There’s nothing quite like dorm life. There are the decorations you picked out yourself, the floor mates who become friends for life, the freedom of autonomy, and, of course, the neighbors who insist on blasting their music until 3:30 a.m. the night before you have an exam.
Ok, so dorm life isn’t without its pitfalls, especially where sleep is concerned. But where there’s a pitfall, there’s a way of leaping over it. Our tips for getting a good night’s sleep in the dorms will help you dream up some sleep solutions.
Identify What’s Keeping You Up
There is a never-ending list of things that might keep you up in a college dorm, some a little more obvious than others. Here are a few of the common ones:
- Noisy roommates or floor mates
- Events going on elsewhere on campus
- An uncomfortable mattress
- Stress or anxiety
- A messy dorm
Finding a solution is easier once you know what’s keeping you up at night.
Have a Roommate Meeting
Maybe you’re an early bird, and your roommate’s a night owl, or they have an 8:00 a.m. class, and you have a night class. It’s a good idea to sit down with your roommate and go over your schedules and sleep needs. From there, you can decide things like what you should do when you have to come in late or leave early and when to have “light’s out.”
Pro Tip: The Middle Man
If your roommate isn’t listening to you or you’re nervous about confrontation, ask your RA to act as a mediator between the two of you. They’re used to staying unbiased in these scenarios and can help you reach a conclusion.
Accessorize Your Bed
You don’t have much to say in your mattress in a dorm, but you do have a say in everything you put on and around it. If you enjoy a softer mattress, try investing in a mattress topper. If you’re a naturally hot sleeper, look for sheets that will impact your sleep for the better. You can also bring a pillow from home if you’re having trouble adjusting to an unfamiliar sleep environment.
Keep It Clean
Clutter creates chaos, and chaos doesn’t help your mind relax at the end of a long day. Throw the nasty smell of whatever is moldering in your garbage on top of that, and you’re looking at a setting that isn’t conducive for a good night’s sleep. Can’t get settled? Try taking 15 minutes to clean up any messes.
Practice “Sleep Hygiene”
This is different than cleaning your dorm and taking a shower kind of hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to healthy habits that promote good sleep, such as:
- Keeping a consistent sleep schedule
- Having a wind-down routine before bed
- Not using electronics 30 minutes before bed
- Not eating too close to bedtime.
Building these into your schedule can help you get a better night’s sleep in your dorms and beyond.