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Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods?
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Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods? on 07/07/2013 11:42:26 MDT Print View

I seem to sleep fewer hours and more efficiently when I'm in the woods.

Further... I have FAR more vivid dreams and remember them more often.

I sleep 8-9 hours at home and like 5-6 hours in the woods.

Anyway... I suspect that the physical activity causes me to go into REM more and maybe this causes me to sleep more efficiently?

I would LOVE to figure out a way to duplicate that when at home :)... sleeping only 5-6 hours and being fully rested would mean more time to do other things.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods? on 07/07/2013 12:41:12 MDT Print View

I find I sleep better outdoors as I hardly drink any booze or have my eyes glued to an ipad/computer/tv or stressed out over something at work.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods? on 07/07/2013 13:11:26 MDT Print View

At worst I sleep well a whole bunch of times during the night. At the other end I have slept 14 hours straight through in my hammock too. I sleep well everywhere.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods? on 07/07/2013 13:23:48 MDT Print View


I sleep a lot less in the woods, is a bit maddening.

Typically, I will fall asleep for 3-4 hours straight after kicking out 15 miles on the trail.

Then I will wake up to go to the restroom and struggle to fall back asleep.

Often, I find that I will lay awake for 30-45 minutes and then wake up one or two more times til sunrise.

Sometimes, I am just laying there wide awake, hoping the sunrise will come sooner than later so I can get breakfast and hit the trail.

Annoying, but it is what it is....small price to pay to enjoy the spectacular views of the back country.


Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
I'm Sleepy on 07/07/2013 14:01:52 MDT Print View

I seem to crash hard for 3-4 hours as well.
Then nature calls and I am lucky if I get another 1-2 and that is restless.

I often think I would feel better if I just packed up and hiked instead of laying there tossing n turning!

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Sleep on 07/07/2013 14:28:59 MDT Print View

I probably sleep longer but not as well in the woods. I end up waking up from bear noises, falling tree noises, Bigfoot noises, mouse with fang noises and mutant psychopath noises. Basically, I'm a light sleeper but thankful I fall back to sleep quickly. It's just not as much quality sleep.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Sleep on 07/07/2013 14:58:19 MDT Print View

I sleep much longer in the woods than at home, mainly because I can. At home I get between five and six hours at most, but uninterrupted and comfy. In the woods, in my hammock I can easily sleep twelve hours, maybe waking up once to adjust something. Thankfully I still don't get nature's calls at night for the most part.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Malto and Sleep on 07/07/2013 14:59:26 MDT Print View


Your opinion doesn't count. You are insane.

If I could do your mileage of 30-40 miles a day for weeks or months on end, I would sleep like a baby.


Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Location and sounds on 07/07/2013 15:17:03 MDT Print View

Location and sounds are the biggest factor in good sleep for me.

Location-Level, near a stream (see sounds). I can't tell you how many times I think I have a level location only to find myself sliding in one direction during the night which then results in multiple re-positioning attempts and sleep disruption. Of course, arriving at camp late often prevents a thorough assessment of my location..

Sounds - Silence or constant sound preferred. Ear plugs can help with the silence part, streams or steady rain provide great white noise.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Not when solo. on 07/07/2013 15:48:51 MDT Print View

I don't sleep as well, particularly when solo. Seems my ears are on "security duty" all night long, and that comes at the cost of deep sleep.

Somewhat concerned that using earplugs is counterproductive to my body's natural "security system."

Obviously non-solo requires just as much vigilance, but my brain doesn't understand that.

Edited by Bolster on 07/07/2013 15:50:48 MDT.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods? on 07/07/2013 16:06:16 MDT Print View

I usually need a night to adjust to new situations, so another reason in choosing to sleep at the TH the night before if at all possible. Same with hotels, etc....

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods?" on 07/08/2013 10:47:01 MDT Print View

I sleep less but it's because I'm constantly waking up - I'm hyper alert and any noise will wake me.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods? on 07/08/2013 10:51:46 MDT Print View

Depends. If I'm ground dwelling, yes, I sleep restlessly. If I'm hammocking, no, I sleep soundly throughout the night.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
visibility on 07/08/2013 11:15:05 MDT Print View

+1 on the hammock ...

But it also has to do with visibility ... if I can see out, for some reason, the night noises don't bother me as much ... if in an enclosed tent I toss and turn all night

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Re: "Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods?" on 07/08/2013 11:17:53 MDT Print View

4 to 5 hours per night is all I get, inside or outside. Sunrise and fresh coffee are always good early-morning companions.

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
That's why I hate BPing on 07/17/2013 14:32:33 MDT Print View

I wake up at the slightest sound when sleeping outside. Every time I hear a mouse fart I wake up.

Love to be outside and hiking, but that's my main issue with BPing. i NEVER sleep well.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
sleep on 07/17/2013 15:15:12 MDT Print View

In the winter i get most of my sleep between 6 am and noon when i understimate how much insulation i will need.

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 07/17/2013 16:43:37 MDT Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 07/07/2015 14:48:06 MDT.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods? on 07/17/2013 17:18:58 MDT Print View

That was funny Roger!

