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.
Anna Z. Gray’s life is full of surprises—that’s part of the job when you’re the cofounder and creative director of the vintage buying-and-selling app Object Limited. However, while her wardrobe might be full of one-of-a-kind hidden gems, when it comes to her nighttime routine, Gray keeps things simple.
After approving vendors and putting together the occasional pop-up, she starts her evening with a thorough face wash—using two different cleansers—and a good book. Maybe she’ll watch Fleabag. Maybe she’ll put on a face mask. Either way, there’s no need to complicate things. What’s more relaxing than that? Here, her full wind-down strategy:
Just a cup: I prefer eating dinner on the later side, around 9 to 9:30 p.m., so I’m rarely hungry before bed. Sometimes I have peppermint tea.
Mane event: My schedule varies a lot. On a good night, I start getting ready around 10 p.m., but on days that I’m washing my hair, I try to shower in the early evening so it has time to dry before I go to bed. Falling asleep on wet hair makes my morning routine longer because I have to tame the wild mess! When I had really long hair, it just did whatever it wanted, so sleeping on it damp was fine—I kind of miss those days.
Skin saviors: I wash first with Eve Lom Cleanser, then Dr. Loretta Micro-Exfoliating Cleanser. Afterward, I apply Thayers Rose Toner and either Lesse Ritual Serum or Eve Lom Radiance Facial Oil—I smell really good. If I do a face mask, I love Eve Lom Radiance Transforming Mask, Skin Grammar sheet mask, and Aztec Secret clay mask—it makes my face pulsate.
Amazon Prime and chill: Sometimes I watch TV with my roommates—Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge is my hero.
Best bed: I just moved into a new apartment and had to buy all new bedding. I have Buffy’s duvet and sheets. They’re silky, soft, and cooling. Then I have two sleeping pillows and a bunch of smaller pillows that I use as reading props, because I don’t have a headboard. All white on white!
Aromatherapy: Palo santo is my room scent, but I also like Maison Michel candles.
Extra z’s: If I know I will have trouble sleeping, I’ll take two melatonin tablets.
Bedside hero: I keep the Glossier Balm Dot Com handy so I can rub it under my eyes or around my cuticles—I’m a terrible nail biter when I’m stressed.
Next-day prep: I want to be the person who picks out my outfits the night before, but I’m not. Mostly I just check what my first meeting is and make sure I give myself enough time in the morning to be properly awake for it.
Unplug: I keep my phone in my room, but not too close to my bed! I try not to look at it for at least 20 minutes before I go to sleep.
Required reading: I read before bed to give myself a break from the screen. Novels, mostly. Right now, Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride and Nabokov’s Pnin are on my nightstand (technically, it’s a windowsill).
Lights-out before midnight—hopefully.
See more nighttime routines:
Spicy Homemade Tea Helps Diaspora Co.’s Founder Chill Out at Night
Maude Founder Éva Goicochea Has a Pajama Problem
Golde Founder Trinity Mouzon Wofford Ends Her Workday at 5 p.m.—For Good Reason