Tips for sleeping well in an Amtrak sleeper

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TheCrescent

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I was in a roomette in a Viewliner I sleeping car recently. The room was at the end of the car, above the wheels. A fan or something above the baggage space in the room (by the ceiling) made loud noises. I slept in the upper bunk. I didn’t sleep well.

Any tips for getting a good night’s sleep in a Viewliner, in addition to stuffing a napkin or towel at the edge of the door so that the door doesn’t rattle, wearing a sleep mask (to block light) and using earplugs?

Is the lower bunk more comfortable, with a thicker mattress?

Is getting a room in the middle of the car better?

Are the beds larger in larger rooms?

If the hallways had dimmer lights at night, or curtains that blocked all light, that would help.

Thanks.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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I was in a roomette in a Viewliner I sleeping car recently. The room was at the end of the car, above the wheels. A fan or something above the baggage space in the room (by the ceiling) made loud noises. I slept in the upper bunk. I didn’t sleep well.
As point out above first night even for a experience traveler can be tricky. If there noise from the baggage cubby try putting baggage there.
Any tips for getting a good night’s sleep in a Viewliner, in addition to stuffing a napkin or towel at the edge of the door so that the door doesn’t rattle, wearing a sleep mask (to block light) and using earplugs?
I will stick a bag on the floor to keep the door from rattling. Never used a mask or ear plugs.
Is the lower bunk more comfortable, with a thicker mattress?
Yes, but having your feet towards the front of the train may be more important for your comfort.
Is getting a room in the middle of the car better?
A big yes.
Are the beds larger in larger rooms?
Yes the bedroom bottom bunk can fit two adults if there really friendly.
If the hallways had dimmer lights at night, or curtains that blocked all light, that would help.
As built the Viewliner had pull down shades but used rubber band to pull them up. The rubber bands would break easily and take a bit of work to replace. Much darker with the shades, not so dark or private with shade stuck up.

Also on the bottom bunk I pull off the back of the seats from the wall. It will be quite dirty there. Reach below the seat back and pull it off the Velcro and swing it up, then unhook the top. Pulling off the seat back gives me the full 6’2” space to sleep in. Which is important when your 6’6”. When I have to share a roomette, my traveling companion will sleep on the bottom bunk, and I get to squeeze into the top. She is older (a bit), and I am not allowed to negotiation with her on this.
 
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That first night on the train can be a light sleeping night for me as well. Something different? Anticipation of my trip? Could be due to a variety of reasons. For me, enjoying a nice bottle of wine from the Dining Car or Lounge before I retire for the evening almost always helps to provide a good sleep.

What is most bothersome/irritating to me is getting awake during the night and having to start "fighting" with the thin, blue blanket provided. I have not Amtraked since the better quality of blanket has been provided. Maybe, if the bed is properly made and the blanket is heavier, I would find the blanket to be more consistently through the night better to use.
 

TheCrescent

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That first night on the train can be a light sleeping night for me as well. Something different? Anticipation of my trip? Could be due to a variety of reasons. For me, enjoying a nice bottle of wine from the Dining Car or Lounge before I retire for the evening almost always helps to provide a good sleep.

What is most bothersome/irritating to me is getting awake during the night and having to start "fighting" with the thin, blue blanket provided. I have not Amtraked since the better quality of blanket has been provided. Maybe, if the bed is properly made and the blanket is heavier, I would find the blanket to be more consistently through the night better to use.

Thanks. The new comforter and pillow are perfectly fine
 
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I just realized on my most recent trip one of the possible reasons why I enjoy sleeping in the bunk on the Viewliners best when I’m riding solo.

When it’s only you, the SCA will most typically stack both thin mattresses together on the top bunk and you’ll sleep on top of both of them. Much better padding than only one mattress thickness.

Of course on the bottom, you get the benefit of the mattress plus the padding on the seats.

