Published on August 4, 2019

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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.

Over the past three years, Amanda Nguyen has been pretty busy. As the founder of Rise, a social movement accelerator that fights for sexual assault survivors’ rights, she’s written 27 laws that have helped 72 million people. She’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. And on top of it all, she’s in the midst of pursuing her dream to become an astronaut. With a day-to-day schedule that can vary hugely—one day she’s appearing before Congress; the next, she’s popping over to NASA headquarters—she knows the importance of winding down each night.

In her pursuit of justice (and aspirations to get to space), Nguyen isn’t slowing down anytime soon. But before bed each evening, she takes a few moments to reflect on what she’s grateful for, catch up on her favorite shows, and maybe even pull out her telescope. Below, she shares her nighttime routine in full.

Gratitude first: Every night, I text my girlfriends five things I’m grateful for, and they share five things they’re grateful for, too. It’s really helpful. It’s a meditative practice. Even if things aren’t great, you always have something to be grateful for. 

Tune in: I watch The Daily Show every single day. It’s my favorite. I also love Stephen Colbert. I have a deep respect for comedians and I love political comedy.

Get creative: I compose music on my piano—it’s my private way to unplug. I also love painting. But my number-one de-stressing activity is taking my telescope out to stargaze. I like to do it between the reflection pool and the Lincoln Memorial—there’s low enough light pollution to actually see the stars. If the sky is clear, that’s where I am. 

Nightstand necessities: I DIY-ed my nightstand—I took a mirror and I put it on a bar cart. On top of it, I have a little carousel, a plant, and some things that are sentimental to me: a tile from the space shuttle, a rosary, and my favorite book. I also have a meteorite—I collect them!

Skin saviors: For my cleanser, I use Neutrogena. Then I use witch hazel as a toner, and I moisturize with La Mer.

Perfect pj’s: My favorite pajamas are silk—they’re really comfortable.

Bedroom basics: I really like pillows, and I always have a lot of candles—I love Diptyque.

In bloom: I really encourage everyone to buy flowers for themselves! I also have realistic silk flowers that I take with me when I travel. They’re very comforting, and they’re also a conversation starter.  

Reading remedy: If I have time, I read. Right now I’m reading Nadia Murad’s memoir, The Last Girl. She won the Nobel Peace Prize last year. 

Be prepared: I love fashion, so I like to think about the meetings I’m having the next day and plan what to wear for them, especially since my day-to-day is extremely varied.

Lights-out—maybe. It depends on the day!

See more nighttime routines:
Chef Sophia Roe’s Nighttime Routine Starts at 6:30 p.m.
Glow Recipe’s Founders Start Their Evenings With a Good Face Wash
This 18-Year-Old Activist Winds Down With Golden Milk and a Gratitude Journal

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