need to count sheep when you’ve spent the day breathing fresh air and exploring the park.

Sweet dreams!

Ontario Parks thanks corporate partners like Coleman Canada for their support.