I’m a sleep expert - here’s 10 tips for sleeping soundly this festival season

Dr. Hana Patel

Author: Dr. Hana Patel



I’m a sleep expert - here’s 10 tips for sleeping soundly this festival season

Festival season is well and truly upon us and with around 142 events taking place across the country this year, there’s plenty to choose from¹!  

But there’s no hiding from the fact that a long weekend at a festival is scarce of relaxation, with many of us lucky to get even 4 hours of sleep at some of the biggest UK music festivals².

But what if we told you there are some nifty tips you can try to make sure you get a good night’s sleep in the middle of fireside chats and booming bass? 

Dr Hana Patel, resident sleep expert at Time4Sleep, shares her festival friendly sleep tips so you can dance all day and doze all night…

1. Wear ear-plugs - and not just at night

There’s nothing worse than finally getting your head down after a long day of dancing when your noisy tent neighbours show up to continue the party…

Dr Patel explains: “External noise can disrupt your sleep and even prevent you from getting to sleep at all, especially when we’re used to peace and quiet in our homes. Little or broken sleep will leave you feeling exhausted with no energy to continue your festival antics.

“High quality ear plugs can be used to ensure you aren’t startled by music and noise during the night. 

“In addition, wearing earplugs throughout the day will protect your ears from loud music which may cause that ringing sensation in your ears (tinnitus). Tinnitus shouldn’t prevent you from falling asleep³ but it may contribute to a disruptive night overall.” 

2. Pack comfy clothing to sleep in 

We all know that summer festival outfits take priority in the rucksack, but here’s why you should spare some room for some comfy clothing.

Dr Patel says: “When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, comfort is key. When our minds are preoccupied due to discomfort, this can cause a cycle of anxiety that will prevent you from falling asleep.

“Trying to get to sleep in materials like denim can be very difficult as tight and rigid clothing can dig into the body. Remember to pack some comfy clothing and make sure to prioritise keeping these clothes dry.”

3. Set up camp in a low traffic area 

If you’re a festival rookie then don’t make this silly (and smelly) mistake!

Dr Patel explains: “Disruption can come in many forms and the slightest of noises or smells can interrupt your pattern of sleep. Set up your camp as far away from busy hotspots as you can, this includes areas like the toilets, walkways and water fountains.

“It may be a bit of a walk back to your tent but if sleep is a concern for you, this is one of the key pieces of advice. Not only will it be quieter on the edges of the campsite but a long walk back to your tent will help to prepare your body for sleep.”

4. Shower before bedtime 

Avoid the queues and grab some Zs with this night time shower hack!

“If a night time shower is part of your normal sleep routine, then I would recommend continuing to shower at this time whilst you’re at the festival. Sticking closely to your normal sleep routine will send signals to your mind and body that it’s time for sleep. Plus, the showers tend to be less busy late at night, so there’s no need to get up really early to beat the queues.

“Studies have shown that taking a warm shower or bath can improve sleep and help you fall asleep faster. A warm shower aids the body’s natural temperature regulation process.” adds Dr Patel.

5. Avoid caffeinated drinks 

Whilst you may find the urge to reach for the energy drinks as the day goes by, these are worth avoiding if you’re looking to get to sleep easily. 

Dr Patel explains: “The effects of caffeine on our sleep are pretty well-known and I would recommend avoiding any caffeinated drinks during the afternoon and into the evening.

“When used strategically, a caffeine hit can be a great way to boost your energy levels when it’s needed, such as first thing in the morning. However, continuing to consume caffeine into the evening will only prevent you from getting to sleep. 

“It’s also important to stay hydrated to achieve that fresh feeling in the morning. Try drinking a glass of water every hour or so to hydrate and detox the body.”

6. Bring an air bed 

Create your own cosy space with this festival essential.

Dr Patel explains: “Ensuring that you’re comfortable in your tent set-up should be your main priority and packing a few extra items may be the difference between a fun festival experience and a festival flop. 

“Bringing an airbed will help to create that cosy atmosphere in what would otherwise be an uncomfortable resting space. If you have room to bring an extra blanket or pillow, this will help your body recognise that you’re in a safe and comfortable place to sleep, making it easier to drift off.”

7. Take your sleep routine with you

Whilst we recognise that a festival is unlike the norm, it’s important to take your routine with you. 

Dr Patel says: “Pre-bedtime routines are promoted to improve sleep quality for those who struggle to get to sleep. 

“If you can replicate your normal sleep routine in any way, I would recommend that you follow this to the best of your ability. Whether it’s by reading a book, doing some skincare or stretching, these activities will send signals to your brain that it’s time for bed - meaning you’ll fall asleep quicker.”

8. Pack THIS to help regulate your temperature 

80% of Brits say that hot weather impacts their sleep5 and if you know your festival weekend is going to be a scorcher (fingers crossed!) then you’ll need to prepare some ways to cool down. 

On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to experience the traditional British festival weather… you’ll need some quick methods to get warm! 

Dr Patel explains: “There are a few things you can bring in preparation for hot or cold weather, for example, a thermos flask can be really beneficial for keeping fluids hot or cold for longer which will help you to regulate your temperature. Other items like hand warmers or hand-held fans are useful to have on standby if the sleep environment isn’t ideal.” 

9. Share your tent with a friend or partner 

Dr Patel explains: “Whilst you might prefer your own space, there are many benefits to sleeping with someone. Sharing a tent with someone will keep you both warm when temperatures drop and there are added anxiety reducing benefits. 

“Sleeping next to your partner has been proven to ease nerves and contribute to a feeling of calm6, so if festival environments trigger feelings of anxiety, this is a great way to reduce the impact of stress.” 

10. Stay active to reduce anxiety 

This may sound obvious but sometimes our worries can prevent us from enjoying ourselves. Stress and anxiety will affect your sleep so this is your reminder to have fun. 

Dr Patel says: “Dancing and being active throughout the day will increase the likelihood of a better sleep. Use the time well to blow off some steam and de-stress, this should mean you sleep better and longer.” 



  1. https://www.musicfestivalwizard.com/festival-guide/uk-festivals/ 
  2. https://www.spaseekers.com/spa-insider/destinations/revealed-the-filthiest-uk-festivals-and-where-to-go-to-get-the-most-and-least-sleep/ 
  3. https://tinnitus.org.uk/understanding-tinnitus/living-with-tinnitus/sleeping/ 
  4. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene/shower-before-bed 
  5. https://yougov.co.uk/topics/science/survey-results/daily/2022/07/12/6d8d0/1?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=daily_question&utm_content=hot_weather_sleep 
  6. https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/45/Supplement_1/A4/6592562