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Perhaps you fall asleep fast but are struggling to stay asleep throughout the night. Maybe you struggle with both. Either way, it’s hard to show up as your best self without a restful night’s sleep. Mood swings, cloudy judgment, difficulty concentrating, and general exhaustion — the inability to sleep through the night can ruin the next day.
Don’t lose sleep over it.
So you’re wondering how to sleep through the night without waking up. The truth is that many factors could affect the quality of your sleep. We’ve put together a list of sleep tips to help you overcome sleepless nights and determine how your behavior may be the cause.
If your trouble with staying asleep throughout the night has continued for four weeks or more, you may have a medical condition contributing to your struggle. One of the following conditions could be the culprit of your poor sleep quality. Note — talk with your doctor if you think you may be experiencing any of the following conditions.
Have you ever heard someone snoring uncontrollably from the other room? It may even wake them up throughout the night because it’s so loud! Snoring can sometimes be caused by sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea occurs when there is a disconnect between your brain and your breathing muscles. In other words, you briefly stop breathing without trying. As a result, shortness of breath or trouble falling or staying asleep could cause you to wake up.
Nocturia is a medical ailment that causes you to wake up in the middle of the night to urinate. High fluid consumption, sleep issues, and bladder blockage can all contribute to how often you get up during the night. Some things, such as limiting fluid intake and using medication drugs that ease the symptoms of an overactive bladder, are included in nocturia treatment.
Willis-Ekbom disease, often known as restless legs syndrome, results in a strong, uncontrollable need to move your legs, often at night. You might need to get out of bed to ease the discomfort, which can cause sleep issues.
If you experience anxiety, you may struggle to stay asleep at night. You might be preoccupied thinking about tomorrow’s to-list or your thoughts could be racing with general anxiety or stress. This causes your adrenaline levels to rise, making it very challenging to fall asleep. Talk with your doctor if this continues to be the case.
Many medications can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, including
If you’re taking any of these medications, check the labels to see if difficulty staying asleep is a side effect. If you find sleeping difficulties is a side effect, consult with your doctor about the next steps.
Have a big meeting or exam in the morning? Maybe you just want to awake refreshed and avoid any disturbance to your sleep. Try using a sleep supplement from time to time. Ingredients to look for include melatonin, ginkgo, glycine, valerian root, and 5-HTP. Avoid relying on this method too often, though — you don’t want to develop a dependence.
TIP: Start with a low dose (so you don’t sleep through the meeting you’re resting up for).
Many people find success staying asleep with a comforting cup of chamomile tea before bed. Chamomile’s chemical composition makes it exceptionally effective at lulling you to sleep. The chemical molecule apigenin, which is present in the plant extract, bonds to the brain’s GABA receptors to cause drowsiness.
TIP: Try squeezing a lemon in your chamomile tea for immune support and flavor.
Waking up to sweat-soaked pajamas? You’re not alone. One of the most significant factors influencing how people sleep is their room temperature. Sleeping in a warm room is linked to constantly waking up at night. Between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal temperature for you to get a good night’s rest.
TIP: Lower the room temperature to between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’ve had a particularly stressful or emotionally draining day, your stress levels may be a factor in your difficulty falling asleep. This is because stress depletes the body of magnesium, which is essential for maintaining healthy nerve function. Magnesium Sulfate (also known as Epsom salt) is a natural therapy that can assist with stress.
Implement self-care at the end of your day. Run a bath with Epsom salt and candles to elevate the experience and help you relax.
TIP: Choose Epsom salt infused with melatonin to increase drowsiness.
So your quiet neighbors moved out of the apartment you share a wall with, and your new neighbors that would make Seth Rogen jump ship took their place.
White noise machines can help you sleep better by blocking out noises that prevent you from falling asleep. If you live in a particularly noisy environment, like the city or in an apartment building, a sound machine can help mask those pesky sounds.
TIP: Choose a white noise machine for a consistent and calming effect.
