Many have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep aboard a boat. And it gets worse if you have insomnia or if you’re prone to getting seasick.
That’s why the team at Night Helper prepared the following tips to help you make sleep aboard comfortable and restful.
- 1 1. Plan as If You’re Going on a Camping Trip
- 2 2. It’s Normal to Experience Poor Sleep on your First Night
- 3 3. Ask the Captain to Check Your Anchor
- 4 4. Prep Warm Clothes for a Cold Night
- 5 5. Get to Know the Boat
- 6 6. Keep Bugs Away
- 7 7. Prep Food Before You Travel
- 8 8. Build a Bedtime Schedule
- 9 9. Carry Your Own Sheets
- 10 10. Create Your own Comfort
- 11 11. Manage Your Alcohol Intake
- 12 12. Follow a Routine
- 13 13. Ensure There are No Loose Items Nearby
- 14 14. Listen to the Water
- 15 15. Be Strategic with Your Location
- 16 16. Take Advantage of Naps
- 17 17. Start Fresh
- 18 Conclusion
1. Plan as If You’re Going on a Camping Trip
Plan for your boat trip with the same attitude you prepare for your camping trip. A successful and fun camping trip has the right tools. These include clothes, beddings, kitchen amenities, food, and other accessories.
Also, consider the space required for stuff you bring onboard. Unless you’re sleeping on a spacey and luxurious yacht, the boat cabin will probably be limited on free space, so mind what luggage you take.
2. It’s Normal to Experience Poor Sleep on your First Night
Your first restless night aboard might have nothing to do with the yacht. A part of your brain functions as a “night watch” every time you are in an unfamiliar environment, and it keeps you alert through the night. This is basic human physiology, so don’t stress too much about it.
3. Ask the Captain to Check Your Anchor
If worried, check with the captain. Sometimes a simple “Yes, we secured the anchor” can free you from worry, thus increasing your chances of enough hours of good night’s sleep.
If you’re the captain yourself:
- Check whether the anchors used are right for the type sea, ocean or lake bottom.
- Ensure your lines are sufficient and not straight to rest your anchors correctly and at an angle.
- Tighten your knots and keep your anchor at a distance from shallow reefs, rocks, other boats, or potential dangers.
- Set an anchor alarm to notify you when the yacht starts moving.
4. Prep Warm Clothes for a Cold Night
Temperatures in the water get uncomfortable at night. Pack pajamas to keep you warm on a summer or winter night. Add more layers to ensure you are comfortable at all times.
5. Get to Know the Boat
Sleeping at home is peaceful because your brain knows the location of every item and room. Give your mind a map of its surroundings by figuring out where everything is in the boat you’re on. Familiarity puts your mind at ease and makes your surroundings safe.
6. Keep Bugs Away
Bugs interrupt the good night’s sleep. Keep them common pests away with bug lamps, screens, repellents, or even traps if you have to.
7. Prep Food Before You Travel
Cook, pack, and carry food on your boat. Prepared meals offer you free time in the evening to enjoy your trip or go to bed early and rest good. Carry food that requires little to no heating or cooking.
Ensure you have two coolers: one for food and the other for drinks, snacks, and fruits. Use blocks instead of cubes for cooling perishable foods because they last longer.
8. Build a Bedtime Schedule
It’s difficult to get a quiet sleeping environment among friends. Have everybody agree on some quiet time before you start the trip. This way you have sufficient time to sleep and avoid hostility among your co-passengers. The standard 11 pm to 7 am is a good bedtime schedule.
9. Carry Your Own Sheets
Sleeping on a yacht overnight is cozier when conditions are similar to your bedroom.
Your sheets provide a familiar comfort that puts you to sleep fast. Carry a few pairs of sheets for a trip that lasts longer than a few days. Frequent changes keep your sheets free from humid and sticky sea air.
Most yachts come with custom boat mattresses and beds tailored to corners and curves, meaning that your standard shape and size sheets are unlikely to match.
10. Create Your own Comfort
Change your mattress, add air conditioners, and include pictures or personal items in the boat. A comfortable yacht environment helps you fall asleep faster or achieve romantic lovemaking. If the boat is for rent, first confirm whether it is okay to make any changes before you do any.
11. Manage Your Alcohol Intake
Once your body processes alcohol, it experiences some rebound alertness. This reaction might wake you up in the middle of the night. Mind your holiday drinks in moderation and ensure you have an uninterrupted sleep throughout the night.
12. Follow a Routine
A routine trains your brain to fall asleep and wake up at specific times.
Get up with the sun and follow your bedtime routine. Engage in different sets of exercises during the day, such as swimming, hiking, and snorkeling. Eat lighter meals in the evening and avoid horror movies when you are at sea.
Use your regular pre-sleep routine and do the things that calm your mind and body before you go to sleep. Drink tea, brush your teeth and wash your face.
13. Ensure There are No Loose Items Nearby
Loose items like wrenches, water bottles, spoons, or pens interrupt sleep once they fall. Pack them in bags or store them in boxes to minimize noise at night. The bags also prevent water from damaging your possessions.
14. Listen to the Water
Many people use white noise machines to lure themselves to sleep. The ocean (or lake) is your natural white noise orchestra. Enjoy the gentle rocking motion and sounds of the water to drift away in slumber.
15. Be Strategic with Your Location
Your location affects your sleep onboard. Areas that experience heavy winds or where people fish are bumpy and uncomfortable for sleeping. Find sites with calm waters like inlets. Use maps and do some research to help you find the perfect spot.
16. Take Advantage of Naps
If none of these tips work for you, consider naps. A quiet rest under the blue sky and the sun will make your nights bearable.
17. Start Fresh
You are bound to make mistakes when you are exhausted. Bad decisions cause injuries to both people and yachts. Avoid sleep deprivation by planning everything one day before the day of the trip. Get enough sleep on the night before your travels and start your trip fresh.
Spending the night onboard is a terrific experience, and sailing is a famous gentleman sport.
- Plan your food, beverages, and your sleeping location.
- Create a safe and comfortable environment to enhance your sleep while on a boat or yacht: get a good mattress, comfy pillows, warm clothes, and quality bedding.
Come to an understanding with your friends or family about your bedtime schedule, reduce your alcohol intake, and you are sure to get a good night’s sleep