Living in a shared house is synonymous with student life. House sharing is not just a reality for those flying the parental nest for the first time though. In fact, in the UK nearly 10% of all adult’s house share according to statistics provided by the BBC. To find out why house sharing has risen in popularity within the UK in the last ten years and for some humorous and handy tips on how to find the perfect house mates, you can read the article published by the BBC by heading over to the BBC website.
Meanwhile, for 5 top tips on getting a great night’s sleep in a shared house, whatever your age, sleeping arrangements or housemates’ lifestyles, read on.
1. Pick Your House Mates Wisely
As Glenn Jacobs of RoomBuddies, one of the UK’s leading flatshare hubs, is quick to impress upon potential house sharers: ‘living with people with whom you get on well reduces stress and makes for a happy home and home life.’ Further, with stress being a leading cause of insomnia and sleep disorders, reducing your levels can in turn also increase your chances of getting some much needed shut eye.
2. Lay Back and Relax
As mentioned, stress being a leading cause of insomnia an sleepless nights, being laid back and relaxed is great advice for just about anybody. That said, it is equally great advice when it comes to creating a harmonious home. So, the next time you feel wound up and frustrated over that pile of unwashed pots or a housemate’s living habits, instead of confronting them or giving in to the temptation of passive aggressive post-it note writing, try to calm down and contextualise the situation.
There is of course no denying that however well housemates get on generally speaking or as friends that living together can ut any relationship to the test, but house sharing needn’t break a relationship, or a person. In fact and instead, house sharing can help to teach a person to be less uptight and to think rationally and clearly about the things that matter and the things that don’t. So, the next time you feel like confronting your housemate as to why they are the reason you cannot sleep and before you resort to counting sheep, first count ten and take the time to ask yourself, is your housemate really the reason you cannot sleep?
3. Communication vs. Confrontation
Especially when a person is sleep deprived, the habit of confronting a housemate instead of communicating with them is all too easy to slip into, and much harder to put to bed once you have. Hence, communication matter.
So, if you know Friday is going to be a late night for you to give an example, talk to your housemate(s) about it in advance and accept that whilst you want to live your life, they too have lives and deserve equal respect and consideration. Failing to communicate and yes, sometimes even compromise, almost always will in the end result in confrontation and could negatively impact on your (and their) quality of sleep, and even your relationship as house mates, if not friends.
A common annoyance that keeps housemates up at night is the growing amount of ‘stuff’ some housemates leave about in communal areas. Whilst, especially beyond university, many of us get far better at strategically hiding our clutter, in a shared house this usually means moving everything into your sleeping space or bedroom. Then, your housemate might rest easy knowing the house looks clean and tidy, but you may find that surrounded by the debris of paperwork, books, shoes or whatever form your clutter takes, your quality of sleep rather than improves takes a nose dive.
Hence, when house sharing it is important to regularly de-clutter. Not only will living in a clutter free space make for a far easier home in which to clean, cook and live, the sense of well being that can come with being organised and ‘on top of everything’ means that it is likely you will have fewer worries or mounting niggles to take to bed with you.
5. Mi Casa Su Casa
‘Mi Casa Su Casa’ is often mistranslated as ‘what is mine is yours’. In actual fact ‘mis casa su casa’ more accurately means ‘my home is your home’. This is why successful communication is so important when house sharing; two or more people may share one home, but that does not mean they are happy to share their belongings.
So, whilst it is common for housemates to share all manner of things and sharing can prove a great way to bond, save some money and live in a house that isn’t filled with two of everything from microwaves to ketchup bottles, the trick is to never assume that something is there for communal use because it happens to be in a communal space. Instead, avoid leaving anything you wouldn’t want using by others in a communal space just in case and always ask before helping yourself and always replace anything you break or damage.
How can this help you to sleep? Well, for the sake of your housemate(s) we hope you have a conscience that is likely to keep you up should you fail to follow the rules when it comes to house sharing and sharing your ‘stuff’.