It is really important to get a comfortable temperature, just not too hot nor too cold in your dorm room so your body can reach that sleeping point.
- Create a Routine
By creating a routine you are helping your body “understand” that bed time is approaching, stay away from activities that are exciting, stressing or cause any kind of anxiety close to your bed time.
Even better, try relaxing activities like reading a light read book (physical, not e-books since screen light interferes with the process), listen to soothing music or even taking a warm bath will kick-start this relaxation process before it is time to sleep, do this “cool-down” activities somewhere around 60 minutes prior going to bed.
Try to get a separate space for working or studying away from the bed (get a desk), this will avoid the conditioning of your mind into believing that the bed is a stressful place to be in, use it to sleep and get your body feel it is what it’s meant for.
- Diminish Lighting Exposure
Well no surprise that lighting in your dorm room can make or break your sleeping process, and to make things simpler, the darker the room the better, you can read your book in dim light for example.
Get those blackout curtains that precisely block all light possible from the outside…
Just came to my mind the memory when I was visiting a city nearby and the hotel room had those kind of curtains, I overslept for 3 hours thinking it was earlier, not realizing how well the light was blocked out, restful yes, but don’t forget to set your alarm clock.
Simply closing your eyes doesn’t get the trick done since light can go through your eyelids, turn off every equipment producing light (like those alarm clocks with giant led displays, I mean, what’s the purpose of the ultra-bright display? not letting you fall asleep?), TV “off” lights, etc.
Another hard to follow but utter important tip for those technology addicts like myself: Stop using the TV, laptop, mobile phone, etc. at least one hour before bed, that kind of light can and will disrupt the melatonin production process in the pineal gland provoking some level of sleeplessness.
- Exercise Daily (Not Right Before Bed)
A daily dose of exercise during the day will make wonders for your health on many aspects even when the time to go to bed comes.
As little as a 30 minutes workout will suffice, you don’t even need to do it all 30 minutes straight and you can fraction it on two 15 minutes or three 10 minutes sessions throughout the day.
This period of exercise (aerobic recommended) will lift your body temperature and the effect will last for several hours (somewhere between 4 or 5 hours) later to be decreased to lower than if you had not exercised in the first place.
The lowering of you body temperature is a key element to get a good night of sleep.
Now you should not exercise too near to your bedtime since it will stimulate and energize your body and you’ll get trouble to get the relaxed state required to sleep even if you are tired by the effort, you can do it early afternoon if it gets complicated to do so in the mornings.
- Use White Noise
White noise use although might seem like counter intuitive, works because it tricks the brain into not paying attention to the external noises that might be disrupting your hours of sleep, real noises like the sirens, dog barking or even neighbors.
This sort of therapy is widely used to help induce sleep and you can purchase a white noise generator specifically designed for this purpose, the static on the radio in-between stations is also a good source of white noise experts say although I find it difficult to relax to it.
If you are like me and prefer relaxing nature sounds or music (colloquially considered also white noise) you can tune a sleep relaxation station on the internet radio, sounds like ocean waves or rain sounds also serve the same purpose, the main idea is to get a sound source which doesn’t have steep changes in rhythm or beat sounds.
- Reduce Stress Along the Day
According to the American Psychosomatic Society, stress related issues affect the quality of your sleep derived from the heart rate changes it provokes, it was also observed in studies an increase in mortality rates due to this same stress and poor sleep factors.
You can tap on this problem by trying to figure out what it is that provokes it, and by addressing those problems accordingly, write a diary and note the factors which could be involved, like work stress or a medical condition.
Yet again, a healthy diet and exercise daily program could help you tremendously with this issues, so from now on you should focus on releasing that stress before bedtime or even better avoiding an excess of it altogether.
- Pay Attention to your Mattress and Pillow
Floating Mattress and Woman
Sure this is by no means the least important of all the above mentioned aspects, the physical part of the “going to bed” task is of major relevance and that’s why I have included it here.
Now I won’t be able to suggest you any specific kind of mattress since that’s a very personal choice, and what you consider the “right” kind might not be suitable for others, however if you have slept on a hotel, a friend’s house or with your relatives you might really get an idea by now.
What I do recommend you to do is to pay attention to this factor, if you notice it needs to be changed then go shop for one.
Remember that not necessarily a high price tag for a “high-tech” mattress equals a good rest, what is it better to get? a soft, medium or firm one? Well again, some people rest better on a firm kind and others on a softer one.
I personally wake up with neck pain when sleeping in a soft mattress so I have chosen the firmer ones when I have bought them, it has been the world in difference for a night of good rest.
It can also depend on your physical condition, remember to visit your medic who can help you chose better according to your condition, the main idea here is that you get conscious that this is an important factor to consider, if your’s have lost its shape or function due to its years in service you should really consider buying another.
Personal preference applies similarly to pillows, nevertheless in this case you can consider how you usually sleep, if you lie on your back you need a somewhat thin pillow, but if you sleep on your side, a firmer one would be better (you can add another thin one if you switch from one to another) and if you sleep on your stomach then an almost flat one would be best.
These are the most relevant recommendations I found and the ones I follow myself, so as a summary, avoid stress along the day through relaxing and exercising, avoid consuming stimulants or depressants like coffee, alcohol or cigarettes before night time and go to sleep in an inviting but pretty dark place, make it your sleep sanctuary.
You can also help yourself by being creative with the help of aromatherapy or audio-therapy, but don’t forget these are only general help recommendations so go to visit your doctor if this issue has prevailed for more than a few days of bad nights of sleep, your health is first and the reasons behind your insomnia might be caused by more serious factors.
Thanks for reading this far, which factors would you add? Give feedback on the comments section below and don’t forget to follow and share.