By Greg Illes (with apologies to Billy Shakespeare)
Healthy sleep is one of the most talked-about subjects in many walks of medicine, and with good reason. Good sleep makes for a good life. Sleep — really solid, deep sleep — is the time when the body and mind heal up from the day’s rigors. Sleep time is about the only time in our lives when we are truly masters of our souls.
But for some, good sleep can be elusive. If you have a real sleep disorder, you are probably already dealing with it. But if, like many of us, you just occasionally have a tough time getting a good night’s sleep, then there are some basic guidelines to be aware of.
Of special concern for RVers is not only the quality of life, but the ability to perform well when you are managing a 10-ton rig going down the highway at 65 miles per hour. Poor sleep makes for poor concentration, slow decision-making and inevitably poor driving. So in addition to just plain feeling better each day, good sleep makes us and those around us safer on the road as well.
One of the most blatant obstacles to good sleep, especially in the RV life, is night lighting. How many times have you parked in such a well-lit RV park, rest stop or public campground (pick one or many) that your bedroom was lit up all night like a rock star’s stage? This happens way too often. In fact, even the strong light from a full moon can significantly alter the quality of sleep.
A simple solution for light pollution is the sleeping mask. These are available for a few bucks at travel shops, Amazon, and other retailers. It’s amazing how soothing the darkness feels after strapping one of these things on.
Other nighttime irritations, particularly noisy ones, can also subtract from good sleep. Anything from campground neighbors to the local train tracks can cause more disturbance than you want to deal with. Remedies for this type of interference range from earplugs to background (or “white”) noise generators, to actually moving your campsite.
In summary, be conscious of your sleep quality and manage it well. You (and your loved ones) will profit from the attention.