I’m not sure what happened, but a few years back, I became a pretty terrible sleeper. On an average weeknight, I’d fall asleep just fine around midnight, but then for no good reason I would wake up at like 4 a.m. and be unable to fall back asleep.
Instead, I’d just kind of loiter in bed, reading, listening to podcasts or playing FIFA 15 on my phone, and by the time I closed my eyes again, a solid hour or more had gone by, and I’d feel not entirely awesome when the alarm went off at 8 o’clock. Seriously, at least half the time I was pretty much a zombie.
So recently I was pretty psyched to try out the famous Casper mattress ($500 to $950, depending on size), which I’d been hearing about in ESPN Radio ads (and seeing on subway signs) for months. (Side note: Is there anything good on ESPN Radio anymore? Now that SVP and Cowherd are gone, it’s kind of a tough listen. Please don’t say Mike & Mike.)
The mattress is cool and comfortable, with just enough sponginess to slump onto without sinking into, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, the basic goal of Casper is to take the fuss out of mattress shopping and purchasing. They make ultra-comfortable mattresses and ship them right to your door in a big blue-and-white box. You’ve got a hundred days to try one out, with the option to send it back if you’re not satisfied.
My own Casper mattress showed up just as advertised. All I had to do was sign for it, take it into my bedroom and open it up. Casper gives very detailed instructions about the unfurling of their product, which is actually rolled up inside the box. The best move is to unbox it right next to the bed so that when it comes to life, you can just kinda shift it into place on the box springs, throw your sheets and comforter on top and be all set. I did so and was good to go.
Now, how is the actual experience of sleeping on a Casper? I have been using mine for a solid three months now, so it’s safe to say I’ve tested it pretty thoroughly. And so far the sleeping has been, in a couple words, pretty great. The mattress is cool and comfortable, with just enough sponginess to slump onto without sinking into, if you know what I mean.
I’d had my previous mattress for probably a decade, so it was high time to get something more modern and supportive, and the Casper has definitely fit the bill. Combined with my jersey-knit sheets (what can I say, they’re comfy), the overall feeling is one of homey relaxation. Clearly the good people of Casper know what they are doing.
Now, I’d love to tell you that I no longer wake up in the middle of the night for no good reason, but the reality is, it still happens. However, the frequency has dropped from, you know, every night, to just a few nights a week, so that’s a huge improvement.
The Casper mattress and box: Girl not included.
I attribute that change to both Casper’s comfort and following some of the steps in an article I read, “12 Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep.” Two of the best tips: Keep your room temp between 65 and 70 degrees, which results in deeper sleep, and don’t drink caffeine after 2 p.m., as it possesses sleep-disrupting properties.
The other thing that has actually helped me sleep with more peace of mind? Something I read on Casper’s excellent sleep blog in a story called, The 10 Biggest Sleep Myths Keeping You Awake At Night. The very last myth the story busts: You need 8 straight hours of sleep.
According to the piece: “In recent years, segmented sleep has been the subject of a growing body of research. Historians have long argued that humans have predominantly taken their sleep in two distinct chunks at night, separated by a period of wakefulness. Many scholars consider a segmented, or bi-modal sleep to be the natural pattern of human sleep, backed up by historical evidence spanning hundreds of years. Medieval literature repeatedly mentions ‘first’ and ‘second’ sleep, and it is thought that even Homer, in Ancient Greek times made a reference to first sleep.”
In other words, I’m not a total freak. I’m just a bi-modal sleeper. So nowadays when I wake up in the middle of the night, I don’t fight it. I embrace it, get out of bed, do a few things around my place. Sometimes, if it’s close enough to the actual morning, I’ll even start to do morning routine stuff, like shave and eat.
Then, after a half-hour or so, I settle back onto my Casper, close my eyes and try to soak up a few more hours of simple shut-eye before the sun rises once again. As far as I can tell, it’s a lot better than walking around like a zombie.