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5 Tips for Sleeping Comfortably on the Couch

How to get a great night's sleep, even if you have to sleep on your couch for a couple nights.

Michelle Honeyager Contributor
Michelle is a contributor for CNET.
Michelle Honeyager
3 min read
Girl trying to sleep on couch with her dog
Getty Images/Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision

Sleeping on a couch can be considerably more difficult than you'd expect. It can be hard to find a good position that doesn't have you hanging off the sides. The material might scratch. Even just the strangeness of a different atmosphere from your own bedroom can throw off your sleeping rhythm.  

However, it might be necessary to sleep on a couch for a couple of nights from time to time. The person you sleep with might not be feeling well, or you might be staying over at someone else's home. Read on to learn how to sleep on a couch when it's necessary.

For more sleep tips, check out how to sleep better with your dog, a new sleep device to help you fall asleep and how to nap and still sleep soundly at night.  

How to sleep the best on the couch 

Is it OK to sleep on a couch? With some basic preparation, you can actually get a fairly sound night's sleep on a sofa. Below we'll cover some tips for sleeping well on a couch.

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Bring out the sheets 

The first step for sleeping better on a couch is to use sheets. One of the more distracting parts of the couch is that its cushions might be on the scratchy side. Even just having a different texture from your usual sheets might be enough to make it hard to get comfortable. To mitigate the problem of uncomfortable couch cushions, consider putting the same types of sheets you usually use on the bed on the couch. You can wrap a fitted sheet around the cushions to make sure the sheets have a better chance of staying put.     

Layer the blankets  

Odds are you wouldn't bring your whole comforter to the sofa because most of it would just lie on the floor. However, to make the experience more comfortable, you can layer different types of blankets until you are at the level of weight and warmth you are used to in bed. You can also use blankets to pad the couch beneath you for added comfort or support. You might also consider using a weighted blanket for the extra support and feeling of security. 

Use your pillows 

If you are in a place to do so, bring your usual pillow out to the couch. That will give your head and neck the right support you are used to getting. Harvard Health states that using the wrong pillow can lead to neck pain. However, if you do not have your pillow or can't use it for any reason, cover a cushion or sofa pillow with a pillow cover. Otherwise, you're putting your face on a potentially dirty cushion all night.     

Set the scene 

Keep as much about the environment the same as possible to foster a good night of sleep. Make sure the room is dark and cool (60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit ideally), and make sure you're not exposed to distracting blue light from screens. The Mayo Clinic suggests that blue light can actually throw off our circadian rhythms. Earplugs can also cut any noise you're not used to being in that part of the house.  

Follow your bedtime routine 

Along similar lines, keep to your usual bedtime routine. For instance, if you drink sleepy-time tea before bed, take a warm shower or meditate to wind down, keep it up even if you're sleeping on the sofa.  

The sleep tips don't end here. Check out seven natural remedies for insomnia and how to fall asleep in 10 minutes or less.  

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.