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How to Sleep at a Festival: Unlock the Secrets

a profile image of TSA author Alex

Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

Featured image for How to Sleep at a Festival article

29 March 2024 8 min read

Hanging out with festival fans from all over the world, sleeping under the open sky, and non-stop music. Festival season is just around the corner! But first, we have to address one important question – how to sleep at a festival?

It is impossible to fall asleep next to the dazzling chaos of a festival experience. What do we do then? Well, you know what they say – when life gives you lemons, add salt and tequila! But let's take a break from the tequila and focus on creating a sleep-friendly environment.

Only in this way can you balance the vibrant daytime experience and the night's rest. But let's be realistic. Surrounded by performance, effects and beats, it's easy to ignore the need for sleep.

That's why we're here, to give you tips & tricks for this specific situation. We tried various techniques – and guess what, they work. Let's find out how to unwind amidst the vibrant ambience.

Crafting the Perfect Sleep Sanctuary

A woman setting up a tent

Regardless of whether you are a seasoned festival enthusiast or this is your first adventure, you can create the perfect sleep sanctuary. Get ready to do a lot of planning! But also to find the perfect location in the sea of tents and ways to relax.

Tent selection

A quality tent is essential, even for just one night. Therefore, analyze its features. It is advisable to find several options and then compare them. When searching, check the following:

Of course, consider additional features that suit your needs. Many tents have cool accessories like blackout technology that blocks early morning sunlight, UV protection or a section for muddy gear. Before you choose, read product reviews from experienced campers.

Strategic campsite placement

The camping spot is the key thing to creating a sleeping environment. Imagine buying an apartment – you would definitely check the environment and the noise level. So, be wise this time too. Try to find a relatively calm and peaceful area, starting as far away from the main stages as possible. Also, pay attention to traffic zones and look for those with lower noise levels.

Don't relax too much, because you need to check something else. It is a type of terrain because many areas can be moisture-prone or full of dust. So avoid uneven and uninhabited terrain.

Tip: If your festival has quiet hours during the night, respect them. This means you will lower your voice and the noise level so that others can rest.

Essential Gear and Accessories

A woman in an orange sleeping bag

To be comfortable, you don't need a lot of equipment – just the right one! In addition to a tent that suits your needs, you will also need a sleeping bag. Remember the benefits of an air mattress if you want a night of quality sleep. So that you don't forget anything, we will point you to the essential equipment and accessories.

Sleeping bag

Well, if you don't want to wake up with a stiff neck, an awning is not enough for you. Also, you need an extra layer of warmth, to keep your body heat, so it is necessary to pack a decent sleeping bag in your backpack. In addition, they are made of soft and comfortable material. That way, you will be comfortable and warm even during colder temperatures.

They are mostly lightweight and compact, so they take up minimal space in your backpack. If you are afraid of insects, you can breathe a sigh of relief because the sleeping bags will protect you all night.

Self-inflating sleeping mat will make your sleep even more comfortable.

You will also be out of reach of dirt and moisture, making it easier to maintain hygiene. Finally, if you care for them properly, sleeping bags can last for years.

featured image for Go Outdoors Sleeping Bags

Sleep masks

How do they affect sleep quality? By blocking light, they help you stay in REM – the deepest stage of sleep. In addition, the eye mask has a relaxing effect on your eyes. Especially if they are made of natural material. When it's cold, they can warm your eyes.

They are also useful for those who do not close their eyes during sleep, or close them insufficiently. The morning sun is not only irritating, it can also cause migraines.

By blocking the light, the sleep mask prevents the pain from intensifying. They take up the least space in your luggage, are cost-effective and have no side effects.

An image of a young asian woman in a soft pyjama with sleep mask.

Earplugs

This is a real lifesaver in a noisy environment! However, it's not just high noise levels that make sleeping difficult. It can be any unfamiliar sound. On the other hand, you need silence to establish quality sleep. Ear plugs reduce the intensity of external noise, such as loud music or conversation.

