We spend a third of our lives asleep—that means our bedroom is the most lived-in space in our homes. It’s the room where we start and end our days, and that’s why the rituals that happen there are extra-important. In The Wind Down, we’ll be exploring the nighttime routines of people we admire and taking their advice to make the moments just before bed feel our best.
Alisha Ramos values self-care so much that she made it her full-time job—really. She’s the founder of Girls’ Night In, a newsletter and online community all about taking the time you need to feel your best. And Ramos practices what she preaches, enjoying a good book, cultivating a satisfying skin-care routine, and indulging in an extra-nice robe when she really wants to treat herself.
“Sleep is super-important to me, but I’m also very busy with work,” she says. “So with that said, my nighttime philosophy revolves around disconnecting as much as possible from work, my phone, and screens in general to get my mind and brain into a more relaxed, less stimulated state.”
That’s right: Although she’s brought together 150,000 fellow homebodies online, Ramos’s bedtime plans are virtually phone-free. She shares her full routine below.
But first, dinner: At around 6 p.m., I get home from work, make and eat dinner, and take our dog, Bowie, out for a short evening walk.
Chill out: Between 7 and 9, I plant myself on the couch to watch TV with my fiancé or read a book. If my fiancé is doing his own thing, I watch an episode of Riverdale. I don’t understand the hype, but I joke that it’s my way of trying to understand Gen Z a little better. Right now, I’m reading Very Nice by Marcy Demansky and I can’t put it down. It’s witty, juicy, and zippy.
Wash it off: I try to work out twice a week, so if I’m coming home from SoulCycle, I take a quick, hot shower and put on a comfy robe. I’ve found that this ritual before bed relaxes me so much. I just got this body scrub from Indie Lee that I’m excited to try out. My favorite robe right now is the gray waffle style from Parachute.
Light it up: I’m obsessed with candles, so on any given night I’m burning at least two at once in the living room. Right now I’m using this one from P.F. Candle Co. I’m also a big fan of Candlefish. I usually save all my candle jars, too—I put the candle into the freezer and let the wax freeze, then take it out, remove the stickers, and use the glass container for things like makeup brushes or cotton swabs. It feels good to repurpose!
Skin saviors: I start getting ready for bed around 9:30 p.m. I’m a big fan of the double cleanse. Right now, I love the Then I Met You duo—l use the cleansing balm first to wipe away any oil, dirt, makeup, and grime, and then go in with the tea gel cleanser to get squeaky-clean. If my skin feels congested, I apply Paula’s Choice BHA 2% Lotion on a cotton pad and pat it onto the areas that need it—usually it’s my jawline and nose. Then I use a pea-size amount of Differin, which is a retinol gel, all over my face. I do this about two to three times per week to help with cell turnover. After that, it’s all about moisturizing. I’ve tried a bunch of fancy and expensive kinds, but funny enough, the Cetaphil Light Moisturizer does the trick for me.
A little extra: If my skin feels especially oily and active, I use a simple clay mask on my T-zone. I really like the Frank & Whit hibiscus clay mask. You add a few drops of water to it, mix it up, and paste it onto your skin.
Diffuse the situation: Around 10:30, I get into bed. I usually drop either lavender or sweet orange blossom essential oils into my diffuser and get that going. I love the gentle mist and the mood lighting it has. It looks really cheesy, but I find it very soothing and psychedelic. If I’m feeling anxious, I also have a little bottle of Lord Jones CBD tincture that I take.
Pajama party: I love my Lou & Grey pj’s set and navy Eberjey Gisele robe in the warmer months—it’s worth the investment. If I’m not feeling fancy and truly just want to lounge, I put on some pajama shorts I got a few years ago from Aerie and this long-sleeve white T-shirt that I tie-dyed at a friend’s bachelorette party five years ago—I like to pretend that it’s on-trend now. That’s my comfort outfit.
Pillow fight: I’m obsessed with having pillows on my bed, but my weird quirk is that I never use them when I sleep—I’m one of the weird stomach or side sleepers, and I like having my face or head flat on the bed. It might be a habit I picked up from growing up in Korea. We’d sometimes sleep on the floor in the summer on refreshing jade mats.
Cool down: My fiancé and I recently switched our sheets from cotton to sateen and it’s made a world of a difference. They feel so much cooler.
Book club: Then the most important part of my prebed routine: I grab my sleeping mask, put my phone out of reach (either on the very far corner of my nightstand or across the room), grab my little book light, and read at least five to 10 pages of a book. By around page eight or nine, I get super-sleepy and I’ve been known to fall asleep with my book in hand—much to the chagrin of my fiancé!
See more nighttime routines:
This Nobel Prize Nominee’s Nighttime Routine Is All About Gratitude
Taryn Toomey’s Nighttime Routine Is Totally Tech-Free
Glow Recipe’s Founders Start Their Evenings With a Good Face Wash