Glastonbury Festival is happening this week, and with a line-up of Arctic Monkeys, Elton John and Guns N’ Roses, it’s sure to be an amazing few days of music and dancing. If you’re heading to Glastonbury – or any festival this summer – sleep is probably the last thing on your mind. But if you’re not getting a good amount of quality shut eye, you could be ruining your festival experience.
Unless you’re glamping, it’s unlikely that you’ll have the best mattress at your disposal. Instead, you’re probably going to be sleeping in the best sleeping bag on top of the best camping mat inside the best tent. But even if you have the highest quality equipment, sleeping at a festival isn’t exactly comfortable, mainly due to the noise, footfall and weather.
Here are 7 tips to help you get a good night’s sleep at Glastonbury (or as good as a festival will allow). If you’re not going to the festival and have serious FOMO, here’s how to watch Glastonbury 2023.
1. Choose the right pitch spot
Where you decide to set up camp will determine how much (if any) sleep you’re going to get at a festival. If you can, try to get to the campsite as soon as possible so you can snag a good spot for your tent. Although you’ll want to be close to the action, setting up slightly further away is your best bet, as the noise won’t be too offensive while you’re trying to sleep. Try to avoid being near the toilets and busy walkways so you’re not kept awake by people walking past you or accidentally falling over your tent peg and onto you. Additionally, pitch your tent at the top of a slope and look for high ground, so if it rains, your tent won’t get soggy or swept away.
2. Wear earplugs
If you’re a light sleeper or you prefer sleeping in absolute silence, you need to pack earplugs in your festival kit. Festivals and campsites are noisy so having earplugs or the best sleep headphones will block out all external noise so you can sleep quietly and soundly. You can also use earplugs during the festival to protect your ears from loud music, plus they’re easy to pack and travel with.
3. Use a sleep mask
Along with your earplugs, remember to pack a sleep mask, too. If you prefer to sleep in total darkness, using a sleep mask is probably a no-brainer but even if your tent has liners to block out the light, brightness can still get in. During the summer, the sun can rise as early as 4am and you definitely don’t want to be woken up by bright lights beating down on your face after a long day at a festival. Sleep masks are a must-have for this but if you’re still not convinced, here’s why you should wear a sleep mask at night.
4. Have a quick nap
Festivals are fun but seriously tiring. The heat, the volume, the dancing, the drinking – all of these combined over multiple days will leave you feeling exhausted, so if you feel you need a nap… have one! A quick power nap of about 20 minutes or less will leave you feeling refreshed and energised for the rest of the day. To have a perfect nap, you should try not to nap any later than 3pm and to make sure you’re feeling alert afterwards, have a cup of coffee before you settle down (see caffeine nap: what is it and how do they work? for more details).
5. Try to stay dry
This next tip is easier said than done if it’s raining at the festival you’re attending, however, if you can stay dry as much as possible, you’re saving yourself from an uncomfortable night’s sleep. First, invest in a tent that has multiple layers to keep the rain out, and cover your sleeping bag and mat with something you don’t mind getting wet, so your ‘bed’ is dry when you get in it. Another trick with this is to bring a set of clothes with you that are only for your tent, so you always have something dry to sleep in.
6. Dance… yes, really!
It might sound stupid, but the best way to fall asleep at night is by tiring yourself out during the day… so dance as much as you can! If you get in your cardio through dancing, chances are you’ll feel sleepier when it’s time to turn in and this should result in you falling asleep quicker and more deeply. Just make sure not to overdo it so you can still see the acts you want to see the next day.
7. Get outside as soon as you wake up
Whether it’s after your nap or when you wake up in the morning, get outside your tent as quickly as possible. Even if that just means opening your tent door to speak to your friends, getting a morning hit of sunshine and fresh air can make you feel more alert and awake. If you’ve had a bad night’s sleep or you’re feeling tired, this exposure to sunlight and mild exercise like walking to get a coffee can make you feel better and ready to take on the day.