How To Sleep In A Bathtub – The Complete Guide


bathtub with a white towel

Are you stuck in a situation where the bathtub is the only realistic place to sleep? If yes, this guide can help you make a bed that is so comfortable you might abandon your bed altogether.

As long as you’re willing to put the action points we list into practice, getting through the night unscathed should not be a problem.

Why Would You Sleep In The Bathtub?

For many people, sleeping anywhere other than their beds is inconceivable. The bathroom may be the last place they’d think of spending the night. Well, at least until disaster strikes and they’re seeking shelter in a crowded home or find themselves in a situation with no alternative sleeping spots and no cash for a hotel.

Other situations that could force folks into making their beds in a bathtub include:

  • Finding yourself in an overcrowded home with every possible sleeping spot including beds, sofas, and even the bedroom floor all taken.
  • Traveling in RV or Motorhome with limited space
  • Adventurers looking for new experiences
  • Getting stuck in a hotel room with more people than beds 

Remember, to sleep in the bathtub comfortably, it has to be completely dry with no risk of accidental flooding in the middle of the night. After all, the last thing you want is to wake up soaking wet.

How To Prepare A Bathtub For Comfortable Sleeping 

The bathtub may be the most unlikely place to sleep. However, with the right preparation, it could be transformed into a comfortable paradise many folks can fall in love with. Who knows? You could end up getting so addicted to lying down in the bathtub that you’d never return to a regular bed again.

1. Measure The Dimensions Of The Bathtub

The first step is to measure the dimensions of the tub. This is especially important when you have a large body frame. Or better still, take the plunge and lie down in the bathtub to get an idea of the level of comfort to expect throughout the night. A couple of tips to keep in mind include:

  • Make sure the tub is long enough to not only fit your height but also offers the freedom to stretch out the legs when need be. You wouldn’t want to wake up to thigh, knee, or leg pain.
  • Make sure the width of the tub can comfortably fit the upper body, especially the shoulders without any form of cramping. Failure to follow this can lead to shoulder pain in the morning.
  • Check out your spinal alignment and make sure the tub does not force you into a sleeping position that exerts more pressure on the sciatica nerve or other delicate parts of the body. The last thing you want is to wake up with back pain.
  • The bathtub should give enough room for not only back sleeping but also some space to roll over to the side if you feel like it at some point in the night.

2. Check For Leakages and Cut Off Water Supply to the Bathtub

Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night wet due to a leaking faucet. This is why you should check for signs of water leakages before deciding to sleep in a bathtub. These leakages could result from dripping faucets due to wear and tear or plumbing problems. 

Even if there are no leakages, make sure the shut-off valve that supplies water to the tub is switched on. This should prevent the risk of flooding if you accidentally turn on the tub’s faucet in the middle of the night while sleeping.

3. Clean The Tub

The probability of a regularly used bathtub being moist is likely meaning finding ways to dry it is important. But instead of just drying it, why not clean the whole tub to make it ideal for sleeping? Here are important steps to follow in the cleaning process:

  • Get the right cleaning supplies – The right cleaning supplies will get you everywhere when you need a crisp tub for the night. Detergents, clean towels, and deodorizing agents can turn even the most awful looking tubs into dry and clean surfaces for anyone to mold into make-shift beds.
  • De-clutter the bathroom – Bathrooms can be full of clutter. From shaving sticks to bottles of shampoos, essential oils, and liquids soaps, they may be filled with too many items that could interfere with the ability to snooze. Packing all of them into a plastic bag can be a great idea to ensure you don’t wake up to a container falling from a shelf or cabinet to hit your head in the middle of the night. Just make sure to return everything in one piece in the morning, especially other people’s personal effects.
  • Clean the surface – Once you have the necessary supplies, cleaning the ins and outs of the tub is the next thing to do. Make sure it looks great and contains absolutely no traces of soap residue, strands of human hair, dirt, and mud.
  • Dry the tub – Drying should be the goal after thorough cleaning of the tub’s surface and this is where those clean towels come in. However, in the absence of towels, your hand dryer can be a great alternative to making sure there’re no traces of moisture in the tub.
  • Leave it for hours – Once the tub is completely clean and dry, leaving it alone is a no-brainer. Just make sure no one else baths in it again for 4-5 hours so it can be as clean, crisp, and dry as possible by the time you’re ready to sleep.