It’s always nice to be read to by a parent, grandparent, sibling, or friend. You can recreate that nostalgia by falling asleep listening to an audiobook. Try listening to fantasy, a biography, or a hobby-related audiobook. Avoid horror or crime genres — you don’t want to wake up from a nightmare!
TIP: Set a timer for your audiobook to fade out after a while.
Sleep masks are not just for business-class airplane rides and car naps. They’re great for regular bedtime, too — they block out light while simultaneously encouraging you to keep your eyes closed.
Humans naturally slept throughout the night and were up during the day for thousands of years before artificial lights enabled permitted us to work or socialize into the evening. Our brains are genetically hardwired to associate the dark with sleep, and when it detects a lack of light, we produce more melatonin. Use a sleep mask to recreate that evolutionary drive.
TIP: A silk sleep mask works best, as it blocks out light whilst being gentle on the eyes.
If a sound machine doesn’t do it for you, perhaps earplugs will be able to keep you asleep throughout the night. Many people find that the only way to drown out sounds while they sleep — such as a snoring partner, neighbors that throw parties, or traffic noise from a nearby highway — is with earplugs.
Don’t feel afraid to pop in earplugs to sleep soundly through the night. You’re not following in the footsteps of your grandparents — just investing in a better experience for yourself.
TIP: If you’re using reusable earplugs, make sure you clean them every morning so they work properly at night.
Lavender is associated with serenity, and there’s no question as to why. While lavender has a pleasant scent, it also has some quite potent (and well-researched) sleep-aid properties. Lavender helps you sleep longer and better by soothing the central nervous system. Place fresh lavender in a vase on your nightstand to breathe in its scent through the night. Alternatively, you can use lavender essential oils, oil warmers, or pillow sprays to replicate the effects.
TIP: Lavender is relatively easy to grow — add it to your garden so you always have it on hand.
It’s well documented that exercise has a favorable effect on various aspects of your life, including your mental health and sleep hygiene.
Exercise increases slow-wave sleep, a type of deep sleep that has the best restorative effects on your body. Slow-wave sleep is beneficial for feeling refreshed and alert the following day. Although exercise is good for your sleep, steer clear of doing so at least an hour before bed.
TIP: Incorporate exercise for at least 30 minutes daily for a deeper sleep through the night.
Although most individuals consume caffeine in the morning to help them wake up, doing so in the afternoon can have unfavorable effects. As caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, it typically gives you a sudden surge of energy. That’s why it’s a good idea to cut off your caffeine intake six hours before you plan to head to bed.
TIP: Reach for water instead of coffee during that afternoon slump.
It’s probably not the infamous “witching hour” that keeps you waking up at 2 a.m. Afternoon naps, on the other hand, could be the culprit for what causes you to wake up at night. While many people are fans of a power nap, avoid taking one too late in the day.
TIP: Take your power naps between eight and nine hours after waking up for the day.
Dehydration is not good for sleeping through the night without waking up, but neither is overdoing it. Drinking a lot of liquid before bedtime could cause you to wake up throughout the night to use the bathroom.
It’s recommended to stop drinking anything (alcohol included) three hours before bed. Try hydrating more throughout your day so the urge doesn’t arise when you’re close to winding down.
TIP: Make it a habit to stop drinking liquid three hours before bedtime.
Vitamin D soothes the soul and strengthens the immune system. Exposure to natural sunlight during the day also keeps your biological clock healthy. This increases both the quality and length of your sleep as well as daily energy. Try getting a couple of hours of direct sun every day. Do this by taking the dog for a walk, going on a casual bike ride through your neighborhood, or starting a garden.
TIP: Aim to spend two hours outside every day.
So you haven’t changed your sheets in a few… weeks. What’s the big deal? Actually, dirty sheets can impact your ability to sleep through the night by triggering allergies or asthma.
The symptoms of allergies and asthma can get significantly worse if there are dust mites in your house, particularly in your bedding. Continuous contact with these pollutants may even result in allergic rhinitis, which can cause sneezing, nasal congestion, or severe asthma attacks — keeping you awake at night.
TIP: Wash or change your sheets weekly to prevent allergens from interrupting your sleep.
