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The Sandman Finally Comes for the RVer

Some time ago I joked about RVers who have been diagnosed with the Early Bedtime Syndrome. But actually, sleep is too serious a matter to joke about. If the problem were merely one of rising too early in the morning, that wouldn't be so bad.  But the real issue is that going to bed too early also detracts from the depth and quality of sleep. 

Snuggling in early on a winter evening, in front of the catalytic heater.

This problem becomes even worse if you need to camp in some noisy campground or city; there  you need to stay up as late as possible, so that the din has a chance to die down some.  

Currently I'm basking in a week of success at overcoming this dreadful scourge, so perhaps it's time for an update. The long days of June are certainly the time of year to get serious about beating this sucker. 

My earlier theory was that the Early Bedtime Syndrome was brought on by not running enough lights at night. The good news is that the LED lighting revolution has come to our rescue  -- even for late adopters! Unfortunately I've found the benefits of more light to be somewhat smaller than hoped. Still, let's be happy to make progress one small bit at a time, if necessary.

Recently I was mooch-docking on a friend's driveway when a long overdue idea finally popped into my head: maybe people in normal houses are less prone to the Early Bedtime Syndrome than RVers because they walk around in their houses at night. Even a couch potato has to stand up during commercials and walk a certain distance to the refrigerator. But in an RV it is easy to stay glued to one piece of furniture, and thus be pulled into the abyss too early.

So I've started doing more housekeeping late in the evening. It helps quite a bit. Besides, it's pleasant to wake up in the morning and realize that all those dreary chores are already done.

One more suggestion. Don't get into bed to watch a movie; sit up in an office chair and watch the movie, if you must. You can't literally fall asleep sitting up in an office chair (as opposed to an easy-chair.)

Now consider what van-campers -- or tent campers -- must overcome! I admire their toughness, but don't think I could make it work for me.


Jim and Gayle said…
Interesting, we have not yet succumbed to this. We've actually been trying to go to bed earlier now that daylight in AZ comes at 5am and the cats think we should get up then!
Anonymous said…
Yep, bedtime is 7-8 hours before daybreak, regardless of season, because the early bird catches the worm and the early cat gets to watch the early bird. Kitty has all kinds of underhanded tricks to wake me up when the light leaks through the blinds. Resistance is Futile. ;)
Teri said…
I can fall asleep in an office chair, or anywhere else. I have been staying up too late and getting up early. Lately, I have been trying to go to sleep earlier.
Tesaje said…
When I'm in my van, I don't go to sleep early. I set it up so the computer is comfortable and easy to use or I end up staying up too late reading. After I retired, I found I stayed up later and later after a lifetime of getting up at 430am. And then there are those nights when I just don't go to sleep. I use foam ear plugs in noisy areas.
edlfrey said…
I can't remember the last time I went to bed after 9:00 pm. I also can't remember the last time I woke up after 7:00 am. Being partially deaf and sleeping on my good ear takes care of most noises in RV Parks or blacktop boondocks. I have slept soundly with a diesel truck idling on each side of me.