What to pack to help you sleep on overnight trains, from someone who has spent 120 hours on them

what to pack to help you sleep on overnight trains, from someone who has spent 120 hours on them

Business Insider’s reporter has a lot of experience sleeping on overnight trains. Joey Hadden/Business Insider

  • I’ve spent 120 hours on six overnight train rides in the US and Europe. 
  • Sleeping on trains can be challenging, but I’ve found that packing earplugs helps with the noise.
  • I also pack a weighted sleep mask to block light and feel more at home. 

Over the last two years, I’ve spent 120 hours on six sleeper trains, from Amtrak rides along the East Coast to overnight trains in Europe.

On every ride — whether I’m in a shared or private accommodation — the hardest part is falling asleep.

There’s the sound of the train speeding over the railroad, the footsteps of other passengers, and the slivers of light that occasionally poke through the curtain of my cabin. And, of course, there’s the shakiness of the train.

If you’re new to overnight trains, it can be tough to get used to, but I’ve found that a couple of packing essentials can help me fall — and stay — asleep.

what to pack to help you sleep on overnight trains, from someone who has spent 120 hours on them

The author travels from Italy to Austria in a private cabin on an overnight train. Joey Hadden/Business Insider

Always bring earplugs

It might sound obvious but a pair of earplugs is a necessity, as I realized after hardly sleeping on my first overnight train ride.

I couldn’t get used to the constant hum and vibration of the moving train. And I could hear every footstep of passersby in my cabin.

what to pack to help you sleep on overnight trains, from someone who has spent 120 hours on them

A pair of earplugs is provided by the overnight train inside the author’s cabin. Joey Hadden/Business Insider

Now, I pack earplugs every time I travel by train, although some companies like Nightjet provide earplugs for overnight routes, along with an array of items for guests in private cabins, such as slippers, snacks, and washcloths.

Since the earplugs tune out most sounds, creating a more relaxing environment for sleep, I set my alarm on my phone to vibrate rapidly. This always wakes me up in time for my stop.

I’m not particular when it comes to the type of earplugs I pack, and have used both provided ones and my own that I pick up from the drugstore for a few dollars.

Don’t forget a sleep mask

On my most recent train journey, I packed a sleep mask for the first time because although cabin windows have curtains, I’ve found that light often comes through them when the train stops at or passes by platforms with street lamps.

I didn’t just pack any sleep mask; I packed my NodPod weighted sleep mask.

The $34 mask is filled with beads, and, similar to a weighted blanket, it calms me. I use the NodPod every night at home to block out light, so wearing it during my travels almost made me feel like I was in my own bed.

what to pack to help you sleep on overnight trains, from someone who has spent 120 hours on them

The author uses her NodPod sleep mask on an overnight train in Europe. Joey Hadden/Business Insider

The NodPod paired with earplugs helped me get the best sleep I’ve ever had on an overnight train. It didn’t hurt that I was traveling on a luxury train with comfortable bedding, but I’ll still never ride the rails without them again.

And I’d recommend these not only for trains, but for your other travels as well — especially if you’re like me and have a hard time sleeping on planes and cruises.

OTHER NEWS

11 minutes ago

Meghan Markle has 'no doubts' on quitting Royal Family as she finally 'got her revenge'

11 minutes ago

Ireland to officially recognise state of Palestine

11 minutes ago

Businesses will look for ways to drive revenue through AI, says venture capital firm

11 minutes ago

Matthew Perry: Los Angeles police launch investigation into actor’s death

11 minutes ago

Nicola Coughlan asked to be ‘very naked’ in Bridgerton carriage scene for the best possible reason

12 minutes ago

Critics Aren't Holding Back On Kevin Costner's Horizon: An American Saga

16 minutes ago

Trump campaign starts taking cryptocurrency donations, vows to build a 'crypto army'

16 minutes ago

FBI was authorized to use ‘deadly force’ in Mar-a-Lago classified docs search

17 minutes ago

Gareth Southgate issues blunt reply to question about picking Arsenal star for Euro squad

17 minutes ago

White House slams ‘sickening’ video shared by Trump team referencing ‘unified Reich’

17 minutes ago

I switched to a new iPhone – Don’t make the same mistakes I did

17 minutes ago

Tom Grennan marries pilates instructor in sun-soaked countryside ceremony abroad

17 minutes ago

MasterChef's Gregg Wallace shares rare photo of eldest son Tom, 30, and they look alike

17 minutes ago

The environment for the rally to continue is strong, says New York Life Investment's Lauren Goodwin

17 minutes ago

Biden calls Trump 'unhinged' after losing 2020 election

17 minutes ago

Cavs Hold Meetings As Future Of Coach JB Bickerstaff Remains Shaky

17 minutes ago

Three Debutant Producers At Cannes Film Festival 2024

17 minutes ago

Dancing Gemini gets the green light to run in the Betfred Derby, as owner David Fish is ready to roll the dice on the colt after impressive gallop at Epsom

17 minutes ago

Kaley Cuoco pushes a stroller while filming Based On A True Story season 2... as she considers moving 'away from Los Angeles' for her family

17 minutes ago

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Baramulla Surpasses Voter Turnout in Mumbai, Thane, Amethi, Lucknow in Fifth Phase

17 minutes ago

Global life expectancy to rise by nearly 5 years by 2050, GBD 2021 study predicts

17 minutes ago

Penguins Sign Former Maple Leafs Defenseman

17 minutes ago

Indian election rally video falsely linked to protests in Pakistan's Kashmir

17 minutes ago

Fed's Waller: Need Several Months of Good Inflation to Cut

17 minutes ago

Air Force general will jump from one to three stars to lead air commandos

17 minutes ago

Surgeon: The five health 'red flags' your eyes are giving you - and the huge mistakes that can lead to vision loss and cancer

17 minutes ago

Kim Kardashian Greeted With Loud Boos At Tom Brady’s ‘Greatest Roast Of All Time’ Netflix Special

17 minutes ago

Doc Talk Podcast Unpacks Crisis Plaguing Film Festivals, Sundance Inviting Bids To Ditch Park City

17 minutes ago

Nikki Glaser Says Kim Kardashian Booing At Tom Brady’s Roast Was Not Fueled By Taylor Swift Fans: “People Were Just Being Mean”

17 minutes ago

Canadian Drama ‘The Spencer Sisters’ Canceled After 1 Season By CTV

19 minutes ago

Dad Builds Underground Sprinkler System for Less Than $100 and Anyone Can Do It

19 minutes ago

FTSE 100 edges down on tepid day for European markets

19 minutes ago

Nigerian woman creates world's widest wig at almost 12 feet

19 minutes ago

The Remarkable Story Of The Golfer Who Won A Junior Event By 65 Shots, Turned Professional And Competed On The LPGA Tour Before Her 9th Birthday

19 minutes ago

Cannes 2024 review: 'Bird' - Andrea Arnold's superb fantastical tale set in broken Britain

19 minutes ago

Lasith Malinga on Sri Lanka's two baby Malingas: 'It's absolutely mad'

19 minutes ago

'Need a purple wave on May 26': Gautam Gambhir's message to rampant Kolkata Knight Riders

21 minutes ago

Dust storms shut down highways in central Illinois

21 minutes ago

‘Potentially dangerous' storms could hammer Chicago area with damaging winds, tornadoes

23 minutes ago

Transaction Capital Results | SA Taxi takes sho't left for restructuring