twin XL bed
A good night's sleep next to your beau is possible if you know these twin XL bed hacks. (Illustration by Natashna Anderson, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
College /// Thoughts x
twin XL bed
A good night's sleep next to your beau is possible if you know these twin XL bed hacks. (Illustration by Natashna Anderson, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

The sexual freedom of college is boundless, but your tiny bed frame is not.

College is the epitome of most high schoolers’ dreams. Parties, a choice in classes, freedom from parental control — what more could you want? Yet, one thing is constantly frustrating students and holding them back from certain opportunities and conveniences: the dreaded twin XL bed.

It might be plenty big for one person of average height. However, sleepovers with romantic partners are extremely common and desirable among college students, despite how physically uncomfortable they might be in such a small space. To remedy students’ woes, here are seven tips on how to sleep soundly with a partner — without someone waking up on the floor.

1. Use the (small) space wisely

Twin XL beds can be described in one word: small. So, the space must be used optimally in order to ensure maximum comfort for both individuals involved. Although everyone might not enjoy cuddling, it is a necessity when sleeping in such close quarters with another person.

To avoid any discomforts that come with cuddling while sleeping, such as the dreaded morning breath, drool and breathing in each other’s face, partners might want to try spooning. By doing so, both partners are able to comfortably fit in the bed without the previously mentioned issues or with someone being uncomfortably crushed by the other’s body weight — just settle who will be big spoon and little spoon ahead of time to avoid a pre-sleep spat. Some people have found that U-shape body pillows help as well.

2. Temperature control

With the close proximity and forced cuddling, excess body heat is inevitable, according to Trish, editor of SleepDelivered. Partners might think that the easiest solution would be to wear as little clothing as possible; however, the more skin-on-skin contact between the two, the more sleeping becomes a sticky, sweaty mess. Instead, partners should opt for lightweight clothing that allows both parties to remain comfortable and dry. By doing so, neither individual will be weighed down by heavy clothing, but each will also avoid uncomfortable sweat from the other partner.

Another option to consider is investing in a fan. Not only will it help keep both partners cool when spending the night together, but it will also be useful when its owner is alone in their bed as well. Keeping cool will allow snuggling to be all the more comfortable and appealing. If you keep your sleeping environment cooler, you’ll find that your overall sleep quality improves.

3. Safety first

Lofted beds are great because they allow roommates to optimize their small, shared space. However, when spending the night with one’s partner, one poses a dangerous risk. Not only is it easy to fall off of such a small space as a twin XL bed, but adding in the extra body and the height makes the risk even more likely and daunting. In such situation, bed rails can be your best friend.

It might feel childish to have a safety rail on the bed, but better safe than sorry if the alternative is having an intimate evening end in an injury. Students should do themselves and their future partners a favor in choosing to use safety precautions.

4. Bathroom breaks

Everyone needs to relieve themselves in the middle of the night sometimes, but getting in and out of a twin XL bed shared between two people will most likely wake up the other party involved.

Partners should be mindful of this and take a trip to the bathroom before they go to sleep, in order to allow both them and their nightly companion to sleep soundly, without being interrupted by the other’s movement.

5. Remember roommates

Sharing a space with a roommate can be extremely hard at times, so partners should try their best not to make the situation any more difficult than necessary. Instead, whoever is having his or her partner stay should contact his or her roommate in advance and ask permission.

A good night’s sleep in a twin XL bed is already difficult to achieve. Partners should try not to ruin a rare night of sleep by giving their roommates a reason to angrily barge into the room and wake themselves and their partners.

6. In moments of extreme desperation …

If partners have tried everything and still cannot sleep soundly together, sleep aid medications are always an option. ZzzQuil is popular choice and should be able to knock out anyone in almost any circumstance.

If students are seeking more natural options, they need not fret. Natural sleep aids, such as melatonin, are available in many forms ranging from tablets and gummies, to liquid drops. Chamomile tea is also an easy option for students on a budget, or those unwilling to take melatonin or sleep aid drugs.

7. Separate for the night

Spending the night with one’s partner seems to be an excellent decision. Not only is it extremely convenient if one is already in his or her partner’s room, but spending a full night with someone might build intimacy and romance between the pair.

But keep in mind, the closeness or feelings of romance can quickly be killed by the unfortunate twin XL bed. Even if pairs try all of the tips mentioned above, sleeping just might not happen. In the case of recurring nights of lack of sleep, student pairs should consider whether spending the night together is really worth the repercussions.

Students’ lives are extremely busy between class, homework, extracurricular activities, jobs and any other responsibilities they might have. Thus, proper sleep is already difficult to achieve, and students certainly should not be hindering the little sleep for which they have time. So, they should consider the practicality of sleeping over at each other’s rooms. If intimacy is the main goal, pairs should consider setting time aside in their schedules to spend quality alone time together.

When the reason for spending a night together is merely convenience, such as hanging out late at night and deciding to stay last minute, students might want to consider taking the extra time to walk back to their own rooms. If the students’ dorms are too far from their partners’ room to safely make the late-night trip, they should set aside time during the day to be together, or, consider sleeping on a couch or blow-up mattress rather than in bed with their partner. These options might seem more difficult or less appealing than simply sharing a bed with one’s partner, but could prove essential when it comes to attaining a proper night’s sleep.

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