Car Road Trip

How To Sleep In The Car Overnight (Best Tips & Hacks)

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Last Updated on May 29, 2023 by Rose Morah

If you are looking to know how you can comfortably sleep in the car overnight, this article covers some of the best sleeping-in-the-car hacks and tips.

This is through thousand miles of road trip experience that we have gained over the years and comfortably slept in the car for most of it.

Tips for sleeping in the car overnight

1. First, find out if it’s legal to sleep in your car

It is important to note that, in some locations/areas in the states, it is illegal to sleep in your car.

Therefore, the first thing you should find out is whether or not it’s legal to sleep in a car in your location. 

To help you figure this out, check out the article below on states that are both legal and illegal to sleep in the car overnight.

Is it illegal to sleep in your car in the US?

See also: How To Quickly Fall Asleep In The Car.

2. Look for safe places to sleep in your car overnight

Today, there are many great apps that provide great and safe places to sleep in the car, such as RVPARKY. 

Personally, I have in the past managed to sleep in the car overnight at rest stops/truck stops, 24/7 Walmart, Crackerbarrel Restaurant, Loves and Pilots, and Flying J/ Pilot parking lots.

However, I’d recommend you go through our article before sleeping in a car at a truck stop.

The good thing about these places is that you can get hot and cheap showers and nice clean bathrooms.

Therefore, make sure you carry sandals or a pair of on/off waterproof flip-flops for showers and midnight bathroom runs.

Additionally, it is safe to go to the washroom in the middle of the night when sleeping in your car.

When you park to sleep at these locations, make sure you park your car strategically. 

That means parking where you are not blocked in. Or in a spot where you can start up your car and leave whenever you need to.

Avoid drawing attention. Be low-key!

When you are sleeping at a national park, be sure to park your car on level ground. It’s more comfortable this way when you’re sleeping in the car.

See also: 11 Best Cars To Sleep In (Tips From Avid Campers).

3. Get good sleeping-in-the-car accessories

This is to help increase your comfort when sleeping in the car overnight.

Fortunately, there are great sleeping-in-the-car accessories such as air mattresses and window covers/curtains. These accessories ensure that the streetlights don’t shine into your eyes for better sleep and privacy especially if your windows are not tinted.

4. Fold down the back seats and get a nice mattress topper

I have found the best way to sleep in the car is by folding down the back seats and using the trunk space to sleep in the car overnight.

I use a 4-inch mattress topper folded in half, and it is more comfortable.

This is also a great option, especially if you are tall, so you can sleep diagonally.

If you have a small car, then be sure to go through our article on how to sleep in a small car.

5. Airflow and insulation are important when sleeping in the car

When sleeping in the car during winter, insulation is important. Airflow is also very important during summer.

In Summary
Based on my experience, there are two main factors that will determine your sleep comfort.

(a). What you are sleeping on and your physical comfort in the car.
(b). The environment and your reaction to it. 

In conclusion, I have learned over the years that being able to get a night of good sleep when sleeping in the car overnight is something that everyone has to have to figure out and learn for themselves.

Hello there! My name is Rose. I’m passionate about electric cars and clean energy. My adventurous spirit and journalistic pursuits make each day fascinating and far greater. I consider traveling not just about the grandeur moments, but the little elements that transform the whole experience.