How to Sleep in a Moving Car? 10 Tips to Help You Sleep Well On Road Trips

Sleeping in a moving car is possible as long as you are not the driver. All you need is to stay safe and find a comfortable position. A neck pillow, blanket, and noise-canceling headphones are your best help. Just don’t let the driver get tired!

Suppose you’ve never slept in a moving vehicle before. In that case, you might not realize just how UNCOMFORTABLE sleeping on a road trip can be (neck pain, for sure).

In fact, sleeping in a moving car can be dangerous if you lie down without seatbelts.

But if you’ve done it before, you know exactly how bad it feels. And if you’re willing to learn how to sleep comfortably in a moving car, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble down the road.

This article talks about sleeping comfortably in any type of vehicle, whether a van, SUV, or truck, when you are a passenger on a road trip.

How to Sleep in a Moving Car Safely and Comfortably?

Sleeping in a moving car is quite simple. All you need is a few things and a little bit of planning.

1. Keep Your Seatbelt On

When driving in a car, your SAFETY depends on wearing your seat belt. The same goes for sleeping in a moving vehicle as a passenger.

When you are sleeping in a moving car, keep your seatbelt on. Otherwise, you may be thrown out of the vehicle when it stops unexpectedly.

2. Keep the Upright Position for Safety

Choosing a safe upright position is essential when sleeping in a moving car. Sitting upright in a seat belt is safest, with your head resting against the backrest.

3. Keep your Head Supported

If you’re sleeping in a moving vehicle, ensure your head is supported. Sitting up straight in a seatbelt keeps your neck in alignment, which reduces the risk of whiplash injuries. 

4. Keep Sunshades Down

The sun is a major source of heat. The hotter the temperature outside, the hotter the inside of your car becomes. And when the sun shines on you directly, it’s too hot even with the air conditioning.

To avoid this problem, keep the sunshades down. Many cars have sunshades on the windows of the rear doors.

5. Wear a Sleep Mask

Use a comfortable sleep mask to block light. It filters out flashing lights from car windows and helps you get to sleep.

The sleep mask is not just for sleeping. You can use it to relax with your eyes closed.

6. Use a Neck Pillow

If you’re going to sleep in a moving car, you need to be comfortable.

The neck pillow supports your head and keeps it level.

There are many different types of neck pillows available today. Typically they cover your neck and shoulders. Some are made of foam, and some are filled with gel.

Whatever type you choose, make sure it fits well and won’t slide out of place. Also, make sure it’s comfortable enough to keep you asleep.

7. Use a Fleece Blanket

Sleeping in a moving car can be uncomfortable. Bring along a fleece blanket to keep you warm and nice while sleeping. 

Fleece blankets are lightweight and easy to keep in the car, ideal for road trips. Fleece blankets aren’t just for sleeping. You can use them to create makeshift pillows.

8. Use Noise-cancelling Headphones

Noise-canceling headphones are fabulous for blocking unwanted noise in a car when sleeping. 

They are not very practical when driving because they block out everything, like the sounds from the emergency vehicles.

9. Set a Comfortable Temperature

If you’re sleeping in a moving car, you need to set a comfortable temperature.

If you’re traveling in a hot climate, you may need to adjust your thermostat down to prevent overheating.

And if you’re sleeping in a cold climate, you may need your thermostat adjusted up to make you feel warm and prevent the cold radiation from the car windows.

This means setting the air conditioner or heater to a level where you feel warm, not hot.

10. Tell Others You Are Going to Sleep

If you’re going to sleep somewhere along the way, just tell people in advance. And tell them if you want to be woken up at a specific time or place.

Is it a Bad Idea to Sleep in a Moving Car?

There are several reasons why this may be a bad idea:

  1. There’s the obvious problem of motion sickness.
  2. Some people become claustrophobic when confined inside a small space.
  3. Sleeping in a moving vehicle during the day can disrupt your circadian rhythms.
  4. It might make the driver sleepy too.

If you decide to try sleeping in a moving vehicle anyway, here’s what to consider.

First, find out whether you’re susceptible to motion sickness. If you are, then ask yourself whether you’d feel comfortable sleeping in a moving car.

Second, no one keeps company with the driver when the passengers are asleep.

Are you Driving and the Passengers Sleeping?

If you are driving with passengers sleeping, it might affect you badly. You get sleepy too!

Sleepy drivers are more likely to CRASH than alert drivers. 

Especially when driving at night, it is dangerous because it limits your ability to react quickly to unexpected situations. 

So if you are planning a more extended road trip and driving, get plenty of good sleep the previous night. 

And hope that passengers stay awake to keep you company!

If you feel drowsy while driving, pull over immediately and rest until you’re fully awake again. 

Park your car in a safe location and sleep inside. Or, you can drive to a motel and spend the night safely.

And remember, if you’re driving on a long-distance road trip, make sure you take frequent breaks. You don’t want to fall asleep while driving!

Why Do Kids (And Some Adults) Always Fall Asleep in a Car?

We often feel safe and relaxed in cars because they are warm and comfortable. 

Traveling in a moving vehicle can be boring. You watch the world go by and don’t think about anything special.

You are lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking movement of the car. 

When we are in a car, we hear a constant humming noise from the car engine and tires (called white noise). White noise helps us fall asleep. 

The Bottom Line

When you’re behind the wheel, you’re responsible for everything on the road. 

If you’re going to drive long distances, make sure you have enough sleep before hitting the road. Don’t drink alcohol, overeat, or take any medications that might affect your driving ability. 

When you are a passenger and are going to sleep, remember to buckle up.

Make sure the driver stays awake. Passengers should alternate sleeping when traveling at night so that there is someone to keep company with the driver.

Accidents can happen even when everyone is doing their best. So be safe out there!

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