Mark Cashmere
(tinkrtoy) - M

Locale: NEOH
Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods? on 07/17/2013 17:30:22 MDT Print View

I used to have the same problem until I found the equation that worked for me:

(Miles + Elevation Change) * (Alcohol + Earplugs + Neoair) = Rest

'Changes in Latitude : Changes in Attitude' also helps

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods? on 07/17/2013 17:34:59 MDT Print View

Seems like us hammock folk sleep better, at least in places where we can hang. Comfort aside, being above the ground, especially in wooded areas with lots of critter action going on, I feel like I am above the fray. I've hung in a swamp and watched poisonous snakes under me with no bug net and never stressed...and I ain't no Bear Grylls. That would have freaked me out on the ground, but then again, that would never have happened in a decent campsite in the mountains. The perspective raises my comfort level and confidence I suppose. I live in the southeastern US and find that I only truly sleep like a baby on the ground in the winter and when I'm out west at or above treeline. If I'm deep in the woods or some other thick vegetation area, I guess I treat a hammock like a tent--it gets me out of the line of fire, at least mentally--and then I feel the wind, the sway of the trees, I can see and hear better, and I zonk out easily and stay asleep. Peeing out of a hammock is easy too...

I think we all go through some fear of the unknown, and that surely affects our sleep. Don't remember where, but I remember reading a hysterical story by a guy who stayed up all night after something hit his tent and he kicked it off. Turns out is was a hiking pole, but he imagined all kinds of things. If anyone knows what I'm referring to, shoot me a link. I'd love to read it again.

Don't take sleep meds, even something like Tylenol PM. Even if it means you lose some sleep, you'll gain a lot more from the experience without them and you won't wake up groggy.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Ear plugs on 07/17/2013 18:45:02 MDT Print View

After I started using ear plugs at home I sleep the same on the trail. Noises and light are what wake me up. With ear plugs and inside a tent they are about the same on the trail or at home.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Sleep on 07/18/2013 17:40:02 MDT Print View

I usually sleep poorly the first night or sometimes two. By the 2nd or 3rd night I'm pretty darn tired and I'll have a great sleep. On average I sleep worse but it's always improving as I spend more time outside. A lot of it is mental.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Inside or Outside Mostly the Same on 07/18/2013 21:59:08 MDT Print View

I really don't have any better or worse sleep in the woods. Sure, heat, light, bugs all wake me up, and are more likely found in the woods, but I find that I sleep the same - sometimes even better (I love sleeping in when I'm out in the backcountry) as I think about it. Maybe - and I want to qualify I have never had time to do more than five nights outside - it's because as a kid I camped all the time. A few times a year with my family but in the summers since I was 10 or 11, my friends and I would spend days in the woods of central east Georgia; right in our own backyards. We built forts or slept on the ground (and we carried heavy packs a lot of the time) and, aside from big temperature changes up or down, I have never even given it any thought until this thread.

Scott Toraason
Sleep on 07/24/2013 11:16:29 MDT Print View

As a soloist and often using a bivy a good routine helps, but generally I never see anyone when I’m out. Occasionally a good night’s sleep but mostly only for the first few hours then it is fitful and I’m tired in the AM but that goes away after morning coffee. I do sleep better in my Carbon Reflex 1, but often no place to pitch above tree line.

Bob Salcedo
(Baughb) - F

Locale: So Cal.
I don't want to miss the morning! on 07/24/2013 12:03:52 MDT Print View

While I go to sleep quickly and often wake for my four hour bladder emptying (only con of staying well hydrated), when I see it getting light, I most often start to get up. It is my absolute favorite time to be a voyeur while out and about. The problem is I love poking a fire (when it's allowable) before bed and in summer.... it can get late so I have to turn in early cuz sunrise is coming.


Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Sleep on 07/24/2013 15:23:01 MDT Print View

"I usually sleep poorly the first night or sometimes two. By the 2nd or 3rd night I'm pretty darn tired and I'll have a great sleep"

+1. on the Long Trail we got in the routine of being asleep by 9pm and up at 5am and hiked until 5pm. first night i was mostly amped up about the trip.. 2nd night we had a big tstorm but after that I was dead to the world until the sun came up.

for short trips i'll bring my IPod touch to read some if i wake up in the middle of the night

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"Jist you wait, sonny." on 07/25/2013 12:03:08 MDT Print View

I used to have that problem when I was young (30s & 40s).

But now that I'm a geezer I fall asleep for an hour as soon as my tent is up, then I cook dinner and hit the sack soon after for a good 8 to 9 hours of solid sleep, arising at 5:30 AM.

On the trail I'll nap after lunch until everyone decides to hit the trail again.
So "Jist you wait, sonny." As you age you'll sleep better. Of course a nitecap of Jim Beam can help you to dreamland. Booze for medicinal purposes only, mind you.
That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods on 07/25/2013 12:14:52 MDT Print View

Although I wake up a lot at night at home I usually fall back asleep. In the woods I think the discomfort of a thin pad and old bones wakes me up more often and makes it harder to fall asleep again. Also a heightened sensitivity to noises (weather or wind change, animals, etc). I purchased NeoAir's recently for my wife and me to help with the comfort factor, haven't tried them yet.

I thought I'd have a much better time in Denali two years ago, what with the uber-soft and comfortable tundra as a mattress. But the damned light all night (August) kept me awake instead! ;-)

Edited by ewolin on 07/25/2013 12:15:25 MDT.