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—even when we’re on the go.
“I’m obsessed with sleep—particularly quality sleep, especially since having my daughter last fall,” Refinery29 global editor in chief (and former Domino cover star) Christene Barberich shares. “I’m usually washed up and in pajamas by 8:30 p.m. at the latest, and in bed reading by 9:30.” When you have a schedule as busy as Barberich’s, which often involves staff meetings and crosstown events, a bit of quiet time at night is necessary.
That’s why as soon as she walks in the door post-work, she starts preparing for bed: She makes sure to get some time to herself (either in the bath or by watching TV) and swears by lavender-scented everything in her apartment. With a routine that ensures her a night full of restful, recuperative shut-eye, she’s ready to tackle virtually anything the next day.
Wrap it up: I’m the kind of person who can’t go to sleep with dishes in the sink or an email unfinished. Spending an hour or so tying up loose ends, folding laundry, or just cleaning up my in-box is important for me to feel lighter before I settle in for the night.
Skin saviors: I should probably be more disciplined about my nighttime routine, but it honestly depends on how tired I am. I wash my face morning and night with Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser, which always makes me feel like I’m doing more to my skin than just washing it. After that, I apply either Drunk Elephant’s TLC Glycolic Night Serum or its Whipped Cream, which always feels really hydrating and nourishing. Once a week (if I remember) I do a gentle peel, either Goop’s Exfoliating Instant Facial or Drunk Elephant’s Baby Facial.
Simple soak: I love baths loaded with lavender and sea salt at night, but I take showers with mint or verbena wash in the morning. I only wash my hair once a week if I’m lucky, so the morning shower is a quick one.
Perfect pj’s: I’m old-fashioned in that I like proper pajamas—specifically silk men’s-style pajamas from Eres. They’re pricey but flattering and really elegant. After a bath, they just make sleep feel special.
Simple sips: I think honey chamomile tea is pretty fail-safe for getting you in the mood for bed.
Aromatherapy: I love to turn down our comforter and spray our pillows with lavender essential oil. I spray some in my daughter’s crib, too. I love lavender all day, every day, but especially at night. I definitely can’t be trusted with candles at bedtime, but Terralite makes some gorgeous, organic, and fully sustainable ones that are quite lovely when the moment strikes.
Solo time: I think the most important part of my routine is just having 30 minutes to an hour by myself. I sometimes forget that I’m rarely, if ever, alone, so it’s nice to just have that moment to turn the lights down and watch a show or read in peace for a bit. I’m a big reader before bed (biographies and memoirs, usually), but occasionally I’ll watch something like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or Grace & Frankie—nothing stressful or violent, because I can’t put my head in that state before bed. It’s a ritual that puts me back in touch with myself.
Nightstand essentials: My journal, baby monitor, and phone set to Do Not Disturb.
Best bed: I use two pillows—one for my side and one for my head—plus a top sheet and light quilt or comforter. I love the lightweight duvet from Muji. It’s perfect for warmer months, and it packs up so small we sometimes take it on the road, too.
Better than sheep: I started taking Moon Juice’s Magnesiu-om—it’s amazing!—and also experimenting with a CBD tincture. It really seems to be working. I also take melatonin on occasion. My friend Eden recently introduced me to a line of skin care from Germany called ByNatcht that connects skin care to rest and revitalization. All the products are super-clean and beautifully made. I use the Sleep Oil and Sleep Balm before bed, and they pretty much knock me out. I highly recommend them if you’re a light sleeper like me and really need to wind down a bit more.
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