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  1. #21
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I guess sleeping in the woods does take some getting used to. The only trouble I have is reseting my bio-clock. I tend to be a night owl, staying up to all hours at night. This can be a problem on a short one or two night trip. I have to lay there for hours before my normal sleep time comes around. Then have to get up well before I'd like to. The amazing thing is, even if I don't get a lot of sleep (or just think I didn't), just laying down for 10 hours is enough to replenish the body.
    This was somewhat true for me. I turned in at about 10, read a lot - Outside magazine and map - and, though I couldn't sleep, just got as close to sleep as I could, well relaxed. I needed the 2.5 hours of actual sleep I did get, but I consoled myself that the non-sleep rest I got also was restorative. It worked out OK, since I hiked a total of 12.4 miles with about 4100' elevation gain and loss, mostly on the rough and rocky western trails of Mt. Washington, and I was ready to go again Monday, had I not had to work. But I always prefer a good, sound night's sleep when I can get it.

    Sounds like a good pad is in order, and I do believe for night 1 a pound or so of turkey wouldn't hurt. I may be headed up again for a couple nights this weekend to the Whites. If not this weekend, soon, so I will take the helpful thoughts everyone has shared here to heart and put them to work.

    Thank you!
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  2. #22
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    PS: I don't think it's a sound thing for me, and I hate earplugs while sleeping, so that's not an option for me, nor is a hammock - I always have liked the idea of a hammock far better than the reality. I'm a confirmed tenter, just have to figure out how to get to sleep, especially on the first night. Where there's a will, there's a way.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  3. #23
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    My problem is not falling asleep, but waking up with odd dreams. I have crazy dreams when camping. Anyone else?

  4. #24
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    I've had success with driving all night to the trail and then starting the hike with zero sleep. By the end of the day, I crawl in my bag and am out like a light. If I do sleep the night before, then sometimes a Benadryl/Ibuprofen combo helps me fall asleep.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
    I do miss a pillow. Maybe will pack a small one in my big pack for the next trek.
    Therm-a-Rest Stuff Sack Pillow

    http://www.rei.com/product/781190/th...FU0b6wodOhoi0w







  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Baggins View Post
    I use either Advil PM or Benadryl
    +1

    the first night on the trail is tough for me too, especially on the first trip after a long lay off

  7. #27
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    Better life through chemicals............they exist for a reason, some section hikes I sleep great, others not so great.

    To me, my 10-14 day hikes are my vacation, carry hooch (scotch, whiskey, tequila), tylenol PM works wonders, stay hydrated, we are at the top of the food chain, dont worry about critters or bears.

  8. #28
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    I use Generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for my allergies at night, it has the added effect of knocking me out. I also avoid caffeine for the most part when I'm hiking, my body is already screwed up enough from the trip, the dehydration, the change in diet and the Vitamin-I, so I try not to add a stimulant to the mix, this makes a big difference when trying to sleep. Truth is most people never sleep well for the first couple of nights that they are away from their beds, you get used to it to an extent, but its normal and it starts to get better after a few nights.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  9. #29
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    1) more time on the trail - more experience
    2) a good pad
    3) good hydration
    4) hike longer and harder - be really tired if possible
    5) have a shot of liquor or two and listen to an i-pod
    6) crickets and soft rain are nice music too

  10. #30

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    I have had this problem the first couple nights out. I find a plush pad helps for short trips. Though I don't enjoy not sleeping well I have never felt tired the next after a night of tossing and turning in the woods, I guess I get enough rest.

  11. #31
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Reckon I'm gonna give this guy a go: http://www.rei.com/product/829826/th...l-sleeping-pad

    I'm not sold on the self-inflators or the air jobbers. I tried this this evening and liked the feel of it.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  12. #32
    Likely more sarcastic than you!
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    After reading all these posts, it's good to see I'm not the only one with this problem. I do look forward to a time where I have more than a week on the trail and my body can get used to the routine..... and thereby sleep! For pads, nothing beats the Large Neo-Air in my opinion when we're talking comfort. For a pillow, I got a Sobakawa from Walgreens, cut a hole in it and emptied the little styrofoam thingies until the whole thing weighed about 8 ounces. If you do this, use great care in sewing it back up so none of those little suckers can leak out. You'll have an awful mess in your bag and camp.

    To me, the extra weight of the pillow and large sized pad are an acceptable burden in exchange for a little camptime comfort. I cut down weight in other areas to make up for this.

    And get yourself a small, plastic, semi-disposable "Smugglers Flask" for a nighttime pre-bed belt. Light and packable. http://www.amazon.com/Rum-Runner-01-..._bxgy_sg_img_c

    Cheers,
    Treesloth

  13. #33

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    keep in mind alcohol is a timulant, and although it may help you fall asleep, it may be difficult to stay asleep.

  14. #34

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    Melatonin 1 or 2 mg . Melatonin was what a doctor recommend for me to use for my sleep problems since prescription sleep aids were having some unpleasant side affects. Try this, ask your doctor first, like anything else. More miles and longer trips always works good too. It's all about gettingyour bio clock set to trail time

  15. #35
    Registered User Old Boots's Avatar
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    Mp3 player loaded with audiobooks and music and if needed Benadryl works very well.

  16. #36
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    Being philosophical about it. It's not unexpected for have trouble sleeping the first night or so. Different settings, different sounds and smells. Even your bed and bedroom are different, so it'd be surprising if you did fall asleep immediately the first night or two.

    Don't stress about it. One night of short sleep isn't going to hurt you. You may feel a bit draggy the next day, but hike all day, have a good dinner, and you should sleep like a baby the next night (or maybe the second) when you adjust. Relax every muscle, breath slowly and regularly, empty you mind (if you can! That's tough for me.), and listen to the night. You'll probably sleep off and on without realizing it.

  17. #37
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wornoutboots View Post
    I personally never sleep good on trail until the 4 or 5th day?
    For me it is akin to not having an appetite for the beginning of a trip. You would think that after working so hard all day that eating and sleeping would come naturally. For many, it doesn't.

    I bring Ambien with me for the first few days of a section hike. I NEVER use Ambien at home.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  18. #38
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikes in Rain View Post
    Don't stress about it. One night of short sleep isn't going to hurt you. You may feel a bit draggy the next day, but hike all day, have a good dinner, and you should sleep like a baby the next night (or maybe the second) when you adjust. Relax every muscle, breath slowly and regularly, empty you mind (if you can! That's tough for me.), and listen to the night. You'll probably sleep off and on without realizing it.
    Great post. Thanks, HiR. I did the relax part, enjoyed the sounds of the river, especially, and was no worse for the wear for my trip up Washington. Was good and exhausted at the end of the hike, and certainly as I parked my car at home at 1:40 AM, but that would've happened anyhow.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  19. #39
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    For me it is akin to not having an appetite for the beginning of a trip. You would think that after working so hard all day that eating and sleeping would come naturally. For many, it doesn't.

    I bring Ambien with me for the first few days of a section hike. I NEVER use Ambien at home.
    I think both the sleep and the appetite issues are tied in with extra adrenaline flow. The low appetite works great for me, helps me lose weight, and I hope it sticks around for another 50 lbs.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  20. #40
    Registered User SassyWindsor's Avatar
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    Experience. I think everyone has trouble when first starting. Thankfully, I now sleep almost as good as I do at home, sometimes even better.

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