How do you get a good night’s sleep if you have to sleep in the car?

How to sleep in the car and wake up: 3 rules

Stands under the wheels, feet do not dangle, a hose on the exhaust pipe – and that’s not all you should do if you want to drive on. we did not want to scare you!

Imagine the situation: you came to visit friends at the cottage, had fun, you can’t go home, and there are not enough sleeping places. No strength to sit up until morning. Or: went on a trip and could not find a bed: hotels-motels along the highway are busy. Or: went on a fishing trip, but forgot the tent… In general, variants are possible. The car in this case can be a salvation. You just need to do everything wisely.

Rule number 1 – do not make a mistake with the place of parking

If you decide to spend the night near the road, try to find an equipped parking lot – with parking lots away from the road, a toilet and a place to wash. It is not difficult to arrange with the motel, if there is not enough room for your stay. As a last resort, you can crash at the truckers parking lot – if you are ready to wake up at five in the morning from the roar of a multi-liter diesel engine and the blue exhaust out the window.

With parking in the countryside is more complicated. You need to be sure that you will not be disturbed by the inspectors protecting the nature, wild animals, and – most disgusting – the muddy characters looking for adventure. If you have doubts about safety, it is better to ignore romanticism and look for civilized parking.

Specially protected natural areas include:

  • state nature reserves (including biosphere reserves);
  • national parks;
  • natural parks;
  • state parks;
  • natural monuments;
  • Arboretum parks and botanical gardens.

If you drive a car into such areas you may be fined 3000-4000 rubles according to article 8.39 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation, and the “means of committing an administrative offense” may be confiscated.

If you enter a private property, you may be charged with Article 139 of the Criminal Code on trespassing (punishable by up to three months of arrest) and recover the damage, the amount of which depends on the imagination of the owner. By the way, an attempt to break into our territory is equal to breaking and entering.

Rule No. 2 – arrange a comfortable bed

Modern cars (with rare exceptions) are poorly suited for sleep because, first of all, the shape of the seats – in some places too convex, and in other places – opposite (you get it). Sleeping (and just sleeping) on these “folds of terrain” is not easy. Before you make your bed, you need to level the base by using headrests, rolled up jackets and other soft things to do so.

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Sites of car accessories and travel equipment often offer inflatable mattresses for car interiors (cost about 4,000 rubles), covering the back seats and the space between the second and back rows. But they are more suitable for children. For adults it is better to get a full-fledged two-meter mattress. Inflatable has to be covered with a thin mattress or woolen blanket – otherwise it will be hard to sleep on it because of slippery and permeable surface.

Rule #3 – Start the engine only as a last resort

The greatest danger to sleeping in a car is not beasts or dashing people, but exhaust fumes. Even in summer, there are chilly nights, and there are no cars that are completely airtight. You want to keep warm. A natural thought is to start the engine and turn on the heater. But you can’t do that: because the car isn’t airtight, the exhaust gases will gradually enter the car, poisoning those in it. You may not wake up, and there are a lot of similar cases. Don’t think it won’t happen to you. Even if you park the car on the leeward side, the wind may change at any moment, and the exhaust will be pulled into the salon.

If you can’t do without heater, you should put a long hose on the exhaust pipe and take it aside, so that gases wouldn’t flow into the car. And turn on the engine with the heater for the minimum time. If there are two (or more) of you in the car – watch each other’s condition.

If you have to spend a lot of nights in the car (maybe you are such a keen autotourist), it is better to buy an independent heater with a timer and (or) a thermometer, which will warm up the interior by the hour or when the temperature drops to a certain level. Telling the truth, this pleasure is not from cheap – about 15 thousand without installation. Installation can cost even more.

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How to get warm?

Just do not freeze. Buy thermal underwear and a high-quality sleeping bag, stock up on woolen blanket. As additional sources of heat you can use water or salt warmers, wrap them in blankets and put under the seat plastic canisters of hot water. They will not last until morning, but they will serve for a couple of hours.

Interesting products for such an occasion are electric sheets, blankets, or mattresses with 12-volt power. As a rule, these products come with different degrees of heating and even timers. The price range is from 2.5 to 10 thousand rubles. But before using such a device you should make sure the car battery is in good condition and, if necessary, get if not a second working battery, then at least a booster for “reanimation” of the battery.

  • In order to warm the car up faster in the morning, it is better to put it with a windshield to the east. The sun will help even in winter.
  • In summer, mesh curtains for windows will be useful, as they allow opening the windows, but will not let the insects in. Frame ones are the most convenient, costing from 1000 to 2500 rubles.

The most important rule

Still, it is much harder to get a good night’s sleep in a car than in a fixed bed. Hotels, motels, campgrounds and hostels are now very plentiful. In case of force majeure, work out all options on how to arrange a full bed. And even better – do not allow force majeure. Holidays – it’s important to spend it somehow stupid, and to plan a route in advance is easier than to spend the night in the car.

