Getting the shut-eye you need as you begin your college career may not be as easy as you’d think. We get it, the first few nights away from home can be hard. Or the more likely story is that sleep isn’t exactly high on your list of all the fun things to do when you move in.
College is the best time and place for unforgettable sleepless nights but at some point you’re 20 page paper or morning exam will demand your full attention. Between social events, cramming for exams, or any extra freedoms you’re indulging in, you’re going to need at least 7-8 hours of sleep to maximize energy.
Catching some z’s in a shared setting doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out our top tips for getting a good night’s sleep in your dorm room:
- Talk to your roommate
- Create a comfy environment
- Upgrade your bed
- Invite nature inside
- Put your phone down
1. Talk to your roommate
Constant communication between you and your roomie is key in order to avoid awkward moments. We suggest tackling any issues or miscommunications head-on. If it’s 3 am and your roommate is binging “Game of Thrones” for the fourth time or if they’re entertaining a special guest, you need to put an end to it. There’s no sense allowing yourself to grow grumpier and sleep deprived, which could cause an ugly situation fast. Keep an open dialogue and have those uncomfortable conversations to find a simple solution.
2. Create a comfy environment
Creating a five-star suite in your microscopic dorm room is near impossible, but you can establish a calm, comfortable sleeping environment. First and foremost, fluorescent lighting is your worst enemy and unfortunately is pervasive in college housing. Switch off your overhead lights in favor of something softer like string lights and lamps. Softer lighting will let your body know it’s time to prepare for bed. Hang curtains over the windows so you can set the mood for an afternoon nap if need be or just to make your room more homey.
Another great tip for a better environment is to make it smell more welcoming. While candles are a no-no for most dorms, you can easily find alternatives like incense, wall flowers, and smudge sticks. These will be essential in order to mask your roommates dirty gym back or the burning Easy Mac down the hall.
3. Upgrade your bed
Your bed is obviously your base camp for sleep so turn it into the coziest spot on campus. Start with a great comforter or duvet, extra blankets, and plenty of throw pillows. Invest in your bedding and not the fancy loveseat that’ll likely break in a month anyway.
It’s a given that the twin mattress provided by your college is going to be rock hard. Don’t overlook the importance of finding the best mattress pad for your sleep preferences. Invest in a foam bed topper with one, two or three inch gel memory foam. The gel memory foam mattress topper cradles every curve to relieve any pressure and provides luxurious comfort. Not to mention, the pad allows for air flow to help you get a cooler, more comfortable sleep.
4. Invite nature inside
Crack a window to let in some fresh air (if you can) and adding any plant will offer mood-boosting benefits. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, consider a Snake Plant that’s not only easy to care for but also great for purifying air. Even better, the Snake Plant purifies at night, making it the perfect bedroom plant. Other great options include aloe vera, bamboo palm and of course, succulents.
5. Put your phone down
Easier said than done, we know. By now you may have heard that screens emit a blue light that can disrupt critical REM cycles. Try to make a habit of putting your phone away at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Instead, try reading a book or write in a journal to help you fall asleep.
It can be hard to catch some z’s during your undergrad. Don’t knock the importance of having a relaxing space to return to at the end of the day. Follow these tips for some of the best sleep in the unlikely setting of a shared dorm room.