A Book Before Bed: Better Sleep, Better You

April 7, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team

Everyone wants a quick fix for insomnia. This book will not provide one. That’s kinda the point.

In their book, Better Sleep, Better You, Casper Co-Founder, Neil Parikh and well-renowned Functional MD, Dr. Frank Lipman tackle sleep from every angle, promoting a holistic view of better sleep and, therefore, better well-being. That is to say, if you work toward sleeping better, you will in tandem improve other parts of your life. (And inversely, if you improve other processes of your life, you might just end up sleeping better too!)

The impetus for writing an entire book about getting better sleep is simple: sleep is fundamental to health and happiness. Rather than one-off sleep hacks or quick, easy fixes, getting better sleep requires deeper, more integrated approaches.

We were lucky enough to pick the brains of both Neil Parikh and Dr. Lipman to learn more about their approach to helping people find deeper zzzs in Better Sleep, Better You:

1. Combine ancient wisdom with modern solutions.

“Neil and I bring different generational perspectives to the book. I always go back to ancient traditions like Ayurveda, which believes that every organ in the body has a different rhythm, and that sleep is the ultimate rhythm for our body’s own recovery. That ancient philosophy acknowledges your body rhythms as it relates to nature, which is an old wisdom we’ve forgotten about. 

The book is about bringing old wisdom together with new gadgets and ways of measuring sleep. The combination of the two is the future of not only sleep, but medicine in general.” – Frank

“I’ve always been really interested in this idea of data tracking. However, when people are relying solely on tracking their own data, it can adversely lead to them having anxiety about their own information. 

Frank and I were looking to solve for how we could apply ancient principles about getting back into one’s own rhythm while also offering modern-day practices and solutions to track these things and see if they work. In fact, our Casper ‘Sleep Reset’ was one of our initial experiments to see how people would fare with this kind of approach.” – Neil 

2. There are so many non-sleep-related decisions directly affecting your sleep.

One of the key factors that affects sleep directly is light — how we’re exposed to and use light. When your body is exposed to artificial light at night, it thinks that it’s daytime due to too much cortisol, so you’re not secreting enough melatonin to help you fall into a deep, restful sleep. With the majority of us sitting behind a computer every day, we are just not getting enough natural light. 

The other obvious thing is stress, which is the most common issue. Stress, whether internal or external, is important with the consequence of not being able to turn off the mind.” – Frank

“When you have sleep issues, most doctors don’t look at food as the issue. Are they asking you about your alcohol, gluten, and sugar intake? Meanwhile, those could be real factors that throw off your digestive system and all of your other bodily rhythms.” – Neil

3. Life happens. Sleep can become challenging during major life transitions.

“One of the things we talk about in the book is [that] your life is going to change. Be it marriage, moving in with a significant other, having children, having grandchildren. Things are always going to shift in life that cause your rhythm to shift too. If there’s a time when you’re way off, you need to have strategies that can help you to bring it back. That’s what we’re hoping to provide.” – Neil

4. Quick “sleep” fixes have short-lived results.

“Getting better sleep is not about quick fixes or a finish line. It’s all interwoven together. If you sleep better, most of your other rhythms and body functions will improve. You still may have to fix some other stuff. It’s not the end goal but it will certainly help everything. The way I see sleep is that it is a symptom that tells you if something is out of balance in your body.

Sleep is telling you that your oil light is on, which means something is off. We should sleep normally like a baby. When we don’t, we’re likely under stress.” – Frank

5. BUT you have a lifetime ahead of you to try new strategies.

“Sleep is about the fun of experimentation. Try everything. Gamify it. It’s going to be a lifelong journey where you find what works for you. You’ll discover one little thing at a time. Every person has to come up with their own approach. There is no magic bullet.”

The whole point of Casper is to have fun with sleep because it can be a generally boring topic. When you’re growing up you’re told to go to sleep as punishment, and then told you’ll get sick if you don’t get enough sleep. We’re trying to unwind from what we were taught as kids. It’s a miraculous place to be where all of these incredible pathways are happening to make your tomorrow possible.” – Neil

Ready to zzz more? Order Better Sleep, Better You from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indie Bound, or on Apple Books.