Leave it to Backpacker Magazine to locate the president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the director of the Emory Sleep Disorders Lab, and director of the Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine to slam together a nice big Overthink on getting some sleep outside.
In usual Backpacker fashion, the reader is treated to overdone backcountry cliche: “I listened to the wind rustle through the trees, and I thought about the world spinning silently under the stars.” (facepalm) Then there’s the expert tips: Do whatever you can to stay up until your normal bedtime, go to bed warm, lay off the caffeine and alcohol, don’t go to bed thirsty, have an Advil and chase with water, read, sleep in a bag temperature that approximates what you sleep in at home.
Sounds like a great time.
Folks, I’ve spent plenty of nights outdoors and gone to sleep well ahead of/behind my bedtime, freezing cold, and with a little nip of booze and slept like a baby. I’ve also tossed and turned and couldn’t sleep a wink after behaving myself wrt a sensible sleep routine. Backcountry sleep? Once you’ve taken care of the basic comforts and have a bag that can handle the ambient temperature, it just takes some getting used to. I’ve got a pretty basic sleep routine after a full day of hiking. Have something to eat and pass out. But I’ll add one more step to help my lids droop a little quicker: read a few pages of Backpacker Magazine. Zzzzzzzzz.