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how to sleep in car

How to Sleep in a Car (Yes, Really!)

If you’ve ever spent a night in the car, you know it isn’t exactly comfortable. But if you’re on a road trip or camping, it can be the only sleeping option available to you.  How to sleep in a car  seems like an impossible task – but with these tips and tricks, it’s not quite so impossible after all! These methods are not just for those who are left with no other options; they’ll come in handy whenever you find yourself limited by your living space while on the road. Let’s take a look at some ways that help us all sleep better and safer when we have to spend time cooped up in our cars.


Plan ahead before you rest

While you can improvise some ways to improve your car sleeping experience, others will require a bit more forethought. For example, if you have to sleep in your car for a long time, you’ll want to think about your health and safety. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to pump and store your breast milk in the cooler to keep it safe. Likewise, you’ll want to make sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. You’ll also want to plan to go to the bathroom before you settle in for the night. While you might be able to nap in your car, you probably won’t be able to fully rest and recharge until you’re ready to drive again. Keeping these factors in mind can make your car resting experience a whole lot better.


Bring along comfort items

Of course, you’ll want to bring along the basics – clothing, food, water, and whatever else you need for the journey. You may also consider bringing along a few comfort items that make your car bed more like a bed. Some people find a pillow useful, while others may prefer a small blanket or pillowcase, or even a seat pillow. You may want to bring a stuffed animal or favorite toy to keep you company while you rest. If you’re breastfeeding or pumping, a breast pump can come in handy. If you’re bringing along a baby or child, you can bring their familiar blanket, toys, or a change of clothes. You may also want to bring an extra pair of shoes, since changing into a pair of more comfortable shoes is always nice after a long drive.


Turn Off The Car

Your first line of defense when trying to sleep in a car is to turn off the engine. While you may be tempted to keep the radio on or the TV running, doing so can disturb your rest and keep you from falling asleep. If you have the option to turn off the car, you’ll be able to let your body rest more fully. You can also open the windows to let in fresh air, which can help you sleep better and soundly. If you’re in a remote location, though, be sure to take extra precautions to stay safe. Make sure you have a reliable, charged flashlight or glow stick, and keep your cell phone fully charged. You never know when you might need to call for help.


Lay On the Back Seat

If your car is large enough to accommodate a backseat, you can lay down on it and make yourself a makeshift bed. You can also use pillows and blankets to increase your comfort on the back seat. This isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world – but it’s certainly better than trying to sleep on the floor. If you’re traveling with a child or other person, it may make more sense to let someone lay on the backseat. If you do choose to lay on the backseat, make sure you have a pillow and heavy blanket or comforter to keep you warm. If your car is small, you may prefer to lay straight down on the backseat rather than using the bend in the seat as a bed.


Lay down a mattress

If your car is large enough, you may be able to fit a mattress in the backseat or in the trunk. You can use a car mattress that folds up or a small air mattress that you can easily store when you’re not using it. If you have two cars, you can even set up a makeshift bed between the two cars. Depending on the type of mattress you use and the availability of space, you’ll probably want to bring along a heavy blanket or comforter to keep yourself warm. You may also want to bring along sheets or a sleeping bag depending on how warm or cold it gets where you are. You may want to also bring along pillows or blankets for extra comfort and to keep you warm.


Try A Hammock Or Neck Pillow

If you bring a hammock with you, you can use it in place of a mattress. They’re compact and easy to store, and they’re especially useful if you’re traveling in a small car. A hammock is also a great option for pregnant women who aren’t ready for a regular bed yet. A hammock is also good for people with joint pain or who have trouble getting comfortable on a mattress. If you have trouble sleeping on your back or stomach, you can try resting on your side with a neck pillow. This can help you find a comfortable position while sleeping.


Seal the windows with towels or clothes

If you don’t have access to a car large enough to fit a mattress or hammock, you can still seal yourself off from the outside air and create a bit of privacy. Towels and clothes make great makeshift curtains to block out any light and prying eyes. If you’re parked in an urban or public area, they can also help keep others from seeing inside your car. If your car has tinted windows but they aren’t heavy enough to block out light completely, you can also try using curtains or blankets to help block out light. You can also use a sleeping mask or eye pillow to block out light even more fully.



Sleeping in a car isn’t the most comfortable experience, but it’s better than not sleeping at all. With these tips and tricks, you can make your car bed as comfy as possible and sleep soundly no matter where you are. There will always be circumstances where you need to sleep in a car. By following these helpful tips, you can make your experience a lot better and safer.


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