What I’ve Learned From Interviewing 25+ Women About Their Nighttime Routines
First, everyone needs a robe.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:48 AM
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For a year now, I’ve been after the answer to one question: How do you decompress after busy days of deadlines and meetings and maybe even a dinner party? I’ve interviewed more than 25 women about their strategies for squeezing in some R&R—no matter how busy their schedules may be. Some recommend journaling, while others prefer to go down a YouTube rabbit hole. One suggests indulging in a bit of stargazing—with a telescope, if you happen to have one. All of these rituals can be found in our wellness series, The Wind Down.
The way you de-stress is personal, but as I’ve talked to more and more women about their methods of getting much-needed shut-eye, I’ve found some tips so great that multiple people swear by them—and so I’ve started adding them to my own routine. Here are just 10 of the best ideas I’ve picked up throughout 2019. You might even consider trying them, too.
The Best Pajamas Double as Eveningwear
Most people I talked to prefer nice pajamas over old sweats, but there’s one sleepwear brand that stood out: Lunya. The Nue Co. founder Jules Miller recommends its silk set in warmer months, and makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes loves her robe: “It makes me feel like a diva in the best way.”
Magnesium Is the Ultimate Sleep Aid
Magnesium Ease, The Nue Co. ($55)
Counting sheep to no avail? There’s a mineral for that. Ballet dancer Courtney Lavine drinks Calm, a magnesium-based stir-in; Loom founder Erica Chidi Cohen takes baths with magnesium flakes; and Miller uses her own brand’s magnesium spray.
Palo Santo Sets the Mood
There might be a better way than lighting a candle to set the mood for sleep in your home: Cohen, Outdoor Voices founder Ty Haney, Object Limited cofounder Anna Z. Gray, and brand marketing pro Babba C. Rivera all attest to this fragrant wood’s soothing powers.
Sometimes Cleaning Is the Solution
Robes Are Absolutely Worth It
The time in between getting out of the shower and into your pajamas can be made much more enjoyable with the help of a robe. If it seems like a luxury, that’s because it is—a luxury that Golde cofounder Trinity Mouzon Wofford and Girls’ Night In founder Alisha Ramos both say improve their nights.
Popcorn Is a Perfect Nighttime Snack
Forget cookies and milk. The most satisfying (and easy) after-dinner snack is popcorn, according to chef Sophia Roe and Diaspora Spice Co. founder Sana Javeri Kadri, who makes a batch with tons of turmeric and ghee. She’s even released her own popcorn kit since.
Mood Lighting Is Crucial
Way before you hit the hay, the right lighting can help ease you into a calm frame of mind. Sezane founder Morgane Sezalory eschews overheads for warm-toned lamps, and actress Zazie Beetz lights a candle or two—which she picks up at the Rite-Aid around the corner from her apartment.
The Ideal Moisturizer Is Shockingly Affordable
Turmeric Tea Can Be Pretty Magical
If you’re feeling chilled, all you need is a little bit of spice—ideally in the form of a hot turmeric tea. Kadri and activist and vegan chef Haile Thomas make their own golden brew on the stove top. It’s cozy and it reduces inflammation.
Nothing Compares to a Good Bath
Showers may win when it comes to convenience, but bath time is highly underrated; many of our subjects, including Maude founder Éva Goicochea, Lavine, and Cohen, turn to the tub when they need to chill out. According to Bubble founder Jessica Young, it’s the best place to prepare for the next day: “I do a lot of thinking and write a lot of notes in the bath—anything from lightbulbs I need to buy to investors I need to talk to,” she says. “I take a bath probably four times a week—more than I shower.”
See more nighttime routines: Y7 Yoga Founder Sarah Larson Levey Ends Each Day With 16 Ounces of Water (and a Good Binge-Watch) This Is What a Sleep Expert Does When She Can’t Fall Asleep The Laundress Cofounder Lindsey Boyd Knows the Secret to Ultra-Sleepable Sheets