Tossing & Turning At Night: Why & How to Stop

March 22, 2022 | Casper Editorial Team

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog article is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for medical advice.

We’ve all been there: the late, sweaty nights spent rotating from right side to left side while the pressure to fall back asleep roars against the tick of the alarm clock. Tossing and turning throughout the night is never a pleasant experience, and oftentimes, a bad mattress is to blame. From protruding bed springs to unsupportable mattress firmness, sleeping on a mattress that is unfit is the surest way to delay your red-eye flight to cloud nine.

We have a first-class tip for you, though—a quality mattress is the key to making a difference. 

There are a number of sleep apnea side effects associated with inadequate sleep environments, and a comfortable, supportive mattress may be the solution to all of your sleep issues. Whether restless sleep is keeping you awake, or scratchy sheets are the ones to blame, read on to discover what has you tossing and turning at night and how to effectively stop it. Your uninterrupted journey to dreamland awaits.

Sleeping hot is one of the biggest reasons why people toss and turn at night. Sleep cooler and fall asleep faster with the Casper Wave Snow mattress.

Why Do I Toss and Turn All Night? 

Knowing the root of an issue leads to a solution. So before we can offer tips and tricks for how to stop tossing and turning, let’s talk about the why.

Poor sleep, which often preludes tossing and turning, can be caused by both mental health and environmental factors. Learning which of those elements may be leading to restless sleep is the first step towards finally laying them (and yourself) to rest. 

Feelings of Anxiety

Sometimes, instead of sleeping, you may worry into the wee hours about everything from big work meetings to accidentally saying “You too!” to your barista’s “Enjoy your coffee.” By the time the alarm clock sounds, you’ve hardly caught a wink. You’re not alone—we’ve been there. 

In fact, anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States. Although there’s a large distinction between formal anxiety disorders and the occasional inklings of worry or fear, feeling emotions similar to anxiety—and suffering the negative effects from it—happens ubiquitously. 

Factors that may contribute to anxiety include:1

  • Stress – Stress stems from a variety of elements that can occur across a range of environments—from professional work experiences to personal life. Important work deadlines or even your child’s looming science fair project are all factors that could incite or aggravate feelings of anxiety. If an event is weighing on your mind, chances are it’s also preventing you from getting quality sleep.
  • Caffeine consumption – It may be your BFF first thing in the morning…but does caffeine turn into a frenemy by bedtime? Caffeine may be a large contributor to the frequent tossing that occurs at night. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that provokes the “fight or flight” response. It raises both blood pressure and heart rate, effectively raising anxiety by waking—and keeping—you up throughout the day and night.2
  • Change in environment – Change is scary, and oftentimes that fear trickles into the cracks of our nervous system. Whether you’re embarking on a cross-country move or starting a new job, any change to your standard rituals and routines can trigger the disquiet and distress associated with anxiety. 

Anxiety and sleep deprivation are cyclical—one often catalyzing the other—and it’s important to evaluate how minuscule factors, from stress to caffeine, may compound and contribute to unease and—eventually—unrest. 


The world is bursting with sources of stimulation—from social media platforms to online streaming services—and sometimes it’s difficult to lower a screen long enough to close your eyes. For this reason, overstimulation is a major cause of sleep issues. Whether it’s logging out of your email for the night, or picking up a book instead of the tv remote, shut all of the stimulation out so that you can get some quality sleep in.

Stimulation can take many forms. Here are a few elements to keep an eye out for on your journey towards getting some shut-eye:

  • Screens – Melatonin, the natural hormone produced to help regulate sleep, is prompted by darkness and prevented by light. Therefore, screens, and the lights they emit, can negatively disrupt the melatonin surge needed to fall—and stay—asleep. 3The stimuli promoted—and melatonin prevented—from phone, computer, and television screens are key ingredients to the recipe for bad sleep habits.
  • Noise – While it’s true that many cities never sleep, that doesn’t mean their noisiness needs to affect you. Nighttime noises impact both heart rate and blood pressure, and while the sound of rumbling buses, wayward car horns, or even late-night cartoons may not seem severe, they have a huge disrupting impact on sleep cycles.

Uncomfortable Environments

There’s no place like home, and that is why it’s so important to create a serene environment in both your living and sleeping spaces. Restlessness stems from many factors, including discomfort while sleeping. Giving thoughtful attention to the details in your home that may disrupt your sleep cycle can make a difference on the journey to good sleep habits.

