How to Sleep Better: Your Guide for Good ZZZ

July 25, 2022 | Casper Editorial Team

Some nights, no matter how comfortable your bed is, how busy your day was, or how much you know you need to be rested for tomorrow, a good night’s sleep still eludes you. 

Maybe you’re staring at the ceiling, unable to turn your mind off. Maybe you’re tossing and turning all night or sweating while sleeping , never sinking into that deep REM sleep we all need. Or maybe you think you’re getting a good night of healthy sleep, but you wake up feeling so lethargic it’s like you never went to bed at all. 

We’ve all been there—and fortunately, we can help. That’s why we’ve put together this guide of six tips for better sleep. 

#1 Stick to a Sleep Schedule

One solution for how to get better sleep is to maintain a consistent sleep schedule throughout the week. If you’re the kind of person who likes to stretch your sleep budget thin during the week, then catch up on the weekends, it’s probably bad news for your overall sleep quality.

However, your sleep quality can be greatly improved by keeping a consistent schedule. 

Yes, this might mean going to bed a little earlier on weeknights and waking up a little earlier on weekends, but getting your body’s internal clock properly aligned in this way can have major long term benefits. 

In fact, studies have shown that erratic sleep schedules can lead to a higher risk of:1

  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Other disorders

How To Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

Whether you’re starting a new job, readjusting after traveling to a different time zone, or just trying to break an unhealthy pattern, it can be a challenge to adjust your sleep schedule. 

Fortunately, we have some tips for that, too:

  • Take it slow. Unlike turning back the clocks (a common cause of disrupted sleep), you don’t have to adjust your sleep schedule all at once. Tweak your bedtime and wake-up time by 15 minutes every day until they’re where you want them. 
  • Avoid naps. Look, everyone loves a good nap. But if you’re having trouble sleeping, dozing off during the day will only exacerbate the problem. Skip the siestas until your sleep schedule is squared away. 
  • Become a creature of darkness. We’re going to talk more about creating a relaxing bedtime environment below, but in short, your body doesn’t know it’s time to sleep if you keep shining light in your eyes. 
  • Then, open those curtains. When it comes to waking up, natural sunlight is what tells our body it’s time to get going. Whenever possible, get some sun on that skin as quickly as possible after your alarm goes off. 

#2 Shut Off Your Screens

Are you in bed right now searching for tips on how to get a good night’s  sleep? First of all, you’re busted! Second, you’re going to need to set aside your phone if you really want to sleep better. 

Our sleep-wake cycle (also known as our circadian rhythm) is regulated by the production of the hormone melatonin. Studies have shown that the blue light emitted by cell phones restricts the production of melatonin.2 This means that staring at your phone in bed can literally convince your brain that it isn’t nighttime at all. 

(And we’re not even going to get into the agitation or anxiety that can come from scrolling work emails or social media right before trying to sleep.)

To improve your sleep quality, try to stop using screens at least 30 minutes before bed. You might also try these sleep expert activities to help your brain relax:

  • Read a book (the paper kind)
  • Write in a journal or make a to-do list
  • Take a shower or bath
  • Meditate or listen to relaxing music

#3 Get Uninterrupted REM Sleep 

REM sleep is the deepest part of our sleepy time cycle. This deeps sleep begins around 90 minutes after we’ve fallen asleep. Getting a healthy amount of uninterrupted REM sleep has been shown to be critically important for a number of reasons:3 

  • REM sleep improves cognitive function and memory
  • A lack of REM sleep can diminish your immune system
  • Missing out on REM sleep may cause you to be less alert the next day
  • Low levels of REM sleep can make pain hurt more

However, if you’re a light sleeper, getting uninterrupted REM sleep can be easier said than done. To ensure nothing disturbs your slumber, you might try:

  • Putting your cell phone on silent to avoid unnecessary notifications
  • Wearing an eye mask and/or ear plugs to block out light and sound
  • Upgrading to blackout curtains and/or trying out a white noise machine
  • Forcing your snoring partner to sleep on the couch (as a last resort, of course)

#4 Cut Out Midnight Snacks

One activity that isn’t going to help you get better sleep is eating. Admittedly, we’ve all crept into the kitchen late at night to get something to munch on. But, if you’re having difficulty falling asleep, you may need to act like a gremlin, and stop eating after midnight (or well before). 

