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College Advice

Do You Have to Sleep in Your Dorm Every Night?

DormEssentials November 22, 2020

One of the biggest attractions for starting your college life is living in a dorm without significant parental supervision. That means that you are getting your first taste of freedom, meaning you can choose to decorate the room as you please, and you get a great opportunity to gain experience as an individual. But like everywhere else, even college dorms also have resident advisors, rules and regulations. 

Whether you choose to live in your college dorm or an apartment, there are a set of rules you need to follow. After all, growing up doesn’t mean freedom from all responsibilities. But, since you’re living by yourself in the dorm or with a roommate, can you decide to get to sleep somewhere else? Or do you need to sleep in your dorm every night? 

Let’s find out.

The Answer

Whether you’ll be able to sleep elsewhere rather than your dorm every night depends on the college, and maybe even residence hall. Most colleges won’t limit you to your dorm, but if you’re going to a military or religious institute, they have strict rules for being in your dorm room by a certain hour. Aside from that, some colleges mandate freshmen to stay and live in the dorms during the year, but it is hard to enforce as usually there are no nightly checks. 

Minus the exceptions, you’re generally not forced to sleep in your dorm every night. By the time you start your college life, you’re already an adult, and a college is a great place for personal growth. The college understands this, and that’s why they won’t micromanage you. The university will respect your wish to sleep elsewhere as an adult, whether it’s with a significant other or on the coach or the floor of a house party.  It’s also common for students living near home to spend a few days back home if a extended rest or recharge is needed.

However, while you’re not bound to sleep in your dorm every night, there are rules to the floor. The residence hall only dictates what and who you can bring to your college dorm but won’t restrict you from decorating your room as you please. However, each floor of the dormitory has a set of rules for you to follow. For example, some colleges have boys-only or girls-only floors, or if the opposite gender can spend the night in your room. These are the house rules you need to follow. You can know more about these rules and regulations from your college website or the housing office in your college. It’s good to keep these rules and regulations in mind when you’re staying there. Usually, dorms also have policies on when guests can stay over, and for how many nights. Usually they require a check-in process.

To put it shortly, most college administration won’t force you to sleep in your dorm room every night. But, since there are exceptions, before heading out, check the rules and regulations regarding dorm living on your college website. That being said, there are some benefits to having a dorm room, whether for yourself or shared with another person. We absolutely recommend you live in the dorms at least your freshmen year. Let’s find out those benefits, which are a few of many reasons why you should live in the dorms.

Benefits of Having a Dorm

While nobody is going to force you to sleep in your dorm every night, it’s important to stay there more than sleeping or staying elsewhere. College dorms give you the biggest opportunity to make friends. 

To survive your life in college, it’s important to have friends whom you can count on. Chances are, these are your friends for your time in college. It’s great to have someone at your times of happiness and sorrow. Another great benefit of staying in your dorm is food, usually from a included meal plan.

Most of the colleges have a meal plan for students living in the dorm; this means that you’re getting free food. Besides food, staying in your dorm also means that you have access to a plethora of study tools, most importantly as like minded classmate who may have already taken classes you need to take. Your dorm can be a place for you to focus on your study. That’s another reason for you to have a dorm. You might be the person who doesn’t like to study with your friends, or you might not do well in group studies. Having a dorm will give you the opportunity to study in peace or find others in similar classes to prepare for those finals. 

A dorm is very important for relationships, giving you a private space for your significant other, or simply providing you access to a number of similar age individuals to become your friends. Also, the college workload is usually a good portion of your time, and achieving that degree will be an investment in both of your futures. 

So, to work in peace, to focus on your future, and to study without any distraction, you’ll need a dorm. Your lover can also visit you in your dorm. Colleges have rules set for how long a guest can stay with you. If you’re planning to invite your lover over, be sure to notify your roomie if you’re sharing the dorm room. As long as you’re not causing any inconvenience to anyone, guests can stay for that specified time period. 