How To Transform The Tub Into A Comfy Bed

Now that the hard work is done, transforming the tub into a comfy bed is the next step. This will require some resourcefulness especially among folks who’ve never spent the night anywhere else apart from lying down in comfortable beds.

Here’s everything you need to create a cozy and pleasant sleeping surface in a bathtub:

1. Get A Ton of Sleeping Supplies

Can you create a comfortable bed in a bathtub? The answer is yes. As long as you use the necessary sleeping supplies, creating a super comfortable bed you can be proud of is not impossible. 

Making your bed in the bathtub is similar to going to war – you need a ton of weapons in the form of bedroom accessories to come out on top. The sleeping supplies are the “weapons” you need in this scenario to ensure that you can have a night of bliss despite the circumstances you may be in.

Sleeping bags, comforters, blankets, and pillows are a must-have to create comfortable layers of padding to provide rest for the body throughout the night.

2. Make A Mattress In Your Bathtub

The next step is creating a makeshift “mattress” in the bathtub. But before you do that, make sure the tub is completely dry. If there are any traces of moisture from a recent bath, wipe it dry with a fresh pair of towels.

Then, fold and place the heaviest blankets and comforters at the bottom of the tub. This will ensure that you can escape the hard and uncomfortable surface of the tub throughout the shuteye hours.

Pay particular attention to the sides of the bathtub when creating the temporary mattress. Make sure the padding extends to all the sides so that your shoulders, thighs, and legs can also gain maximum comfort all night long.

Once you finish padding, lie down in the tub and switch between different positions to ensure that every part of the body gets enough cushioning for comfort no matter your preferred sleeping position.

You may also place a sleeping bag as the top layer in your makeshift bathtub mattress to provide even more comfort.

3. Pillow Support In The Tub

You need all the pillows you can get when spending the night in a bathtub. Make sure to place your head pillows opposite the position of the faucets.  After all, the last thing you need is to bump your head into the faucet accidentally in the middle of the night.

Apart from neck pillows, knee pillows may also come in handy for side sleepers while stomach pillows can be good if you prefer lying down on the tummy.

Additionally, do not forget to leave an upright pillow between the top of your head and the end of the bath to prevent other head-bumping accidents in your sleep.

Are you contemplating whether it is better to ditch pillows in bed? Check out the article we wrote on Sleeping Without A Pillow: Everything You Need To Know.

4. Cover Blankets Are Essential

Padding the temporary bathtub mattress with as many blankets as possible can be rewarding for sleep. But, don’t forget to leave a few blankets for covering the body as well.

According to HuffPost, blankets enhance the body’s production of serotonin, one of the most powerful hormones that boost sleep by calming the mind. During REM sleep, the body naturally experiences lower serotonin levels. However, the presence of blankets can alter the trend by maintaining good levels of serotonin, thereby enabling a good night of shuteye.

Besides, if you’ve always slept with blankets then foregoing them just because you’re spending the night in a tub can disrupt your sleep. It may send signals to the brain that something is not right, which can interfere with its ability to launch the necessary processes for optimum nighttime rest.

Besides, these cover blankets can also be lifesaving during colder climates when night temperatures may plummet to harsh levels.

Have you read the article we wrote on Sleeping Under Weighted Blankets? Click the link to check out the amazing benefits of these types of blankets.

Sleeping Comfortably In The Tub 

Now that your tub is made and ready, it is time to figure out how to sleep cozy to enhance the chances of waking up buzzing and ready to kick ass. Here are the important steps you need to take to make sure that can happen.

Finding A Sleeping Position That Works

You already know this but it is still worth saying that sleeping in a tub is nowhere close to a comfy bed. Finding the right position can be quite tricky especially for stomach sleepers.

Firstly, the majority of tubs come with dimensions that offer limited space especially for those of us with bigger body frames. This may leave you feeling cramped leading to pain and discomfort by morning.

Sleeping on the sides, in the famed fetal position can work well in most cases by allowing you to curl up the body. According to WebMD, curling up on the side may be the healthiest way to sleep as it gives the spine the flexibility to align naturally. The fetal position has also be found to keep serious conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s at bay.

That being said, if you’re petite or have a bathtub with generous dimensions, lying down on the back can work well. However, it may not be the most comfortable position as many bathtubs on the market today are designed with various curves that could inhibit back sleeping.

