This Ballet Dancer Falls Asleep to Reruns of “The Office”
Courtney Lavine shares her nighttime routine.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:13 AM
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 when we feel our best.
From class to rehearsals to performances, Courtney Lavine is extremely active. As a member of American Ballet Theatre’s corps de ballet for the past nine (!) years, she’s graced stages around the world with her presence—but once the curtain comes down and the pointe shoes come off, she takes the time she needs to rest.
For this dancer, that means taking nighttime baths (garnished with Epsom salts or bath bombs) as often as possible and keeping some kind of muscle therapy cream in close reach. Of course, a bit of TV is helpful when you need to lull yourself to sleep—especially when it’s a rerun of everyone’s favorite comedy. When Lavine gets up, it’s back to the studio, the stage, or the road to bring her artistry and technique to new audiences.
But first, it’s time to relax. She shares her nighttime routine below.
Dinnertime: I get out late; I’m done at 7 p.m., usually, so I get home and I order food—sometimes I’ll have made something the night before, but cooking after rehearsal is just the worst. I’ll eat dinner and maybe watch a little bit of TV. Dinner really changes from week to week, but I love a good salmon, rice, and vegetable dish. That’s my staple, but in an ideal world, I would have my dad’s curry chicken and vegetables. I just don’t make it the same way as he does!
Hydration helps: I like to drink water at night, before or after dinner. I try to hydrate if I haven’t had enough water during the day.
Eco-friendly aromatherapy: When I come home, I’ll usually light a candle. I got these candles that, when you’re done with them, you can plant seeds in. I have a lavender one and there’s one that’s apple cinnamon. It’s called Hyggelight.
A cup of tea: I love Moringa tea. I’ve had ulcers in the past and heartburn because of stress, and I heard that Moringa helps with that, so if I feel like I have heartburn after dinner, I’ll drink the tea and it goes away.
Bath time: I love baths. That’s my thing. If I’m sore, I’ll usually take an Epsom salts bath, and then I also love bath bombs—something lavender to relax. I experiment with a lot of different bath bombs. In the bath, I like to zone out.
Skin saviors: If my skin is not doing so great, after a bath when my pores are open I’ll put on a purifying mask for 15 minutes. I mix the Aztec Secret mask with apple cider vinegar, and that really helps! I have to be careful, though, because in the winter, I get really dry. I enjoy experimenting with skincare, but I love a good rose toner after I cleanse my face. I’ve gotten back on hyaluronic acid. I’ve been experimenting with different moisturizers—I’ve always been an Oil of Olay fan, but I need something really heavy right now, so I’ve been trying a few different things.
Hydration heroes: In the summer, I like coconut oil [for my body], and because it’s winter, I just got this lotion from Lush called Dream Cream—that has been saving my skin.
Something comfy: I’m definitely a sweats person—most of the time, my pajamas are just old T-shirts I have from concerts. I have a pair of pajama shorts I’ve had forever—I don’t even know where they’re from!
Mindful moment: I want to get into meditating—I really want to. I tried Headspace, but by the time I’m done with everything, I just pass out. I will stretch or roll out my muscles occasionally, but I definitely want to get into meditation because I’m all about being mindful and in the moment.
Hotel quality: Right now, I have an all-white bedspread. My duvet is from Anthropologie. I love feeling like I’m sleeping in a cloud. I spend a lot of time in hotels for work, so I try to re-create that hotel feeling. It’s never quite the same, but I try.
Bedside essentials: In my bedside nook, I have a CBD massage salve, allergy medicine, lip balm—I always put on lip balm before I go to sleep. I have three different lip balms because I hate going to bed with dry lips. I also have a massage oil for my muscles that contains arnica, and an Indian pain massage oil that has all sorts of things in it.
Sleep-ready: By the time I eat and bathe, it’s already 10 or 10:30 p.m. I usually fall asleep pretty quickly, but if I do have trouble sleeping, I like to take Natural Calm. It’s powder magnesium and helps you to relax your muscles and fall asleep.
Comedy central: I like watching something funny on my iPad, and then I’ll fall asleep. I just finished watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. To help me fall asleep, I watch The Office. I’ve seen every season of The Office probably three times. It’s so good.
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