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Simple Steps to Achieve Fantastic Sleep

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

Sleeping in college can be an absolute nightmare. From stressing about tests and essays due, or being lured into late-night partying, it can be pretty hard to get on a good sleeping schedule. Most of us are so loaded up with Starbucks to make it through the day and then being kept up at night by the caffeine we’ve consumed during the day. It is a vicious cycle that I have been caught spiraling in many times, however, there are some ways to improve this predicament! 


Last year, my sleeping schedule was a wreck. I was either pulling all-nighters or sleeping through classes, but either way, I always felt exhausted. The first step to fixing sleep problems is to make it a priority! It can’t happen in one night, but slowly you can find yourself on a sleep schedule that to make you lively during the day, and sleeping like a baby during the night (unless you choose to be nocturnal, you do you sis). 

Set a Bedtime

Set a time when you would like to be sleep, then start preparing for bed around an hour beforehand. Start wrapping up on your assignments, take some time for self-care, and get comfy PJs on. This will allow your brain and body to transition into sleep mode, and you’re less likely to find yourself still awake at 4 am on a Tuesday. It may seem tedious giving yourself a “bedtime”, but it is the first step in getting in the sleep swing. 

Limit Caffeine Consumption

Now I am not saying that you can never drink coffee again, it is just a good idea to keep track of what time of day you’re having it. If you need a cup of joe in the morning, go for it. If it’s 6 o’clock and it’ll be your 4th Sweet Cream Vanilla Coldbrew of the day? Maybe hold off. There are a lot of other alternatives to wake you up without having to rely on coffee. Eating fruits and drinking water help keep you energized while still allowing you to drift off into sleep when needed.

Say Hello to my Little Friend: Lavender

A slight item of luxury, but a personal bedtime favorite of mine. Whether it be through a diffuser or one of the little pouches, lavender always helps relax me as I am preparing to fall asleep. Lucky for you Harrisonburg has their very own Lavender fields! 


One of my biggest problems last year was my anxiety keeping me up. My mind would be racing about all the things I was worried about. From school to friends, to “why the hell isn’t he texting back”, I could be up until sunrise worrying about things out of my control. This was when I decided to start journaling. Nothing fancy, but just a quick jot down of my thoughts before I went to bed. It was a way to get those worries out and put them away for the time being. It may not have the same effect for everyone, but I highly recommend giving it a try. 

Items of Comfort

Pack on the pillows, stuffed animals and fuzzy blankets as you begin to drift off. There is nothing better than being super comfortable as you fall asleep, ready to slip into dreamland. Figure out what makes you comfortable, because it is different for everyone. I prefer a weighted blanket, and lots of pillows to give me that cuddly feeling. Others may prefer a light blanket and an eye mask. Or tons of stuffed animals, nothing else. It is all about want makes you comfortable, and looking forward to going to bed. 


Like I mentioned before, achieving healthy sleep habits may not happen overnight. If it is a goal of yours, keep working towards it, your body will thank you later as it wakes up feeling more refreshed and ready to take on the day. I hope that some of these tips help you achieve more fulfilling sleep and break you out of the “no sleep, too much sleep” cycle.


And lastly, don’t forget to set an alarm!!!!! 

Graduated the Math and Science High School at Clover Hill in 2018 Attends James Madison University, majoring in Media Arts and Design with a concentration in Digital Video and Cinema
School of Media Arts and Design student with a concentration in Interactive Design. Campus Correspondent for the JMU chapter of Her Campus, Campus Coordinator for Rent the Runway on Campus, and Social Media Marketing Intern for Auntie Anne's.