If you must sleep on the back, lifting the legs and placing them on the edges of the tub to gain as much comfort as possible could be rewarding. This position can be a great way for GERD sufferers to prevent heartburn and other signs of acid reflux. But, you could end up with numb legs by the time morning comes.

Note that no matter what position you end up choosing, try stretching the whole body for a couple of minutes before jumping into the tub. This can increase blood flow to all parts and reduce the risk of waking up to numbness, pain, or other signs of discomfort.

Prepare The Body To Sleep

two clear bottles of essential oils and flowers

The bathroom is probably the last place anyone thinks of ever sleeping. This means whether you’re crashing in a hotel bathroom or your bathroom at home, it can take some effort for the brain to come to terms with the fact that you’re spending the night in such an unfamiliar place.

Here are a few vital steps to increase the chances of a good shuteye despite the strange nature of the sleeping surroundings.

Essential Oils: According to Sleep.org, the right aroma can sedate the human brain quicker than you ever thought. Spraying essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, tea tree, rosemary, and sandalwood may improve the quality of your sleep by reducing anxiety, improving moods, and lowering blood pressure. The effects are even more pronounced when you combine multiple essential oils into a spraying mist or by way of a diffuser.

I sleep much better since I started using the Artizen Top 14 Essential Oil Set from Amazon. Now I wake up fully energized and ready for the day unlike in the past when I suffered insomnia.

Noise-Canceling Headphones: Music is food for the soul and many people confess to the power of low tempo music on their ability to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation says older adults who listen to 45 minutes of low-tempo music drift off to Dreamland much faster and stay asleep much longer.

I use the Cowin Active E7 Noise-Canceling Headphones from Amazon to mute background noises which allows me to enjoy maximum performance from my favorite music tracks. It is affordable and has transformed the quality of my sleep.

Bring Personal Items: Sleeping in the bathtub is as weird as it gets. But, bringing a couple of your personal effects to the bathroom is one of the best ways to normalize the atmosphere and breed familiarity within the brain. Body lotions, towels, perfumes, and pajamas are a few items you can introduce into the bathroom for the night.

  • Netflix and YouTube: Various mind-relaxation techniques can help you settle into the bathroom and fall asleep. We recommend logging into Netflix and catching up on your favorite TV shows or movies. You may also log onto YouTube to stream music videos or sports highlights if that’s your thing.
  • Turn off the Lights: Switching off the bathroom lights can work well if you’re desperate to have a great night. If possible, switch off other lights in the home such as living rooms, kitchens, and patio. Obviously, the darker the atmosphere, the higher the chances of good sleep. We recommend getting a sleep mask if you want the ultimate snoozing experience. These masks work well even when someone else accidentally switches on the light in the bathroom.

I use the Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask from Amazon. The super-soft and super-smooth touch on my eyes provides therapeutic care after a hard day of work while creating a sense of darkness. I’m having the best sleep of my life right now.

Giving Other Household Members The Heads Up

Sleeping in the bathtub may not be ideal but there are situations where there could be no other viable alternatives. Once you decide that it is the best way to go, give other members of the household an immediate heads up so that they can also take the necessary steps to ensure everyone is comfortable.

You wouldn’t want to startle anyone who wakes up in the middle of the night and finds you curled up in the bathtub. Additionally, informing others of your tub sleeping plans can help them make alternative arrangements such as using other bathrooms in the home if possible.

However, the situation can become tricky when there’s only one bathroom available. Setting the following ground rules can help everyone become more comfortable:

  • Deadline for everyone to bath 
  • Deadline for everyone to take a bathroom break
  • What happens when somebody gets a stomach upset in the night
  • Deadline for you to wake up from the tub in the morning

If you’re still concerned that somebody will bump into the bathroom while sleeping at night, why not hang a sign that says you’re in there in front of the door?

Bad Weather

Did you know that sleeping in the bathtub can save your life during bad weather? Yeah, that was not a typo. The National Weather Service says that bathrooms can be safe places to seek shelter during tornadoes and other bad weather conditions.

Thus, if you’ve just heard a tornado warning at night, moving into your bathtub could be the reason why you live.

Conclusion

We’re honored to share this detailed guide with you. As long as you follow the tips we’ve outlined above, having a great time sleeping in a bathtub is not impossible.

Make sure the tub is completely dry and clean. Then pad the insides with as many blankets, comforters, sheets, and sleeping bags as possible. Have a great night in the tub.

 

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