a large cruise ship in the middle of the ocean

A cruise can be a relaxing, and fun, way to take a vacation. With the opportunity to explore different parts of the world while enjoying incredible food and entertainment, a cruise is the ideal way to reset. However, there is one thing that can detract from an incredible cruise: Poor sleep. If you are concerned about making the most of your nights (and naps) on your cruise ship, try these tips and tricks. 

Plan for time changes

a woman with a towel on her head drinking a glass of water

One aspect of sleeping on a cruise ship that you may not have considered before is the time change that often occurs on board as the ship passes through one (or more) time zones. While shifting from one time zone to another can create confusion for your sleep cycles, there is a simple way to deal with it - Plan ahead. Here are some steps you can take to help yourself make the change with minimal disruption to your rest: 

  • Choose a cruise that fits your sleep cycles. Eastward cruises force you to sleep in later, while westward cruises force you to wake a little earlier. If you are a morning person, a westward cruise might be less disruptive, and vice versa if you enjoy getting up late. 
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking ample water will boost your energy levels and help you get over any humps in your rest during your cruise. 
  • Sleep when you are tired. A cruise is the perfect opportunity to rest on your schedule! Take advantage by sleeping when you need to!

Take steps to combat sea sickness

a first aid kit sitting on top of a table

Sea sickness could be a major interrupter of sleep on your cruise. Try to stop it before it begins by following a few simple steps:

  • Pack the right medication. Making sure you have medicine to combat sea sickness can help you get a head start on feeling good, and sleeping well, during your cruise. 
  • Choose a cabin on the lower decks. The lower your cabin, the less rocking sensation you will experience. If you are prone to motion sickness, try to reserve one of these sleeping areas for maximum comfort. 
  • Snack regularly. Eating small snacks every few hours throughout your cruise can help keep your stomach settled and illness at bay. 
  • Get out on deck for some fresh air when you begin to feel sick - And make sure to watch the horizon, not the waves. 

Create a dark and quiet environment

a woman laying on a bed with a blue comforter

Many people sleep best when it is quiet and dark in their bedroom. Unfortunately, a cruise ship cabin is sometimes subject to light and sound bleeding in from other parts of the ship. If you want to fall asleep more quickly, and sleep more deeply, try these tips for creating a space that is as dark and quiet as you desire: 

  • Reserve a cabin in a quiet area of the ship. For example, avoid cabins that are directly above the gym, near childcare areas, etc. 
  • Choose an interior cabin if maximum darkness is important. 
  • Bring a sleep mask and earplugs.
  • Close your window drapes tightly. 
  • Place a towel at the bottom of your door to block out light. 

Alternatively, if you need a little bit of light in your room, choose an exterior cabin, crack the curtains, and/or bring your own nightlight. 

Bring sleep supports from home

a woman laying in bed with a pillow and a pillow on her head

One of the reasons some people find it difficult to fall asleep on a cruise ship is trying to rest in a space that is unfamiliar. You can combat this problem by bringing things from home that can make your bed, and your room, feel more like home. Here are some ideas:

  • Bring your pillow or pillowcase. The right support from a familiar pillow, and the right feel from your own pillowcase, can help you drop right off to sleep.
  • Bring sound machines or fans from home. These not only drown out extraneous noise, but can also provide a familiar environment in which to rest.
  • Pack a favorite blanket, especially if texture or weight is important to your rest.
  • Bring a rolled up memory foam topper to provide the extra support you are accustomed to at home.  

Keep up with your bedtime routine

a woman holding a jar of cream in her hand

Your cabin may not be your bedroom at home, but your sleep routine can stay the same on board the ship. Bring along any creams, lotions, soaps, books, blankets, or other items you use as part of your routine. Then, follow it on your cruise. Even if you are going to bed at a different time from home, following your nighttime habits can remind your body that it is time to rest and help you fall asleep more quickly. 

Stay active - But not overactive

a man and a woman standing on a boat watching the sun go down

Cruises are for resting, but they are also for having FUN, and fortunately, the two can go hand-in-hand. If you can remain active on board, and at port of calls, then you are more likely to feel tired and ready to sleep at the end of the day. Here are some suggestions for staying active and enjoying your cruise vacation: 

  • Head to the gym.
  • Walk around the ship. 
  • Visit the port of calls and see the attractions. 
  • Choose active shore tours that include walking, biking, kayaking, etc. 
  • Swim
  • Use the stairs
  • Choose ship activities and events to attend every day.

Another important way to maintain good sleep on a cruise is to avoid overdoing it, too. For example, treating yourself to delicious food is a must on a cruise, but a lot of overeating may give you digestive problems that keep you awake. 

Similarly, try to avoid regularly drinking too much, or pushing yourself beyond your physical limits. The right amount of activity will leave you comfortably tired for optimal rest. 

Sleeping on a cruise ship can be a relaxing and restorative experience, especially if your cruise ship uses quality bedding such as mattresses from Dorelan. If you want to make sure that your sleep as as deep as you desire and as relaxing as the rest of your vacation, try these tips for falling asleep faster and sleeping more deeply on board.


Labels: cruise line bedding


The average person spends 33 years of their life sleeping. Sleeping well makes us feel better, more alert, energetic, and better able to concentrate and perform. Getting quality sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellbeing. Read our magazine for the ultimate guide to a good night’s rest!