These are the reasons why you should spend some time in your dorm and the benefits of having a dorm. Instead of living completely outside, the wiser choice is to have a dorm room and spend some time there too. If you follow the guest rules, you can have friends and family over too. 

Sleeping Properly in Your Dorm

As mentioned earlier, college life is a great time; you have your personal freedom; you get to have a room that you can decorate to your heart’s content, and much more. With all these excitements, sleeping is the last thing in your mind. But, it’s important to remember that sleeping properly is something you have to ensure to achieve all your dreams of being successful. We have a number of tips for better sleep in the dorms here.

Sleeping hardly takes place on the priority list of college students. With exams, studies, and parties, it’s hard to make time to sleep properly. But it isn’t hard to make room for that; it won’t be as hard as preparing a research paper. Here are some tips for you to ensure proper sleep during your college life.

Mutual Understanding with Your Roommate

When you get a dorm room in college, chances are you will be sharing it with a friend or stranger. If you’re sharing a room with someone else, you need to have a mutual understanding of that person. 

Your roomie might not prioritize sleeping like you; maybe they watch late-night shows or have guests over. Should you just ignore that you can’t sleep because of your roomie’s habits? You can, but you’ll grow sleep-deprived and have a hard time keeping your moods in check. 

The best solution to such a problem is to have a conversation with your roomie. You need to understand that you’ll be spending your college life with this stranger, so having a heart to heart conversation can lead to solving problems and setting boundaries. 

Explain to them that you have classes early morning or that you need to study. Having an open conversation can easily lead to mutual understanding. Set boundaries but be sure to respect theirs too, as managing dorm conflicts is a part of any dorm living. 

You need to set boundaries for yourself too. Friends will always invite you to have fun, but if you say yes to all of them, you won’t be making any time to sleep. So set boundaries, when to hang out and when to study and sleep, perfect the art of saying no. 

Be Comfortable

Your dorm room won’t be the same as a five-star hotel, but you’ll have the chance to decorate it. Find the best place to position your bed, maybe by a window. Add some curtains to those windows to block lights. If you’re sharing the room with someone else, customize your part of the room to maximize your comfort and personal preferences. You can also take control of making sure your bedding is comfortable and you have a good environment for sleep.

Afternoon Naps

When was the last time you had an afternoon nap? Chances are it was a long time ago. But afternoon naps can be extremely beneficial, both to you and your productivity. Twenty minutes of nap can greatly boost your productivity. So, look at your schedule, at your roomie’s schedule, and find the time after lunch to get twenty minutes of shut-eye. You may scoff at the idea now, but after late nights out and early morning classes, you’ll find the desire to take naps more than ever.

Better Sleep Hygiene

How good you’ll sleep has a connection with what you’re doing beforehand. These activities include exposure to blue light, caffeine, and more. To get proper sleep, decrease the exposure to such activities before bedtime. To do so, first, you’ll need to appoint yourself a bedtime. 

Once that’s fixed, try not to have caffeinated products a few hours before bedtime. Reduce screen time to decrease exposure to blue light before bedtime. Follow your bedtime routine, like drinking water, brushing your teeth, and more. Once you’re done with those, get comfortable. 

Everyone isn’t the same when it comes to distractions; you might get distracted by the slightest noise; others might have no effect on loud noises. To prevent distractions, use eye covers or earplugs. If you’re not comfortable with earplugs, you can use a fan.

The fan’s sound will drown out the other sounds and produce white noise and keep you cool. Once you’ve established these, for the best results, try to be consistent. Having a consistent bedtime hygiene and sleep schedule will massively benefit you. 

Bottom Line

In conclusion, you don’t need to sleep in your dorm every night unless the university or residence hall doesn’t allow sleeping elsewhere. Most of the colleges won’t bother to investigate whether you’re in your dorm every night. So, you’re free to sleep elsewhere whenever you want. Just make sure to let your roommate know so they don’t get worried!


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