Earplugs are easy to use, lightweight and portable. Opt for disposable or reusable types that come in foam or PVC material. All that is required is to choose what suits your needs and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

An image of a woman having earplugs.

Sleepwear

Maybe now you're thinking – what's the use of sleepwear when I have a sleep bag? Even though you're going to a festival, you need to gear up like you would for any camping trip. Sleepwear is specially designed for sleep, offering a higher comfort level than regular clothing. It also acts as a barrier between your body and the sleeping bag.

Therefore, you will better maintain hygiene during the music festivals. We must not forget the psychological aspect. After snuggling into your sleepwear, your brain recognizes it's time to rest. Next, the body gets the signal to start winding down and prepares for sleep.

Two women in sleep pyjamas

Sleep-friendly habits

A woman sitting in the tent and looking outside

Any sleep expert will tell you that an essential part of quality sleep is silence. But that doesn't mean all is lost! Despite the loud music and crowd, we found ways to catch a better night's sleep. So, we will give you some friendly advice on how to minimize the disturbance.

Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule

Regardless of whether you are at a festival, camping or at home – you must maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Why is it important? When you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, you help your circadian rhythm do its part. Its function is precisely to control sleepiness and alertness. You understand what will happen if the circadian rhythms go out of whack.

Your body won't know when it's time to sleep and when to wake up. Okay, you won't look like a zombie, but you'll have trouble falling asleep. In order to stick to your sleep schedule, avoid some of the major sleep disruptors like electronic devices. So, introduce new habits into your nightly routine.

Manage light exposure

At least half an hour before sleep, forget about your mobile phone and computer. Light affects the production of melatonin, which means it keeps you awake during the day and sleepy at night. The problem arises when they are exposed to light later in the day and at night. Therefore, reduce the use of electronic devices so as not to confuse your brain.

After heavy light exposure all day because of the festival, the last thing you need is additional blue light to destroy your night’s sleep totally.

Mindful relaxation techniques

You might find it calming to scroll endlessly on TikTok before bed, but we don't mean such a relaxation technique. On the contrary, we want to draw your attention to healthy habits to prevent delayed sleep. You probably already know the benefits of yoga and meditation, and their combination gives the best effect.

Well, an important element of these activities is the breathing exercise. Specific patterns involve holding the breath for some time and releasing it. They are very effective in the fight against anxiety because they calm and bring you back to the present moment.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime

We know that it is very certain that you drank some alcohol during the day at the festival and that a coffee or an energy drink gives you the necessary energy to keep grooving.

However, it is important not to consume too much alcohol and caffeine all day long, otherwise you will have major problems falling asleep.

Think approximately (we know it's impossible to know precisely) when you will go to each tent/accommodation and switch to water at least a few hours before.

That brings us to….

A hand refusing to take a glass of alcohol

Stay hydrated

Dehydration leads to muscle cramps and spasms, headaches, thirst at night and dry mouth. You can prevent all that, including hangovers, if you drink plenty of water.

However, do not drink large amounts of fluids just before going to bed. In order not to cause a counter effect and interrupt sleep by going to the toilet at night, find a balance. So, hydrate evenly throughout the day and don't try to replenish the required amount before bed.

A woman drinking water - one of the top home remedies for hangover.

Eat at least one nutritious meal a day

Certain foods can cause indigestion and even nightmares. That's why you should have at least one nutritious meal a day. For example, the following foods can help you sleep better:

Healthy food on a wooden board

Conclusion

Although the music festival vibe is powerful, don't forget that good night's sleep is still your ally. In fact, you won't be able to get the most out of this exciting event if you don't sleep at a music festival enough.

So, stop at least for a moment and stick to a sleep schedule. If that doesn't quite work for you, apply popular relaxation techniques. Oh yes, beware of caffeine and alcohol, as they can ruin your plans

Remember the importance of the environment and to bring your comfy sleeping gear. Be considerate of others because they want the same thing as you.

Spread the word

Recommended reading:

Comments (1)

Tom 07/06/2023

Anyone got tips for sleeping at glastonbury?


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