The next time you find yourself questioning, “Why do I toss and turn all night,” make a note of how these elements may be affecting you:

  • Your body temperature – Believe it or not, whether you run hot or cold during the night has a profound impact on your quality of sleep. If you fall onto one of the two extremes, the energy it takes your body to cool down or heat up—compounded with additional elements such as heavy comforters or whirring fans—are impetus for tossing and turning. Consider the best temperature for sleep if you’re having restless nights.
  • Your bedroom air – Plants aren’t the only ones that need humidity. Low humidity can cause dryness of the skin, throat, and sinuses while excess humidity adversely promotes allergen growth and congestion. Any air quality that falls outside of the goldilocks medium can interrupt your sleep cycle and peace of mind.
  • Back and neck support – The health of the body often depends on the health of the mind, and the neck and spine are two components that are essential to the well-being of both organs. Improper neck and spine alignment may be a leading cause of your insomnia, thus choosing the right pillow and mattress is a vital process to prevent your restless woes. Not sure how to choose a mattress for proper support? 

How to Stop Tossing and Turning At Night

There are a number of factors that contribute to sleep quality, and those details are sometimes minuscule enough to slip under the radar. From increased consumption of caffeine to the dry, heated air that blows through radiators, the sleep cycle is a delicate balancing act that is easily knocked off tilt. For every problem, though, there is always a solution, and with a little care and attention, you too can (uninterruptedly) get good sleep that you deserve.

Find Your Place of Peace

As anxiety and anxiety-related emotions are leading causes of sleep deprivation, finding your peace in the midst of stressful events or environments is crucial to a better cycle of sleep. Identify factors in your life that may be encouraging your feelings of stress or anxiety, and effectively unsubscribe from those practices. 

For when the experiences that influence you are outside your grasp of control, try:

  • Mindfulness – Mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment—and that can take any form you wish it to. Whether it’s journaling details about your feelings throughout the day or going for a phone-less evening walk, find a way to center yourself and reclaim power over the elements that may be causing you stress.
  • Adjust your diet – It’s easy to eat without thinking—especially when it comes to your favorite snacks—but consuming food and drinks high in sugar and caffeine is sure to give you the nighttime jitters. Incorporate mindfulness into your diet by moderating your amount of sugar, caffeine, and/or alcohol consumption. Trade them in for sleep-promoting teas like chamomile—especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.

Sleep Tip: there are many foods, such as kiwi and oats, that promote stronger sleep cycles in addition to being rich sources of antioxidants and melatonin. If you find that you toss and turn throughout the night, research the foods that help you sleep.4

Say Goodbye to Stimulants

You need rest, so why not give your devices a break as well? Limit your usage of electronics at least two hours before bed and drift towards another source of entertainment. Sudoku? Knitting? That 1,000 piece puzzle you started but never finished? The options for electronic free entertainment are unlimited. 

Once you shut the screens off, you just may find a new hobby to invest in, and your REM cycle will certainly pay you back.

Calibrate Your Comfort

It’s true that the environment is a major force behind restless nights, and sometimes even a simple fix can make all of the difference. If you sleep hot, consider upgrading to a set of cooling sheets to maximize comfort and breathability while you sleep. Likewise, if your sleepless nights are caused by a resistance to the cold, a quality down duvet may be the missing link between you and restful slumber.

Invest in a Better Mattress

A peaceful environment is the proverbial cherry on top of a satisfying, sleep-inducing Sunday, but without solving the root of the issue—effective neck and spinal support—your dreams of blissful sleeping may as well melt away. Quality bedding truly matters for proper alignment, so research your options for bedding materials—from pillows to supportive mattresses—and see how sweet these upgrades can really make your dreams.

At Casper, we know that finding the right fit for a mattress is easier said than done. That’s why we’ve made the process easier for you. Take our mattress quiz to find which mattress will work best for you.

Your Guide to a Restful, Rejuvenating Sleep

Tossing and turning throughout the night is rooted in several common reasons, but we at Casper know that you should never let something—no matter how common—stand in the way between you and restful sleep.

Whether you’re trading in coffee for chamomile tea or initiating nightly meditation routines, Casper has the solutions to end those stressful, restless nights. Choose the mattress right for you, then the accessories to match, and enter a world where the only tossing and turning you’ll do will be to wake up in the morning and relaxedly slide back your sheets.


  1. National Institute of Health. Anxiety Disorders.
  2. Medical News Today. What to Know About Caffeine and Anxiety.
  3. Sutter Health. Screens and Your Sleep: The Impact of Nighttime Use.
  4. Healthline. The 9 Best Food and Drinks to Have Before Bed. 
  5. Environmental Health Perspectives. Indirect Health Effects of Relative Humidity in Indoor Environments.