Going to college for the first time can be an overwhelming experience, both for students and their parents.  Aside from leaving home and pursuing an education in a totally new setting, packing for such a journey can be stressful as well.

One simple way to relieve stress is to get organized. Make two lists, one for what to pack, and one for what to buy. This will make packing and shopping much easier. If this is the first time you’re either sending a student to college, or are going yourself, consult current students for packing advice. Some schools even have suggested lists on their websites.

Encourage the new student to pack some things to remind them of home, a movie poster, a framed photograph, or a colorful rug.  Decorating their room, or at least their half of the room, can be a very calming activity for new students. The process will not only remind them of home, but will allow them to think of college as being a home as well. Making the dorm rooms feel like home is a big step towards helping students acclimate to college life.

Aside from school supplies and decor for their room, students need bedding for their dorm room as well. While the dorms often come with a bed, the bedding and pillows are usually left up to the students.

College student living sleep dorm room pillow Headleveler Ortho-Cerv happy healthy

When looking for bedding keep in mind that some dorms have a special college size bed. This is an extra-long twin, measuring thirty-nine inches wide by eighty inches long, which is five inches longer than a standard twin bed. If the bed is one of these, then special bedding will be needed. Most stores stock this bedding around this time and they can also be found online.  They are usually labeled XL twin.

If it’s a regular twin sized bed, then the bedding from home can be used or new bedding can be purchased. While fresh sheets may be a good idea, a throw blanket or comforter from home can be a nice homey touch.

It’s also a good idea to purchase a new pillow, as their old one may need replacing anyway.  A new pillow may seem like a small thing compared to a new laptop or textbooks but a good pillow is pivotal to a good night’s sleep and college students need plenty of sleep.  Sleep is pivotal for not just physical health, but for mental and emotional as well.

College student living sleep dorm room pillow Headleveler Ortho-Cerv happy healthy

According to a Harvard study, a good night’s sleep can also improve memory before and after learning a new task or information. Not getting enough sleep can result in concentration lapses. While a few late night study sessions and fine tuning of assignments will happen, restful sleep needs to happen as well.

While you may think all pillow are alike, this is not the case.  Having the wrong pillow can create or increase headaches and neck pains which can hinder the quality of your sleep and your day. A good pillow should hold its shape even as you move throughout the night.

What type of pillow you use can depend on how you sleep. If you sleep on your back a thinner pillow could be helpful, as it won’t angle your neck forward too much. Back sleepers also benefit from a thin pillow, though sleeping this way can put stress on the lower back, so consider switching to your side, or sleeping with a body pillow. Side sleepers benefit from a firm pillow.

However, everyone is different and ultimately, the sleeper needs to choose the best pillow for them. When ordering a pillow, you can customize it to meet the sleeper’s exact needs. They also come in sizes based on your mattress size.  College can be a bit rough, make sure your sleep is not with a great pillow.