Eating late and then lying down to go to sleep can cause heartburn or acid reflux, leaving you tossing and turning uncomfortably. Furthermore, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, your sugar high or caffeine intake might contribute to your insomnia. 

Rather than having a late night snack, consider sipping on a cup of soothing, decaffeinated tea, such as chamomile or lavender tea. And if you do have to have a bedtime snack, consider these healthy late night snacks  that will curve your cravings and mitigate your sleep disruption. 

#5 Exercise, But Not Too Late

Studies have shown that staying active during the day and regularly exercising can lead to better sleep at night. But, there’s a cut-off point. 

If you’re an evening exerciser, you’ll want to make sure that your workout is wrapped up at least an hour before you plan to sleep. Why? 

Because exercising raises your heart rate and body temperature, it can be harder to get to quality sleep afterwards. You need a proper cool-down before getting into bed. 

#6 Ask Yourself, Is It You Or Your Bed?

You’re sticking to a disciplined sleep schedule, cutting down on screen time, and are active everyday. And yet, when night comes, you’re still tossing and turning. Maybe the problem isn’t you at all. 

Some signs you might need a new mattress include: 

  • Difficulty finding a comfortable position because of poking springs or sagging support 
  • Feeling jostled or disturbed every time your partner moves around
  • Sneezing or itchy eyes caused by a build-up of allergens 

Your pillows and sheets can also have a significant impact on your sleep quality. 

  • Feeling hot during the night? Consider switching to a more breathable sheet or investing in a cooling mattress, like the Wave Hybrid Snow Mattress which features advanced cooling technology that can prevent overheating for over 12 hours.
  • Waking up with a stiff neck? You might need to find a pillow that better suits your sleeping position, like a Low Loft Pillow or a Body Pillow.

How Much Sleep Should You Be Getting?

Now that you know our tips on how to sleep better, how much sleep do you really need? Experts break down the recommended hours of sleep like this:4

  • Teens (Ages 14 to 17) – 8 to 10 hours
  • Young Adults and Adults (Ages 18 to 64) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Older Adults (65+) – 7 to 8 hours 

(We skipped over children and younger age groups because they probably aren’t reading this. And, honestly, we’re a little jealous that experts recommend they sleep for ten hours per day.)

While these are the recommended ranges for each age group, there are also what’s known as “acceptable” amounts of sleep that expand the spread for each cohort. For instance, until age 25, it’s normal to need up to 11 hours of sleep. Whereas by the time you’ve hit 65, you may feel fully rested on only five hours of sleep per night. 

Essentially, everyone’s a little different. While consulting a chart can be helpful, your own sleep needs are going to be unique to you. 

How Do I Know If I’m Getting Enough Sleep?

The hours of sleep you need depend a lot on how active you are and your overall health. To assess if you’re getting the optimal amount of sleep, consider the following questions:

  • Do you feel grumpy and unproductive throughout your day?
  • Do you need to regularly consume coffee or other forms of caffeine to keep going? 

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you’re probably skipping out on restful sleep. 

A good way to test this—especially for those of you with a strict wake-up time—is to see how long you sleep on a day off when there’s no alarm to rouse you. That’s not just your body recovering from a tough week; it’s your body telling you how much deep sleep you naturally require. 

You might also consider keeping a sleep journal or using a fitness tracker to log how many hours of restful sleep you’re getting. If you’re still struggling to suss out your snoozing statistics, you can consider participating in a sleep study. 

Get Quality Rest on a Casper

At Casper, we want everyone to get the rest they need and deserve. That’s why we’ve developed our innovative mattresses, which maximize comfort and support. Plus, our bedding is designed to optimize breathability without sacrificing coziness. 

Take our Mattress Quiz today to find your perfect mattress, have it delivered for free (and with the security of a 100-night risk-free trial), and let Casper help you get a better night’s sleep. 


  1. Everyday Health. How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule.
  2. British Journal of Ophthalmology. Blocking the Blue.
  3. The National Sleep Foundation. What Is REM Sleep?
  4. Sleep Foundation. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?