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I want my character to sleep ASAP from the start of the game. Where is the earliest place I can do that? Let's say it's in Riverwood. Is there or is it possible for a borrowable bed to spawn, like at a campsite, earlier than reaching Riverwood?

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If you're just after a stat bonus there's the 3 standing stones available. Alternatively you could attempt to kill Anise at her cabin, but the chances of doing that so early in the game are tiny. – Pharap Jan 23 at 6:54
Maybe I'm just bad at Skyrim, but why is having the well rested bonus right away important? – user137 Jan 24 at 10:58
up vote 5 down vote accepted

There are 2 places you can sleep before reaching Riverwood.

  • A bed inside the Embershard mine (as stated by Rodrigo Guedes)
  • A hunters camp at the first 3 ritual stones/standing stones.

Both will give you the "Rested" state.
Note that the beds inside the mine will require you to kill 3 bandits before being able to reach it.

Screenshots for locations:

The First Standing Stones enter image description here

The Hunters Camp From The Stones enter image description here

The Bed Providing The Rested State enter image description here

The Camp Site Inside The Embershard Mine enter image description here

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Kid Thor shows the way, literally with screenshots. – NiteCyper Jan 24 at 9:18
@NiteCyper its a female (sorcerer) actually :p – Vahx Jan 24 at 9:28

The Riverwood Inn is your best bet if you want the "Well Rested" status. There is no bed earlier in the game that will give you this status.

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Do note that the question specifically asked for "earlier than reaching Riverwood". – Kroltan Jan 21 at 16:13
@Kroltan you are right. Answer updated. – Hugo Zink Jan 22 at 7:59
This is the first place to get "Well Rested", but it isn't the first available bed. Brapapple's answer is actually the real answer to the OP's question – Kevin Wells Jan 22 at 20:13
@KevinWells but this is better since you get a Well Rested bonus. – Jim Jones Jan 23 at 0:39
@Jim But that wasn't the question. If his question was "Where is the first place to get a Well Rested bonus, then I would agree with you, but it wasn't. The best answer in my opinion would be to tell him both so that he can be Rested on his way to Riverwood and Well Rested after that – Kevin Wells Jan 23 at 0:56

If you want the "well rested" status, the earliest place is the inn in Riverwood. If you don't, there is a place to sleep in the mine before you reach Riverwood.

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If you go to Riverwood with Ralof, you can stay in Hod and Gerdur's house. Can you not get a well-rested bonus there? – DCShannon Jan 21 at 21:55
That will only give you the Rested bonus. Well Rested requires either an owned bed or a rented bed. – Nelson Jan 22 at 0:59

when you first enter the keep at helgen there is a bed, if you side with imperial the bed(s) are in front of you, if you side with stormcloaks, then after you kill the imperials you can go through the gate to the same room with the beds.

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These beds are uninteractable. I checked. – NiteCyper Jan 23 at 8:14
Indeed, cannot use the beds – Vahx Jan 23 at 17:29
That sucks, i never thought to check before i just assumed they would work. – Brapapple Jan 25 at 7:18

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