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How to Get a Good Night's Sleep in Your Car

Crashing—and by that we mean sleeping—in your car can be reasonably comfortable if you know a few tricks.


  • : Sleeping in your car is illegal in many places. Check with the local police before sleeping on public property.
  • Step 1: Pick a good snooze spot Pick a good spot to snooze, meaning one that is relatively safe and that limits your risk of being hassled by the police or anyone else. Highway rest stops are good during the day, when many people pull over to catch a few Zs.
  • Step 2: Park strategically Park the car with the morning in mind. If you want to be up with the roosters and don’t have anything blocking out the sunlight, park facing east, where the sun rises. Otherwise, face your car west.
  • TIP: Bring a compass with you so you always know which way you’re facing.
  • Step 3: Pee before bed Find a restroom to use before you settle in for the night. You don’t want to have to answer the call of nature when you’re bedded down in your car.
  • Step 4: Install a tension curtain rod Put your blackout curtains on the tension rod and secure it between the driver’s side and front passenger windows to block the view through the windshield.
  • Step 5: Make your bed Arrange your bedding into a cozy sleeping space. Adjust the seats to give you the most room, and tuck any seat belts you can into the cushions, so they don’t poke you.
  • TIP: If you have a hatchback with seats that fold down, turn your backseat into a comfy bed with a camping cot or sleeping pad.
  • Step 6: Dress for rest Change into something that’s as soft and unrestrictive as pajamas, yet socially acceptable to wear in public. A sweat suit and thick gym socks is a good choice.
  • Step 7: Regulate your body temperature If it’s cool outside, put on a wool cap and socks to preserve body heat. If it’s hot, wet a t-shirt, some wristbands and a bandanna with ice water and wear them to 'bed.'
  • Step 8: Keep your cellphone with you Keep your cellphone nearby just in case. Sweet dreams!
  • FACT: Many Wal-Marts allows people to park in their lots at night to sleep.

You Will Need

  • A tension curtain rod
  • Blackout curtains
  • Pillows
  • A blanket
  • comforter
  • or sleeping bag
  • A safe parking spot
  • Comfortable clothes
  • A compass
  • Camping cot or sleeping pad
  • A wool cap and socks
  • Ice water
  • A t-shirt
  • wristbands
  • and a bandanna

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