How to get better sleep while on your next long-distance road trip

A view of the open road on I-25 in New Mexico — from inside a Tesla Model S. [Photo By Christof Demont-Heinrich]
If you’re taking a long road trip in your electric vehicle – something that is becoming more and more common as more and more people buy Teslas and gain access to the Tesla Supercharger network and as more and more DCFC chargers for other long-distance electric cars such as the Chevy Bolt and the Nissan LEAF Plus go up along major interstates and thoroughfares around the United States, and around the world, you never want to fall asleep when you’re at the wheel.

If you know that you’re going to need some sleep during your next long EV journey, here are a few tips you can use to get a good night’s sleep while you’re doing an extended road trip in your EV and you recognize that it’s time to take a break for safety reasons and pull over to a safe place to park and sleep.

  1.  Cut down on noise
    There are a lot of distractions that can keep you awake when you’re on the road. If you’re in a car, then the traffic outdoors can keep you awake. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is look for ways to block out any unpleasant sound. For instance, you can turn on the radio to bring some white noise into your environment, or you can put on some headphones with relaxing sleep sounds. Some people even get a better night’s sleep by using good old-fashioned earplugs.
  2. Reduce your exposure to light
    A lot of airlines provide their passengers with eye masks. It might be a good idea to take your personal eye mask with you whenever you’re on an extended road trip in your EV, especially to help you take naps during the day. This will mean you’re less likely to get distracted by what’s going on outside when you’re trying to get some shut-eye.
  3. Stay warm and cosy
    You don’t want to be too hot when you’re going to sleep, but when you’re on a road trip, it’s more likely that you’ll be cold, rather than overheated, especially if your travelling during a colder season and/or pulling over and parking and sleeping at night, when it’s colder. If you’re worried about over-heating, keep the window open a crack, but wear a pair of socks so you can keep your feet warm. Having warm feet and hands helps you get to sleep faster by improving your circulation according to some studies.
  4. Wear the right clothes
    Speaking of keeping a pair of warm socks, don’t forget to think about the other clothes that you’re going to be wearing while you travel. Whether you’re planning for a bus journey or a standard car road trip, you want to be as comfortable as possible. So wear loose clothing that won’t be restrictive as you move around. Avoid covering yourself in blankets, as this will make it more likely that you’ll overheat. Also, try to stick to natural materials. Clothing made of wool and cotton is more breathable, so it will help you to regulate your temperature. If you can, take off your shoes or loosen the laces while you’re trying to snooze. This will help you feel more comfortable since your feet are relaxed.
  5. Find the right position
    Finally, finding the perfect body position when you’re sleeping on the road is easier said than done. You can’t change into your PJs and snuggle down into a memory foam mattress, after all. However, you can reduce the risk of having neck pain or an aching back by keeping your spine straight and using a neck pillow to align your head. If you can lean against the door or wall of the vehicle that you’re riding in, this can help too.

Getting good sleep when you’re on a road trip or traveling isn’t an easy thing to do. However, the tips above can help.