August 20th, 2009  |  Filed under Playa Tips

Zzzzzz: The Science Of Sleep

August 20th, 2009  |  Filed under Playa Tips
A burner sleeps at Dr. Deb's "Collective Dreams" installation, 2005. Photo by Scott London.

A burner sleeps at Dr. Deb's "Collective Dreams" installation, 2005. Photo by Scott London.

Man oh man is it crucial to get sleep on the playa. It’s not always the easiest thing to do but a little planning will help you get some beauty rest in the desert. Here are some tips.

1. Pillow
Bring your pillow from home. There is something about being able to fall asleep on your own pillow. It’s comforting. Sleeping bags without pillows are a quick way to strain your back in my experience. I’ve seen people in RVs who bring all their bedding from home, fancy duvets and throw pillows and such.

2. Eye Mask
You will probably be partaking in some nightlife in Black Rock City. Regardless of what time you go to bed, the sun’s going to come screaming through your tent or trailer window. Eye masks are great for afternoon catch-up naps as well.

3. Ear Plugs
There will be music and laughing and heated conversation and fire-spewing art cars and 35,000 other people. It’s cacophonous out there. I camped for seven years way out in walk-in camping, where there is the most distance between encampments anywhere in BRC, and I still needed ear plugs.

4. Sheet
Sleeping bags get hot. You may want some coverage and a flat sheet is your best bet. If it gets super hot, you can pour out cooler water and have yourself a nice wet wrap while you’re lulled to sleep. If it the weather turns cold the sheet can be added as a layer of warmth inside your bag.

5. Sleeping Area
Before heading out for the night, prep your tent with anything you’ll want when you return as well as what you’ll need when you wake up. Keep a full bottle of water next to your sleeping area. Lay out your PJs, eye pillow and ear plugs. I keep a spare flashlight next to the bed roll for just-in-case moments. Toothbrush, wet wipes, condoms…. trick it out. A snack is a good idea, either for when you come home or if you wake up famished.


9 Responses to “Zzzzzz: The Science Of Sleep”

  1. margaret kranyak Says:

    I didnt realize I was going to be waking up ravished. D you maybe mean famished?

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  2. Molly Ditmore Says:

    Thank you!

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  3. JV Says:

    I’d rather wake up ravished! :)

    Also, is 35K the official count so far this year?

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  4. Sparks Says:

    But it is SOOOO much better to wake up to being ravished… then you can take care of the grumbling belly after!

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  5. Kimo Says:

    I prefer to wake up ravished :)

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  6. Bitter Dan Says:

    Should have left it the way it was. :-)

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  7. Molly Ditmore Says:

    Let’s call 35,000 a ballpark guesstimation based on past numbers — there have been that many people in the past. I haven’t seen ticket data for this year.

    Once the event starts you can check in with Playa Info for a daily population count — it’s interesting to see how much the city grows day by day. It’s possible someone will update the blog from BRC with population factoids.

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  8. Therese Stanford Says:

    I thought last year it was somewhere in the 50,000 range?

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  9. Natasaurus Says:

    “”reaction to the overcrowding experienced in 2007, and anticipating that upwards of 50,000 people would be gathering in the Black Rock Desert for the 2008 event (it topped out at 49,599) “”

    to be exact :)

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