According to a recent report, 1 in 4 millennials would rather live with a roommate regardless of money. At first glance this may sound crazy. But I get it. You may be newly single, just moved out of your parents’ house or finishing college. After living with people all your life you are ready to live alone! But sleeping in a house all by yourself? That’s another story.
For me, moving out of my parents’ house and into a new apartment with just my cat was the adjustment. Though I was used to sleeping in a room alone, I was not used to sleeping in a house/apartment all alone. Between growing up in a house full of people and moving to college where I always had roommates, this was a huge adjustment. I have learned a lot about how to feel safe when living and sleeping alone. Here are a few of my secrets:
Consider getting a pet
Sleeping with a pet made a huge impact on my sleeping habits. I am a cat person, so having another living entity in my bed helps me feel at ease. I don’t feel so alone. You may not have another human to cuddle with, but oftentimes, your fur baby is more than happy to cover that for you.
Pets can help give you that sense of security, or just help your emotional well-being as a whole. Studies have shown that sleeping with a pet can also help to reduce stress, whether that’s from living alone, work, or just life in general.
Be careful about your TV choices
Watching something intense and scary before bed is not the best idea. I try to stay away from any movies or TV shows that get my blood boiling or adrenaline going, because it makes it that much harder to fall asleep. If, for some reason, I decided to watch one of these, I need to watch something happy or mellow right after to calm myself down.
Take the other night, for example — I decided to watch the new Netflix documentary on Ted Bundy around 9:00 PM. Even after watching something to calm me down, I could not fall asleep. I should have chosen to watch it in broad daylight or on the weekend when I did not have to go to work the next day.
Make your apartment feel more secure
There are so many easy things you can do to make your apartment or house feel more secure at night. Before I go to bed, I have a mental checklist of things I need to do before turning in for the night. Here’s my nightly routine:
- Close all of the blinds
- Make sure my doors are locked
- Set my home security system to night mode
- Turn all of my lights off except for one lamp (in case I need to get up at night)
Going through these puts me at ease and helps me feel more secure in my home.
Exercise in the evening
I have found that if I work out in the evenings after getting home from work, this helps me get a full night’s rest. Exercise will help you blow off some steam and get all the adrenaline out of your system before sitting down to relax. By the time I have worked all day, exercised, and eaten dinner, I am ready to watch TV, read a book, scroll through social media, or hang out with some tea before bed. By exercising, my body is ready and willing to relax because I don’t have any pent-up energy.
Invest in a sound machine
I know this one sounds cheesy, but having background noise does wonders for my sleeping habits. When I first moved into my own apartment and was trying to fall asleep, I found myself hearing noises that weren’t actually there. I would hear knocking on the door, scratching at my windows (probably just a tree), or even foot-steps in my living room. Yikes! This freaked me out and made it, so I was paranoid when I went to sleep.
My solution was to order myself a white noise machine. Now when I sleep, I don’t hear those very soft sounds that may or may not be there. I am still able to hear if someone was actually knocking at my door, but I feel more at ease with some sort of noise in the background.
To sum these tips up, I have created a nightly routine for myself that helps me to feel safe and secure while I am at home alone. I do this routine every day, and it has helped me immensely in my transition from living at home or with roommates to living with myself. Try these tips out and let me know if they helped you achieve the restful, solo sleep you desire!