Cruise Ship Cabin with Bunk Beds

How to Sleep Like a Baby on a Cruise: 10 Tips from an Ex-Insomniac

Are you planning to go on a cruise but worried about getting a good night’s sleep? As an ex-insomniac, I know how frustrating it can be to toss and turn all night. Below, I’ll share some tips and tricks that have helped me sleep better on cruises. From choosing the right cabin location to packing the right sleep aids, I’ll cover everything you need to know to get a good night’s rest on your next cruise.

How to Sleep Better on a Cruise

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How to Sleep Better on a Cruise

1. Portable Fan

Air ventilation is critical for sleeping well on a cruise. If you are staying in an inside cabin, you might want to consider bringing a portable fan to increase airflow in your stateroom. I have a hard time sleeping if there is not enough airflow, so I always pack a small portable fan just in case! If you are in a balcony room, you can crack open the balcony door a bit to increase airflow.

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2. Lower Temperature

Keeping the room temperature cool is essential for a good night’s sleep. When I had insomnia, I always find myself waking up hot. Now that I’m recovered insomniac and sleeping normal, in order to sleep well, I always make sure the room temperature is on the cooler side. I like to keep the thermostat at 68F. 

One thing to know is that some cruise ship cabins don’t have individual thermostats so you can’t control the room temperature. If that is the case, ask your cabin steward to adjust your room temperature for you. Otherwise, if it’s still too hot, use your portable fan to keep you cool at night!

3. Chiropractic Pillow

Proper neck support is crucial for a good night’s sleep. If you are like me and you need a good pillow that supports the head and neck properly, you will like this dog bone shaped pillow. It’s not too bulky so I always bring it with me, especially if I go on a long cruise. The unique dog bone shape helps me sleep better by aligning my head and neck.

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4. Inside Cabin

Some people claim that they sleep best on a cruise ship if they are in an inside cabin. It’s because at night, you are literally in total darkness to the point it disorients you. You don’t know if it’s daytime or nighttime unless you look at a clock. 

But, if you are sensitive to air flow and need good ventilation to sleep well, I suggest you pick a balcony room instead. I personally prefer a balcony room because I can crack open the balcony door for better air ventilation when I sleep. 

But, it really depends, you may luck out and have an inside cabin with good ventilation- which means you get the benefit of total darkness, good ventilation at a cheaper price!  

How to Sleep Better on a Cruise

5. Clothespins

A dark environment is a must for a good night’s sleep. If you’re sensitive to light, even the smallest amount of light can disrupt your sleep. To ensure that your room is completely dark, you can use clothespins to keep the curtains shut. This will help block out any light that may interfere with your sleep. If you are really sensitive to light, then you should book an inside cabin so you can sleep in total darkness.

As a bonus, the clothespins will come in handy for drying wet bathing suits and clothes!

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6. Eye Mask

I find that eye masks are essential for me to get a good night’s sleep. Without one, even the smallest amount of light can keep me awake. I use eye masks to block out any light, even when I’m in an inside cabin. I like these eye masks because they are adjustable so they fit comfortably and securely.

7. Quiet Cabin

When you book your cruise, make sure you are in a quiet cabin. The last thing you want when you are trying to sleep is to hear kids running in the hallway, loud music or doors slamming at night! 

Avoid cabins under the dining rooms or above the theater, casinos and lounges. Definitely avoid Boardwalk Balcony rooms on the new Royal Caribbean ships- they are noisy and bright!

8. White Noise Machine

I always bring a small white noise machine, it helps block out noise, relaxes me and helps me sleep better. I like this white noise machine because it’s small and you can plug it via USB or a regular outlet. 

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9. Ear Plugs

I don’t typically need to sleep with ear plugs but in case I’m in a noisy room, I like to have ear plugs handy.

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10. Mattress Topper

You can request for a mattress topper from your cabin steward if you find the mattress too hard. They will typically bring you an eggshell mattress topper to make it more comfortable so you sleep better. You can also ask your cabin steward to bring extra pillows as well if that’s what you need to sleep better on the cruise.

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