10 Things You Should Do To Sleep Like a Baby on a Cruise - Cruise with Leo

10 Things You Should Do To Sleep Like a Baby on a Cruise

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Sleep well on a cruise ship

It’s not always easy to sleep well, especially when you’re away from home and not sleeping in your own bed.

When you go on vacation, it is important to create all the conditions for a good night’s sleep, so that you can rest and relax as much as possible.

But what can you do to improve sleep quality when you are on a cruise ship?

In my experience, there are some things that make a difference, so I want to share them with you.

1. Block Out Light

Cruise cabin curtains
Cruise cabin curtains

Light can be a significant disruptor of sleep. Several studies are showing that in order to sleep well, you need to be completely in the dark.

So watch out, especially for cabins with large windows or those with balconies, remember to use blackout curtains to block external light sources effectively.

On some ships, I noticed that the curtains don’t match perfectly, and a lot of light can come in the morning.

For this reason, for the past couple of years, I have included clothespins in my list of cruise essentials.

I use them to keep the curtains tightly closed, and no light seeps through. Some people even use eye masks, but I’m not really a fan of them.

Additionally, if you’re really light-sensitive, remember to use tape to cover bright indicator lights on electronic devices.

2. Maintain a Cool Environment

Cabin thermostat
Cabin thermostat

To sleep like a baby, it’s essential to keep your cabin cool while you sleep.

Many cruise cabins come with individual thermostats, so you can adjust the temperature to your preference.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the body temperature naturally decreases during sleep, so the room temperature should be lowered as well.

An ideal temperature would be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition, you can bring a small portable fan. It’s allowed on board and can improve air circulation.

3. Bring Earplugs

Along with light, the other thing you have to watch out for is noise.

Cabins on cruise ships are well soundproofed, but sometimes you can still hear noises. Especially if you are near areas of the ship with music, near engines, or if you have noisy neighbors.

Just in case, bring some high-quality foam earplugs that can muffle sounds without being uncomfortable.

4. Stick to Your Routine

I know that there are a lot of things you can do on a cruise, but try to maintain your regular bedtime routine when you’re on board.

The body thrives on consistency, and keeping your usual pre-sleep activities can help signal that it’s time to wind down.

You can read a book, drink a cup of herbal tea, or stick to the habits that ease your transition to sleep.

Generally, on a cruise, it’s tempting to participate in late-night activities, but still try to go to bed at the time you are used to.

5. Be Mindful of Your Diet

Plate at the buffet
Plate at the buffet

What you eat and drink before bed can greatly impact your sleep quality.

Heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol are known sleep disruptors, and they are also the things most often consumed on cruises!

If you wanna sleep like a baby, avoid caffeine after the early afternoon and avoid alcohol for dinner.

Similarly, avoid large meals close to bedtime, or at least try to walk a bit after dinner to aid digestion.

If you need a snack before bed, choose something light, such as a yogurt or fruit.

6. Combat Seasickness

Medicines on a cruise
Medicines on a cruise

Seasickness can be a significant obstacle to good sleep on a cruise. If you’re prone to motion sickness, take preventive measures to manage it.

Consult with a healthcare provider to find the best option for you, and remember to do that before the cruise.

As we’ve seen in the article about the very high bill received by a passenger, medical consultations are very expensive on a cruise, so it is best to arrive prepared.

Also, remember to stay hydrated, and avoid greasy or spicy foods that can make the situation worse.

7. Use the “Do Not Disturb” Sign

Do not disturb sign on Royal Caribbean
Do not disturb sign on Royal Caribbean

In every cabin, you will find a “do not disturb” sign, and my advice is to use it when you wanna sleep.

If you hang this sign on your door, housekeeping and other staff will not knock or enter your room, so you’ll be sure to sleep uninterrupted.

It is especially useful if you plan to take midday naps or if you like to sleep till late.

The only thing you have to remember is to remove the sign when you’re ready for room service or housekeeping to avoid missing these services.

8. Choose the Right Cabin

Cabin on cruise prepared for sleeping
Cabin on the cruise ship prepared for sleeping

One thing that I consider extremely important is the cabin choice.

If you want to minimize the ship’s movement, opt for a midship cabin on a lower deck.

Usually, the ones near the ship’s pivot point, experience less motion compared to those at the bow or stern.

Additionally, it’s crucial to choose a cabin away from noisy areas such as the engine room, nightclubs, under the pool deck, or under dining rooms.

It is not easy to identify these cabins, as the layout can change for each individual ship.

To better understand which cabins to avoid, based on the cruise lines, check out these guides:

9. Stay Active During the Day

Running track
Running track

I know you go on a cruise to relax but remember to still stay active.

Cruise ships offer a variety of activities, from fitness classes and gym facilities to walking tracks and swimming pools.

If you participate, you’ll both have fun and help regulate your sleep-wake cycle.

In addition, try to avoid excessive napping during the day. I know it can be tempting to have your cabin just a few steps away, but long naps interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night.

10. Bring Comfort Items from Home

Pillow menu on a cruise
Pillow menu on a cruise

Some people say I’m crazy, but I bring my own pillow when I travel.

I know it adds significant weight, but since I have neck problems, I prefer not to risk it.

I just vacuum-packed it, and it doesn’t take up that much space inside the suitcase.

Some cruise ships have a pillow menu, something I really like.

For example, on the MSC ships, I don’t bring my own because I know that a pillow that is on the menu is very comfortable.

Other familiar things you can bring from home are blankets, sleepwear, or a night light.
In short, everything you need to recreate a familiar and relaxing environment.


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