In February, we had to sleep in dorms many more nights than we would have liked, because Chile is expensive. Getting a good night’s sleep in a dorm can be tricky, however, if you are prepared for it and know what to expect, it is possible to sleep well enough.

Below are my five top tips for how to sleep in dorms, in no particular order.

Earplugs are your friends

Investing in a pair of good, comfortable earplugs is very worthwhile if you’re sensitive to noises when trying to fall asleep and are going to be spending a lot of time sleeping in dorms. If you don’t find a comfortable pair, it’s worth experimenting with a few before settling on one. The same could be said of a sleeping mask if you’re sensitive to light.

make friends with your earplugs!
make friends with your earplugs!

Tell people you’re going to sleep

Saying goodnight, or simply that you’re going to go to sleep to another person in the dorm will make them aware of you and, if they are considerate, more likely to be quiet in the room. Be careful, though, this could turn a little passive aggressive!

Turn off the light when you’re going to sleep

But leave enough light (from a corridor or a small lamp in the room) so that when other people come in late, they don’t need to turn on the main light to be able to see what they need to do. The fact that the room is dark will make most people come in quietly and be very aware that people are sleeping, and hopefully quite considerate.

sleeping like Buddha
sleeping like Buddha

Act as you'd wish others to act

If you need to get up early in the morning to leave the hostel and everyone else is sleeping, don’t start packing all your things in to noisy plastic bags if someone else doing this at 6am would warrant you hating them forever. Nuff said.

Don’t stay in a party hostel

If you’re choosing a hostel through a hostel booking site, it’s good to know that hostels with a high ‘fun’ rating are often the noisiest. Party hostels are not the place where you’re going to get the best night’s sleep in dorms, and if you book one not knowing this, it’s a hard thing to complain about.

Did I forget anything? Disagree with my inane ramblings? Tell me in the comments.

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