While many people associate eating right before bed with weight gain, it affects sleep as well. Eating right before bedtime might give you heartburn, making it harder to sleep through the night without waking up.
TIP: Eat meals three hours before bedtime.
The word breakfast means “break the fast.” Because your biological clock is synced with your circadian rhythm, eating breakfast gives your body that reset, signaling that it’s a new day. Setting the tone for your day with a healthy breakfast is essential for a restful night’s sleep later on.
TIP: If you don’t like to eat a big meal first thing in the morning, try blending a smoothie instead.
Living in a city means quick access to live music, restaurants, yoga on Tuesdays, and being a little too close to that neighbor who barely leaves their apartment. (And when they do, they’re in their underwear.) But it can also mean light pollution that leaks in through the window, causing you to wake up during the night.
If you’re sensitive to light, try installing blackout curtains. You’ll likely experience less light leakage.
TIP: Blackout curtains aren’t necessarily black — look for a color that suits your decor.
Weighted blankets aren’t just the next retail therapy fad — they’re legit. These blankets are intended to help you unwind and envelop your body in a comforting, peaceful feeling.
Deep pressure stimulation provided by weighted blankets increases levels of melatonin. Melatonin encourages sleep and stimulates the production of serotonin, which elevates mood. This could improve sleep’s eﬀectiveness.
TIP: Change up the look of your weighted blanket with a duvet cover.
Only use your bedroom for sleeping and intimacy. Avoid keeping work documents, video games, or a Peloton in your bedroom, as this can train your brain to view the space as one for work instead of rest.
By only using your bedroom for its intended purpose, your brain will begin to associate your room with sleep.
TIP: Move your WFH setup if you’re still posted up in your bedroom.
Have you ever laid awake at night reflecting on something embarrassing you did or said? Or thought about your to-do list for tomorrow, what you’ll wear to that event, or how Tommy tripped you during gym class in the third grade?
Ruminating about the day’s events or days ahead is a valid reason for waking up through the night. Try incorporating journaling into your evening routine to release anything on your mind that keeps you from staying asleep. Journaling is a cathartic response to the happenings in your life.
TIP: Keep your journal and pen on your nightstand for easy access.
Do you love sleeping in a hotel? You get to crawl into an already made bed with fluffy pillows and a mattress that just gets you. The mattress in your home impacts your quality of sleep tenfold.
If you’re sleeping on buying a new mattress because you think the one you sleep on is enough — you may need to think again. Studies have shown that a new mattress can help you sleep better and reduce body aches.
TIP: If you sleep hot, be sure to invest in a mattress with cooling technology.
It isn’t uncommon to scroll through the void at night when you’re alone with your thoughts. But this habit negatively affects sleep. Melatonin, which regulates your sleep-wake cycle, is suppressed by the blue light emitted by cell phone screens. This makes falling and staying asleep a challenge.
It’s recommended to stop using your phone 30 minutes before bed. You’ll have to schedule your daily dose of cat videos before winding down for the evening.
TIP: Try making it a habit to stop using your phone 30 minutes before bed.
While the phrase “retail therapy” was made popular in the ‘80s, it hasn’t wavered. In the case of getting better sleep, it does pay off to invest in quality bedding. Consider purchasing bedding appropriate for the season to help you sleep through the night.
Your body may be more susceptible to seasonal changes. While a thick comforter makes sense for the winter, it could raise your body temperature in the summer, making it difficult to stay asleep.
TIP: Flannel Sheets are perfect for keeping warm when the temperature begins to drop.
A key component of achieving better sleep is having a peaceful evening routine. For example, your routine could include a shower, slipping into your PJs, brushing your teeth, and using your nightly face creams.
If it helps keep you in the groove, try making a checklist to look over each night. Establishing your evening routine will set your body into “time to sleep” mode — a Pavlovian response.
TIP: Create a bedtime checklist to help you establish a sleep routine.
Struggling to sleep through the night without waking up is not fun. But you don’t have to suffer. Instead, try our sleep tips to worry less, establish better habits, and, in the end, sleep well.
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