And I concur 100% that the new blankets are far, far superior to the thin blue ones of the past.
 

glensfallsse

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On my last trip I thought the door was rattling, but it turned out to be the upper rack, rattling on its frame. I solved this by sleeping upstairs, which I normally don't do. My weight on the rack stopped the rattling.
 

cassie225

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I always bring pillow and blanket. My first trip in a bedroom, I slept in my clothes that I wore to travel, I soon decided to bring soft clothes, like leggings and pj top and I was very comfortable, I do enjoy sleeping on top bunk in bedroom, very soothing. Do y’all change into pajamas at night?
 

AmtrakBlue

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I always bring pillow and blanket. My first trip in a bedroom, I slept in my clothes that I wore to travel, I soon decided to bring soft clothes, like leggings and pj top and I was very comfortable, I do enjoy sleeping on top bunk in bedroom, very soothing. Do y’all change into pajamas at night?
I've taken night gowns in the past, but recently I've used leggings and a big sweatshirt.
 

Maglev

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I sleep well in Viewliners at the end of my trip, but Viewliners are all one-night trains and I never sleep well the first night of my trip.

I used to sleep in the buff, as I do at home, but then realized that this was somewhat of a safety hazard on a train (I often ride the Empire Builder in winter...). Now I wear sweatpants and a T-shirt.
 

jis

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I have absolutely no problem sleeping as well as at home, on the first or any night on a train or a plane given a reasonably comfortable lie flat bed. Reading this thread I get the distinct impression that I might be quite unusual in that way, perhaps among others too. 🤷‍♂️

But then again I also slept reasonably well in 2nd Class Three Tier Sleepers in India before the berths got the the cushioning added too. 😬
 

AmtrakBlue

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I have absolutely no problem sleeping as well as at home, on the first or any night on a train or a plane given a reasonably comfortable lie flat bed. Reading this thread I get the distinct impression that I might be quite unusual in that way, perhaps among others too. 🤷‍♂️

But then again I also slept reasonably well in 2nd Class Three Tier Sleepers in India before the berths got the the cushioning added too. 😬
I, too, sleep well on trains. Not much keeps me awake. :p I do have the advantage of being deaf, so noises are not a problem.
 

jis

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I, too, sleep well on trains. Not much keeps me awake. :p I do have the advantage of being deaf, so noises are not a problem.
Even without being deaf, normal everyday noise doesn't keep me from falling asleep if I want to. Loud noise is a problem though. I have never come across noise loud enough on Amtrak trains. Usually there are many others screaming blue murder much before noise gets that loud I suppose, and see to it that either it stops or the noisemaker is ejected at the next grade crossing or something like that. :)
 
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After returning from my cross country loop, my recommendation, bring your own pillow! I had to stack the 2 pillow pancakes on my carry on! I will buy a cheap pillow & toss it upon arrival at my destination from now on!
My solution is to pack a pillowcase in my bag and when it is time to sleep, just stuff my puffy coat inside the pillowcase. I do this always when sleeping in coach. I put my glasses, watch, wallet and any small change in my left shoe and stuff a fresh pair of socks into the shoe. I try to get up early and try for a shave and change into fresh clothes in the morning.
 

Mailliw

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Noise doesn't bother me (in fact I can't sleep if it's too quiet), but train noises and movements tend to be very rhythmic which I find soothing. In fact I've had trouble staying awake during daytime on trains.
 

Devil's Advocate

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6 bottles of beer from Cafe car and you won't hear any rattling
Melatonin, valerian root, spirits, and breathing strips can do wonders for promoting restful sleep. I now advise against diphenhydramine as it can create an unpleasant and extended twilight state with other undesirable side effects.
 
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Like many others I do encounter occasional difficulties sleeping on a train... often from anxiety of having to detrain early in the morning. For me the best sleep comes when I don't 'try' to sleep... and just concentrate on the rocking back and forth on the rails. I also try to keep the room as cool as possible... and if it's warm adjust the bedding accordingly.

Bottom line for me... not to 'try' and know that if I'm tired the next day and still enroute I can just doze off during the day.

BTW... although a nightcap is ok... alcohol can have the reverse effect. Another thing I avoid is a gin and tonic at bed time because that tonic has caffeine in it!

Always telling myself to 'relax and chill' when taking a leisurely journey on a train because for me, the destination is the journey!
 
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