How to get the best night’s sleep in a dorm room

Once you’ve been on the road for a few months you’ll be a master in the art of sleeping in a dorm room. However, if you’re new to backpacking and travelling you might benefit from a few hints and tips on how to get the best night’s sleep in a dorm room.

1. Choose your bed wisely – If you’re the first person in your room, choose your bed wisely. You want the one furthest from the door, and if your room has an en suite, furthest from the toilet too. This way you’ll avoid people disturbing you when they leave the room or go to the toilet in the night.

2. Face the right way – If you’re on the lower bed of a bunk bed (which is definitely the best choice), your feet should be at the end of the ladder. Why? Because when Shamus from Ireland stumbles in at 3am and slips off the ladder he’s less likely to kick you in the face.

3. Make yourself a cave – If you’re staying in the same hostel for a few nights or you really really need a good night’s sleep, consider making yourself a cave. How do you do this? Easy. Get your towel and tuck it under the mattress of the bunk above allowing it to hang down. All of a sudden you’ve got a curtain that not only creates a dark little cave where it’s easier to sleep, but basically says “Do Not Disturb”.

4. Have ear plugs / earphones to hand – Every now and then you’ll come across a snorer or moaner, so make sure you have your ear plugs / earphones to hand to drown any sound. I often put my earphones in straight away and fall asleep to music cutting out the middle man.


5. Don’t be afraid – If someone is snoring / groaning, don’t be afraid to say something. If you can hear it, so can everyone else. That also counts when people are having sex. Trust me, it’s better to say something than have to put up with it.

6. Don’t be a dick – If you’re in a dorm room, it means you’re a backpacker or traveller (or whatever you want to call it). What this means is you’re all in this together, so don’t be a dick. When I say that, there’s some dorm room etiquette that you HAVE to follow:

 –    If someone is trying to sleep, don’t talk loudly and certainly don’t turn your music on. Curfew time – around 10:30 / 11ish.

–    If you’re leaving super early in the morning (anything before 8am), don’t do what I’ve just mentioned. Also, if you need to repack your bag, do it outside the room. And no rustling!

    Unless it’s an absolute emergency, don’t go for a shit in the middle of the night. Instead, use the main hostel toilets.

Basically, with dorm room etiquette it’s all about being a good person. All commons sense really.

7. Hide your possessions under your pillow / mattress – Instead of getting stressed out and losing sleep with worry that someone’s going to come in and nick your stuff, hide all of your valuables (phone, passport, wallet, etc) in the furthest corner under your pillow or your mattress. That means if anyone is really intent on stealing your stuff they’ll have to lean over you, which probably isn’t the best idea.

8. Get ready to crash out – If you know you’re going out for a big one, get everything you need ready for bed so when you come back you don’t need to rummage to find your stuff. For guys this usually involves a toothbrush and toothpaste. I think for girls it involves other stuff too.

9. Use natural sleeping pills – If you’re really struggling to sleep in a dorm room use natural sleeping pills. Any good supermarket or pharmacy will have these, and they really do work. Alternatively, if you’re not one for natural sleeping pills, sling back a few beerios before you go to bed. That should do the trick.indexSo there you have it, some hints and tips on how to get the best night’s sleep sleeping in a dorm room.

What are your secrets of the trade? If you think you’re a master in the art of sleeping in a dorm room, let me know in the comments below!