So, you’re off to college? Congratulations! You’re in for a great experience intellectually, socially and hopefully, educationally. (Your parents hope so, too.)
Dorm room living is exciting. And even though getting enough sleep isn’t always high on a college student’s priority list, your sleep will be more important to your health than ever — especially when you’re staying up into the wee hours, er, studying.
And while you’ve got a long list of things to pack (comfy shoes) and not to pack (anything your roommate already has), we’re going to add a few more necessities to your list. Here’s what you need to know about getting the best sleep you can in the dorms.
Find out your dorm room mattress size
Most likely, your campus dorm will not allow you to bring your own mattress. Dorm rooms provide certain furniture, and you’re generally required to keep that furniture in the room, though you can often determine how you want to arrange it.
Many schools provide twin XL mattresses as part of the dorm room furniture. Twin XL mattresses are about five inches longer than standard twin mattress, which is useful if you’re tall. Since the length difference is substantial, you’ll need sheets that fit either a twin mattress or a twin XL. They don’t work interchangeably. So, be sure to find out from campus housing which type of bed you can expect.
Buy bedding you love
When your dorm mattress is provided for you, you don’t have much control over how comfortable it is. You do have control over the rest of your bedding though, so don’t skimp on high quality sheets. Again, here’s where you need to know whether you’ll sleep on a twin or twin XL mattress.
Consider bringing two sets of sheets with you so you can make your bed with one set while the other gets washed. Or sits in the dirty clothes hamper for weeks. Either way, an extra set will save you from dashing to the laundry room after midnight, hoping that your fitted sheet is finally dry.
In addition to nice sheets, get a comforter that’s durable and suits your typical sleeping temperature. Forego a down comforter if you tend to sleep hot. Since you’ll spend a good deal of time lounging on your bed, think twice before choosing a white comforter or duvet cover.
Go for extra pillows
For your dorm bed, you’ll need comfortable pillows and you’ll need more than one. In a small dorm room — and most are small — your bed will double as your couch. You’ll read, do homework, chat with friends, and just generally lounge on your bed. And since dorm beds are often placed against walls, you can stack pillows across the wall for back support.
Good luck, have fun and try to get a little sleep this semester!