College dorm rooms aren’t widely known as havens of abundant sleep. Studying? Maybe. Late nights with friends? Definitely. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep? Uh, unlikely. Good thing college kids are resilient. But if you’re hoping you (or your son or daughter) will at least get some sleep this school year, here’s how to set up your dorm room to promote good sleeping habits.
That dorm mattress? Rethink it.
Ah, the dorm mattress. How many different incoming freshman classes has it greeted? Probably more than you care to know. Think about giving that dorm bed an upgrade. You can either buy a new twin mattress or add a mattress topper to the existing bed. A new mattress is a worthwhile investment if you can use it again next year, or if you have a sibling who will also head off to college in the next few years.
Make the most of your bedding.
Bedding adds a lot to your sleep experience. Absolutely do bring a couple of pillows you like, along with a couple of sets of twin sheets. If you aren’t bringing your own mattress, make sure to check your dorm’s standard mattress size. Some dorms use twin XL beds — which add a few more inches in length — and you’ll want to buy XL sheets that are specifically made to fit an XL mattress. We do recommend a couple of sets because you’ll (hopefully) want to wash yours on a regular basis.
In that same vein, we recommend bringing a washable duvet cover or comforter. You’ll be using your bed for a variety of things: as a couch, a desk, maybe even a dining table at times. So be prepared with laundry detergent, an extra set of sheets, and bedding you can easily clean up.
Don’t forget sleep accessories.
We mentioned pillows above, but it’s worth repeating. You’ll probably be using your bed as extra seating at times, so bring a few different types of pillows along: one or two that you want to sleep with and others that are plush and comfortable to lean against.
To tune out your roommate when you need to get some sleep before an exam, bring ear plugs, a sound machine, and/or a sleep mask. Navigating two (or more) people’s schedules can be tough. Make sure you have what you need to put yourself in the best state possible for getting as much sleep as possible. And, of course, go have a great time! We’ll be here when you need us for sleep advice or that extra set of sheets.