Packing your bags for a long road trip? If you’re a passenger, no doubt you’ll want to catch up on some zzz’s during the journey.
If you’re lucky enough to not be driving, a road trip is a great opportunity to hit the hay and snooze until you arrive at your destination. But how will you get comfortable? Should you bring a pillow? A sleep mask?
Keep reading for our top 10 tips on how to sleep in a moving car. Or, say you’re driving solo and need to know how to sleep in a car overnight. Below, we’ll give tips on how to do so safely.
To stay safe throughout the trip, make sure to keep your seatbelt on at all times. It can be tempting to unhook your seatbelt and snooze on your side—especially if you’re sitting in the back. Resist the temptation and keep the seatbelt on.
On the same note, keep your seat upright and don’t recline it too far backward. If you recline, you won’t be as protected by the seatbelt and airbags in the event of a crash.
Plan to wear comfortable clothes with light, breathable fabrics during your trip. Kick off your shoes and doze in your favorite loungewear or a t-shirt and sweatpants. You can also try cozying up in our puffy, duvet-like blanket robe to bring the comfort of your bed wherever you go.
Here are some of the best clothing materials to sleep in:
If you have trouble sleeping in cars because of light, distractions, or motion sickness, shut them out completely and enjoy the benefits of a sleep mask. Sleeping in darkness promotes the body’s production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Simulating nighttime with a sleep mask can help you squeeze in a more restful nap.
Casper SnoozewearTM Sleep Mask is made with stretchy, soft, and breathable materials for pressure-free comfort. It helps block out noise as well as light — great for passengers to drown out the distracting sounds of the road.
A sunshade is a good option for those who don’t want to wear a sleep mask. If you have sensitive skin or don’t like the feeling of a mask over your eyes, this is the next best way to block out light.
Put a mesh sunshade on the window next to your seat to help block out the sun. They’re often used for infants during car rides, but no one says adults can’t take advantage of them, too.
You might associate neck pillows with sleeping on a plane, but they’re also great for car rides. A neck pillow keeps your head from falling forward and your neck from moving around in your sleep. It can help support your neck and keep you upright during the ride.
Don’t forget to pack your headphones! When trying to fall asleep in a car, press play on a calming playlist. Or, if music won’t do the trick, try listening to white noise or pink noise.
Simulate the warmth of your bed by cuddling up with your favorite blanket. A blanket can also keep you warm in the car — especially if your family members like to crank up the AC. You can also bring along a weighted blanket, which is designed to hug your body. A weighted blanket has tons of benefits, like creating a calming feeling and reducing stress.
You can probably sleep without a pillow for an hour or so in the car. But if it’s a long trip, why not bring your pillow along for the ride? Putting a cloud-like pillow behind your head or against the window will help you drift off in no time. If more support behind your back helps you feel more comfortable, you can bring along a backrest pillow, too.
Another trick you can try is to stare out the window at the horizon. Hold your gaze there for as long as you can. Before long, the hum of the car engine and the soothing skyline passing you by can help lull you to sleep. This can also be a good technique to help you fall back asleep if you wake up mid-car ride.
Tried all of the above with no luck? You may benefit from a sleeping aid like melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that can help you fall asleep faster. Melatonin supplements are available over the counter, but be sure to check with your doctor before taking any sleep supplements.
Doctors recommend starting with around 0.5 to 3 mg. It can kick in anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours after taking it. However, be aware that some people may experience side effects, like headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
If you’re embarking on a solo road trip, you might also need to know how to sleep in your car overnight. Here are some quick tips to stay safe and comfortable.
Sit upright with your seatbelt on. Close your eyes and use a facemask and headphones if needed to block out light and noise. Try supporting your head with a neck pillow to fall asleep more comfortably.
No. Lying down in a moving car reduces your seatbelt’s effectiveness at keeping you safe in the event of an accident. Depending on your state’s seatbelt laws, it may also be illegal.
Sleeping in a car instead of your bed may not be ideal, but with these tips, you’ll drift off quickly and wake back up at your destination in no time.
No matter where you are, Casper’s got your back. We have plenty of sleep accessories to help you get that much-needed rest at any stage of the journey.