Expert reveals top tips for getting a good nights sleep at festivals

Sleeping at festivals isn’t easy (Credits: Getty /

Music bumping. People laughing. Drunken arguments. An uncomfortable tent. Too much excitement.

It’s safe to say that sleeping at a festival isn’t an easy task.

And with Glastonbury here (yep, it kicked off today), if you’re heading to Worthy Farm for a fun-filled weekend of music, drinks, laughs and making memories – you might want to read up on some sleeping tips.

Although sleep isn’t at the top of the agenda while enjoying a festival, it’s actually quite important that you get some rest so you can dive into the next jam-packed day head first.

‘When you don’t get enough sleep, it can impair your cognitive ability and increase your risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and poor mental health,’ notes Hayley Thistleton, a sleep expert at SleepSeeker

It’s true. Lack of sleep while at a festival could leave you feeling fatigued and grumpy the next day, meaning you’ll be unable to enjoy the fun with your friends to the fullest.

But fear not, because there are an array of things you can do to improve your chances of getting some undisturbed sleep while at a noisy festival this summer.

How to get a good night’s sleep at a festival this summer

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Fireworks mark the end of the Foo Fighters performance at the Glastonbury Festival site at Worthy Farm in Pilton on June 24, 2017 near Glastonbury, England. Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is the largest greenfield festival in the world. It was started by Michael Eavis in 1970 when several hundred hippies paid just ??1, and now attracts more than 175,000 people. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Glastonbury kicks off this week (Credits: Getty Images Europe)

Buy ear plugs and an eye mask

‘Two of the main things keeping people awake at festivals is the noise and light coming in through the thin tents,’ Hayley explains.

She recommends overcoming this by bringing an eye mask to stop any light keeping you wide awake.

Ear plugs are also a must-have for any festival goer, because these will block out any surrounding noise from people in tents next to you, and performances still going on when you hit the hay.

Create a comfy space

It’s true, sleeping can be uncomfortable wherever you are and in the best of situations.

This is why it’s important to make sure your tent is as comfortable as it can possibly be while at a festival.

‘It’s worth investing in a decent airbed and bringing a good pillow and duvet as this can make all the difference when trying to nod off,’ Hayley suggests.

People arrive on the first day of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Picture date: Wednesday June 22, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SHOWBIZ Glastonbury. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Taking your own pillows and duvets can help with your sleep while at a festival (Credits: PA)

Bring warm clothes

Even though it’s the summer and we’re hoping for warm weather, it can still get chilly at night.

This is why making sure you bring warm, thick pyjamas and even a dressing gown and extra blankets is a good tip to follow.

Avoid alcohol close to bed

‘While alcohol might help us get to sleep quicker, it leads to poorer sleep quality and duration as it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep,’ Hayley explains.

This next bit of advice may shock you.

Hayley recommends avoiding alcohol all together while at a festival.

Yep, you did read that right.

Avoiding alcohol can help you sleep better (Credits: Getty Images)

She recognises that it can be tricky, but adds that the closer to bed we have a drink, the more it affects our sleep.

‘So try avoiding alcohol, as well as caffeine and large meals, in the hours leading up to bedtime,’ she notes.

Give yourself time to relax

‘Jumping straight into bed after a day of loud music, excitement and dancing will make it difficult to switch off and get to sleep,’ Hayley says.

She strongly recommends giving yourself some time between getting back to your tent and sleeping to unwind and relax.

It doesn’t have to be long, but 10 or 20 minutes is recommended to allow you to mellow out and prepare for a restful bit of kip.

Meditating, reading a book, listening to some chilled music or journalling could help.

Meditating can mellow you out ready for bed (Credits: Getty Images)

After the festival

The sleeping self-care doesn’t stop when you’re driving home from a fun-filled festival.

After getting home from the festival you must remember that it can take a few days to recover from lack of sleep.

‘The most important thing you can do is give your body time to get back into its normal pattern,’ Hayley explains.

‘Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach your desired bedtime and avoid caffeine or electronics a few hours before aiming to sleep.

‘A great way to get to sleep faster is to integrate some exercise into your day, this also boosts the amount of time you spend in the deeper/restorative stages of sleep.’

Now, go and have fun… but make sure you get some proper rest, too.

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