Published on May 31, 2020

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Photography by Jenny Watts

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.

“I would pay $10 million to have any kind of routine,” says Cat Cohen. “Every habit I have is a terrible habit.” Normally, the New York City–based comedian spends her nights performing and running around with friends in Manhattan, but since March she’s been quarantining with her boyfriend, Brian, at his family’s cabin in the Berkshires. The change has helped her slow down—at least a little bit. 

When she’s not hosting her weekly Instagram Live show on Wednesday at 8 p.m. (her usual time slot at the East Village’s Club Cumming); recording her podcast, Seek Treatment, with fellow comedian Pat Regan; or working on her writing projects (some of which will appear in her forthcoming collection, God I Feel Modern Tonight), Cohen likes to decompress by sitting in the bath, watching Love Island, or turning on a Headspace sleepcast. Here, she shares her not-quite-routine routine. 

Always connected: I’m constantly tethered to my phone. I eat, lie down, and then I look at my phone until the very second before I fall asleep. I’ll get emails from people in Los Angeles as late as 10 or 11 p.m., so I really am inconsistent about when I start to get ready for bed.

Bathroom break: I literally pee 6,000 times. Honestly, it’s like I’m running back and forth to the toilet. No one knows why. It’s purely mental. 

Happy hour: I’ve been hosting my Instagram Live show every Wednesday, and I always try to have a fun-looking drink for that. My drink of choice is a vodka martini, but lately I’ve been doing a Negroni. I use Aperol or Campari and fill a massive wineglass to the top. I also made Ina Garten’s cosmopolitan—that recipe was obviously amazing, but the cranberry juice is so sugary. Whenever I have wine, I feel horrible, so I’m trying not to drink it anymore.

Ideal meal: I try to have an eight-hour window, from 2  to 10 p.m., when I eat during the day. I like all food. Obviously it’s heaven on earth to have a meat-and-cheese tray. I mean, come on. What’s not to love? With jam and all that shit. Ideally I’ll have it with bread—no crackers. 

Soak it up: I’m obsessed with baths. Sometimes I don’t even use soap—I just sit in the hot water until I’m exhausted and get out. If I do, though, I just use a bar soap, like one from Dove. I might light a candle, and normally I put on some chill music. I’m obsessed with the YouTube station lo-fi hip-hop—I listen to it all the time, when I’m writing and sometimes in the bath if I can’t find anything else I’m really into at the moment. 

Face first: I literally fall asleep in my makeup every night. I’m disgusting. But here, I haven’t been wearing much makeup. I had a little regimen back in the city, but I didn’t bring any of those products with me. So I’ve just been doing nothing to my skin. Not to sound like a brat, but I look amazing. Sometimes the more I do, it feels like it doesn’t really matter. I do try to moisturize, though. In February I was traveling a ton, so I was putting on lots and lots of moisturizer. A makeup artist recommended I use Olay Total Effects. 

Fit for a queen: My dream in life is to have a canopy bed. I want it so bad. I look at images of them and feel like I won’t be at peace until I have a canopy bed. The one I have in New York is kind of canopy-esque—it is a big four-poster bed and looks very regal, which is important to me.

Best bed: I have a Casper mattress and its sheets as well—I worked in the company’s showroom years ago. I don’t work there anymore, so it doesn’t matter what I say, but the Casper fitted sheet is amazing at staying on. Also, I need so many blankets. I have a fluffy, big, heavy duvet, and then I also have a fuzzy weighted blanket. I like a really squishy pillow, and I like to have pillows for my legs and arms surrounding me, as well. 

 

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Perfect pj’s: I generally sleep naked or in a huge T-shirt—I like to be as free as possible. But after a bath it’s nice to put on a robe. The one I wear all the time is an old Victoria’s Secret number from Goodwill. The big furry one I wear for my shows isn’t great for lounging—I think I got it on Amazon.

Stream team: When this experience started, I was only really able to watch Love Island and Gossip Girl—I’d seen some of it when it first came out, but never finished it. Now I find it kind of sad because I miss New York so much—it’s hard to watch people living it up in the city when that’s where I want to be. 

Required reading: I’m trying to read more…LOL. I just finished Mary Gaitskill’s short story collection, Bad Behavior. Short stories are really good before bed, because you can always read a whole one. I have a big pile of books I brought with me, so I’m not sure what I’ll choose next. 

Aromatherapy: I love a candle that smells like burning wood. I have some palo santo and sage and a nice little candle collection at home, but nothing with me now.

Nightstand necessities: Right now there’s a large bottle of Pellegrino, a vibrator, a box of tissues, a tampon, and a big fan. What more could a girl need?  

Z’s ease: Where we are, it’s so quiet and peaceful already. I’ve been having no trouble getting to sleep, but I have been waking up 12 million times in the middle of the night. Sometimes I use ZzzQuil—I don’t love that. Sometimes I take a Xanax—I do love that. Sometimes I just hope for the best and go natch. 

Bedtime stories: The one thing I do every night is use the Headspace app—I listen to the sleepcasts. They’re amazing and I’m obsessed with them. My favorite one is “Rainy Day Antiques,” and I also like the tree house one and the campfire one. 

Unintentionally unplugged: I always have my phone next to my head, and I forget to plug it in every single night—even though it’s right there. I love to wake up refreshed, with my phone at 10 percent, and then I spend the day running around New York City, buying chargers at CVS and trying to plug into the wall at Barnes & Noble. But now that I have nowhere to be, my phone can be as dead as she wants. It’s kind of freeing.

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