How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep in a Dorm Room

Jonny Hector

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Anyone who’s spent any amount of time in a hostel had experienced an awful night where it’s impossible to sleep. Maybe it’s the deafening snorer, or the drunk girls who stumble giggling into the room at 2 am. Maybe it’s the person who forgot to pack their bags the night before setting their alarm for 6 am and rustling plastic bags all morning, or maybe it’s the person who switches on every light in the dorm for seemingly no reason at all. We’ve all experienced it, and we all know what it’s like to spend the whole night awake because of someone else.

Aside from asking the violator to read our unwritten rules of dorm room etiquette, there are a few things you can do in order to ensure you have a good night’s sleep in a dorm bed. 

Pack Earplugs

First and foremost, the thing that is most likely to keep you awake is loud noises. Pack earplugs and minimize the likelihood of you being woken up. Pack several different types of them and experiment with what works best for you — it could be foam earplugs or wax earplugs. If you’re an especially light sleeper, consider getting some noise-isolating headphones to wear on top of the earplugs!

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Pack an Eye Mask 

The other thing that’s likely to wake you up is the light. It might be somebody switching on all the lights in the dorm, or it could even be a window without curtains. Don’t let the bright lights keep you awake and pack an eye mask to help you sleep.

Turn on the Air Conditioning/Fan 

If you don’t happen to have earplugs with you, then turn on the air conditioning or the fan in the dorm room to drown out the noise. It won’t drown out everything, but it should be good enough to keep you asleep through quiet noises like whispering. 

Choose Your Bed Wisely 

If possible, try to choose a bed that’s as far away from any doors as possible. If people are coming in and out of the dorm room all night then sleeping next to the door will wake you up every time. Similarly, if the dorm has a bathroom connected to it, then aim to choose a bed that isn’t close to the bedroom door. You won’t have the sounds of showers and flushing toilets to wake you up all night, and neither will you have the bright lights coming from underneath the door. 

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Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Someone to be Quiet 

If someone is making loud noises in the middle of the night when you’re trying to sleep, then please don’t be afraid to ask them to be quiet. You’re paying just as much as they are for the room, and you deserve to get some sleep. Ask the person who is being loud to carry on their conversation outside, or to continue it in the morning. 

If You’re a Female Book a Female-Only Dorm 

It is a stereotype, but in my experience, I’ve found that you’re much less likely to encounter noisy snorers when you’re in an all-girls dorm. In addition, I’ve also found it easier to ask females to keep it down in dorms over males. 

Sleep in the Top Bunk 

You’re much less likely to be affected by your bunkmate’s tossing and turning if you’re in the top bunk. When you sleep in the bottom bunk, you’ll find that the bed starts shaking every time they move. Choose to sleep in the top bunk and you’ll have a much better night’s sleep. 

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