Advice from the expert

“Sleeping overnight in the car is usually a forced measure. If you have to sleep in the car in cold weather, you should stand on a well blown place (elevation), switch the heater to recirculation mode, and ajar the front windows for ventilation.

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Do not forget to put the car on the handbrake and ideally – put pads under the wheels, so that the car does not accidentally roll.

Sleeping in the car is basically not the best situation for the body: the lack of oxygen, the uncomfortable body position, the strain on the spine… Therefore it is necessary to ensure normal blood circulation. It is also desirable to sleep elongated, so that the legs do not hang down. Rules seem simple, but they will allow you to sleep even in such conditions, and in the morning to continue the journey rested.

Sleeping overnight in the car without any harm to your health

We have long put off writing this article. But the family emergency in the parking lot of the mall greatly accelerated the process. It is time to make a detailed instruction on how to properly organize the overnight stay in the car, truck or bus on the long journey.

Sleeping overnight in the car without harming your health

Step 1 – Fold the seat

Simply recline the back of the chair, if such a possibility allows. Such a movement transforms the chair into a kind of bed. But before you begin to unfold, make sure that such a regulator is present, and there is room for maneuvering.

In most cars, the front seats are recliners. Although there may be variations in different cars: the driver’s seat can slide down to increase luggage space or it can be fixed rigidly in a particular position.

The modern generation intercity buses can also boast of reclining seats. In some of them, the seat spacing is increased. The seats recline completely, turning them into full-fledged beds. In Russia, the class of buses-slippers is not so much, but over time they can be actively used on long distance night routes.

The transformation of a place into a bed

Unfolding the chair, use caution. Do not allow sudden jerks and movements. Also pay attention to the condition of the chair and its cover. Tears, damage to the cape and mechanism can not only spoil the rest, but also lead to unscheduled repairs.

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Step 2 – make a bed set from improvised means

Be sure to bring a sheet, a thick pile towel, and a blanket. All of these things will help you during a long journey. If you don’t have them on hand, a warm spare piece of clothing, a jacket, or a sweater can help.

Step 3 – lay down a pillow.

Do the action identical to the way you do it at home. Only instead of the headboard of the bed, use the top of the seat. The pillow or its soft substitutes should be clean.

Read also: Why is water leaking from the car exhaust pipe, how dangerous is the phenomenon and how to fix it

Step 4 – the blanket

One of the last steps is to form a blanket. It’s not necessary for our latitudes in the summer – you just won’t get cold. But in the fall, winter and early spring the items from step 2 will come in handy – a prepared blanket or its substitute: a sweater, a jacket. It is desirable to put the inside of the jacket to yourself – it’s the best protection from the cold.

Step 5 – intimate atmosphere.

It is good when the car is tinted and the light does not strike the eyes. But too much tinting will look in your wallet, and on the bus, you can not. The good thing is that modern intercity buses have curtains at their disposal, which can easily cover the window. And in the case of a passenger car, items of outerwear will come to the rescue. For best results, fasten them on hooks above the interior doors.

Features of tinted windows

The motorhome sector is gradually increasing its potential. It is a full-fledged dwelling on wheels. In total, there are two types of camps – trailers to passenger cars and full-fledged copies of buses. The advantage of this type of rest is there is no need to spend night in the automobile. It is possible to spend the night comfortably in the interior of such autohouses. But so far in Russia, they have not caught on because of the high cost and lack of infrastructure.

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On the road the truck driver…

Drivers of commercial vehicles for the transportation of goods are also not immune to breakdowns on the road. The author periodically observes drivers repairing cars even under the cover of night. And it’s a good thing, if they manage to pull up the breakdown a little bit and get to the nearest TIR service station (common designation of long-haul truckers. Derived from the name of the international permit book TIR Carnet – author’s note). And if not, how do you sleep?

In the Soviet Union and still in Russia military long-haul transportations are carried out by hardy vehicles GAZ-66. At the disposal of the driver and the accompanying cargo is his own hammock. It is fixed on special hooks on top of the cab above the doors. This provides a comfortable and safe sleep for the driver. The soldiers who ride in the trailer sleep literally on each other directly on the floor.

Special beds are also provided in some types of shift buses. Cross-country vehicles based on truck chassis transport workers mainly to the remote regions of Siberia and the Far North. It is important for them to have a comfortable healthy sleep, so the manufacturer has provided comfortable bunk beds.

Turning seats into beds

The truck tractor manufacturers do not lag behind the colleagues. Owners have a full-fledged sleeping place with orthopedic mattress. Zone of rest is separated from the working area with the blinds. Thus the driver and his partner can not interfere with each other. Among the pioneers of such a solution is a Swedish company Volvo, which equips sleeping areas, particularly in the Cascadia.


Although you now know how to sleep comfortably in the car, we still advise against extreme tourism. Just in case, make a route and write down the phone numbers of vehicle evacuation services in case of an accident. Also do not forget that on the roads there are many people who will help in an emergency to get to the nearest bus stop with a motel.

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