With A-level results day out of the way, thousands of students up and down the country are beginning to prepare for the jump to university in September. And, despite increasing numbers of students choosing to stay at home for university — 338,040 in 2016/17 up from 328,675 in 2015/16 (HESA
) — the majority of new students will be heading off to live alone for the first time.
In previous blog posts, we've talked about the importance of sleep for academic performance
, and we’ve even taken a look at sleeping tips for Fresher's Week
. But, this time, we thought we'd look at how you can turn your new student digs into a sleep sanctuary. You'd be pretty surprised how much your sleeping environment affects the quality of your rest, so it's pretty important that you get things right from day one. Read on to discover our top tips.
Make sure you've got comfortable bedding
While you probably won't be able to transport your trusty old bed from home to your student digs, there are few things you can do to make sure your new one is extra comfy.
Many students arrive at their flat to find their mattress has seen better days. Though splashing out on a new mattress at the start of term could be enough to blow your budget, that doesn’t mean you can't boost your bed's comfort levels. A memory foam mattress topper
can breathe life into an ailing mattress, adding extra cushioning and support for pressure points to make your rest much comfier. They're well worth the small investment for the improved sleep.
Also, you may wish to consider getting a new duvet
to prepare for the coming winter months, as feeling the cold is liable to keep you awake at night. Upgrading to a heavier autumn/winter weight version is the best way to stay nice and toasty when the temperature falls, especially if you're looking to keep your heating bills low.
Keep things cool and dark
The best environment for sleep is one that's cool and dark, so that's what you should aim for in your new student bedroom. Temperature-wise, the Sleep Charity recommends
that you keep your room between 16–18°C for the most comfortable night's rest, so you might need to adjust things to make sure this is the case. Depending on your digs, you may need to fire up a radiator to keep things on the level in the winter, while cracking open a window is often enough to cool things in summer.
In addition to temperature, exposure to light is another factor that can disrupt sleep. Therefore, it's important to keep your room nice and dark to improve the quality of your rest. Blackout blinds are the best way to achieve darkness, but they can be expensive. However, there are now temporary models available that can be put up and taken down quickly and easily that are much more budget-friendly for students.
You'll also want to keep any use of bright screens like TVs, tablets, or laptops to a minimum in the run up to bed time as they also disrupt your body clock when you're trying to drift off.
Invest in plenty of storage options
Are you an untidy person? Did you know that clutter in and around your bedroom is enough to disturb your sleep? A recent study
by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that those who hoarded belongings were more likely to feel stressed and suffer from poor sleep cycles.
If this sounds like you, then your move to university is a great chance to turn over a new leaf and practice some tidier habits in your digs. Make sure your room has plenty of storage options to keep your possessions neat, tidy, and out of sight until you need them. This way, your stress levels won’t be in any danger of spiking due to clutter and you should be able to experience a much better night's sleep.
Add some greenery to your space
One of the best ways that you can begin to turn your room into a sleep haven is by adding some greenery to your space. Not only are plants and flowers pleasant to be around, but many, such as jasmine and lavender, can have a soothing effect that promotes sleep. And, a study
by NASA found that many had the ability to clean the air, removing many impurities that can affect the quality of rest. Simply adding some to your room has the potential to improve your rest.
Even if you've never cared for a plant before, you don't have to be green-fingered to enjoy the natural benefits they can bring. For instance, The Spruce has a good list of houseplants that are hard to kill
that even a novice can easily take care of. Invest in a couple and keep them healthy and you may find that your sleep improves.
We hope that these tips help you to create the perfect student sleep sanctuary. If you're looking for more on how to improve your sleep, keep checking this blog and our advice centre. You can also get in touch with our team if you have any questions at all.