For the past 2 years, during the middle of the year, I’ve moved into a tent. In the past, that move has only been for about 2 weeks. But this year it’s going to be for about 2 months.
A few years ago, I was really following Rich Roll online. I was listening to his podcast, watching his vlogs, and going behind-the-scenes through his Instagram stories. I was fascinated by his permanent move into a tent. He had a beautiful wife, beautiful kids, wonderful house and an amazing life. So why would he be living in a tent?
Sleep is the number one most important aspect of health.
One of the reasons Rich said he initially moved into a tent was to optimise his sleep. His wife’s ideal sleeping temperature was different to his. And through his desire to optimise his sleep, he decided to move out into a tent. Having just read Shawn Stevenson’s book, Sleep Smarter, I too was beginning to look for ways to optimise my sleep. And I related strongly to the differences in ideal sleep temperature between Rich and his wife.
The weather in Darwin, where I live, is ideal during the middle of the year. The temperature between June and July is generally between 16*C — 22*C at night, with 0 chance of rain. So I take the fly off the tent (the cover that protects you from rain for those non-campers) and enjoy the sight of the stars as I fall asleep and, if it’s the weekend, the colour of the early morning sky when I wake up.
Why I Moved into a Tent
My ideal sleep temperature is different to my wife's. Research shows that generally, the ideal sleep temperature for most people is about 17*C. While this is about my preferred temperature, my wife, Holly, however, prefers the temperate to be slightly warmer. As long as the humidity isn’t going to jump, or it’s going to be an unusually warm night above 22*C, the outside temperature in Darwin during June and July is perfect.
I like the fan on, my wife doesn’t. I like to have some sort of noise as I fall asleep, and as I sleep. Just a sort of white noise I suppose. In the room, I’m not allowed to have the fan on, and if I do, it has to be on the slowest speed. Holly also doesn’t like the fan blowing her hair. So by going outside, I can turn a pedestal fan on as hard as I want to, if I want to. But more often than not, the breeze is perfect, and the sound it makes in the trees gives me that white noise I like.
It encourages me to get away from screens before I go to sleep. One of my biggest challenges with optimising my sleep is getting away from screens before bed. I like to watch TV before bed, and although we don’t have a TV in our bedroom, I sometimes get anxiety falling asleep. I’ve found watching an iPad with a single earbud in helps me to switch my brain off and fall asleep. However, going outside and watching the stars has the same effect as I drift off to sleep.
It connects me with nature and the universe. As I fall asleep staring into space at the thousands of stars, I can’t help but think about my loved ones who are no longer with us. I’m not much of a spiritual person but I find this helps me connect spiritually with them and the universe. I’m also a lover of the universe and ponder a lot about space, time and life. I find this childlike curiosity helps to keep me grounded, while at the same time enhancing my colourful imagination.
It allows me to spend more quality time with my kids. The kids absolutely looove sleeping out in the tent. Whether it’s a school night or a weekend, I think it’s a bit of a novelty for them, but it’s also such a primal thing. It’s like they get to do what kids should be doing, and that’s having adventures and lots of fun. But most importantly, they’re getting to spend time with their dad, away from all distractions. And I suppose that’s the most important reason of all.
Sleeping in a tent outside under the stars, when the weather is perfect, is loads of fun; and one of the best things you can do for optimising your sleep. Sleep is the number one most important aspect of health, and so optimising your sleep is the best thing you can do for your health.
When was the last time you slept in a tent and what do you do to optimise your sleep?
Leave your answer to that question, and any thoughts, in the comments section below.
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