LA’s Coolest Doula Erica Chidi Cohen Winds Down With Audiobooks and Palo Santo
LOOM’s cofounder shares her nighttime routine.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:17 AM
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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.
Much of Erica Chidi Cohen’s career has been all about promoting body literacy. As a doula, she’s helped thousands of mothers through their pregnancies and births. As the cofounder and CEO of LOOM, a health resource that covers topics from periods to parenting, she’s increased accessibility to sexual health education. Her work, to sum it up, is all about empowering others to make the right choices for their bodies.
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At the end of the day, Cohen makes time for herself, too, indulging in a bath when she can and using aromatherapeutic solutions to calm her mind and body. A little bit of self-care—whether it comes in the form of a little extra time spent really massaging in nice body oil or indulging in some less-than-prestige television—can go a long way. Below, she shares her typical nighttime routine.
Cue up the podcasts: On a normal night, when I have some time, I will usually listen to a podcast. Depending on what mood I’m in, I might listen to The Read by Kid Fury and Crissle or I might listen to On Being with Krista Tippett—it just depends where I’m at.
Bath time: Around 7 pm—if I have the time—I’ll run a bath. Before I get in, I’ll use Tata Harper’s cleanser that you can put on your face as a quick mask. I let that sit for a second and wash my face. In the bath, I really love to use Ancient Minerals Magnesium Flakes. I’ll do a couple drops of an essential oil blend. Usually, it’s Sweet Dreams by Spirit Lift—they’re a very small, really pure aromatherapist up in Colorado. I’ll just usually hang out in the bath for a little bit. If I can’t take a bath, I drop some essential oils on the floor of the shower and make sure I’m always surrounded by good smells because aromatherapy can really help shift your energy.
A little extra love: I slather myself in Everyday Oil or NOTO Botanics Rooted Oil after I get out of the bath. When I’m putting on oil, I thoroughly massage the oil through my body and give myself some self-love and contact. It feels really good. I try not to rush through that.
Skin saviors: After the bath, I have a pretty simple face routine. I tone with a Biologique Recherche P50 Toner and I use corrective pads from Corrective Skincare LA. Then, I pop on the Pigment Remedy and the Do-Over serums from The Things We Do Here in LA. To finish, I put on a little bit of moisturizer, usually Biologique Recherche.
Brew ha ha: I usually will make myself a cup of rose tulsi tea. This line called Organic India makes it and it’s really good. I also love Holy Basil, which is good for balancing hormones and grounding before bed.
An occasional snack: I will eat a Medjool date if I have to get up and get something. I also really like rice balls or these rice crackers called Laiki.
Slipping into something comfy: I love wearing Sleepy Jones pajamas or Eberjey.
A little binge: Then I usually get into bed. I have a sweet spot for bad, trashy TV, so I’ll watch that. I’m really into Instant Hotel right now—where people go to other people’s houses that are Airbnbs and rate them. It’s bizarre, but it’s good.
The best bed: I pretty much only wear monochrome palettes and have for many years now. I love a neutral-colored bed, like white or cream. I love Parachute sheets—the founder is actually a friend of mine. And I actually love to sleep without a pillow or a very flat pillow, as it’s easier for the neck.
(Audio)book club: My partner and I listen to an audiobook. We’re just starting to make our way through Esther Perel’s book, Mating in Captivity. It’s fun to just listen to a book together. It’s almost like a podcast, but it’s not.
Some extra sleep aids: I always take some magnesium before I go to sleep to help me get through the night and sometimes I will roll a little bit of True Botanicals Muscle Release on my pulse points. Although it’s a muscle remedy, it has a ton of sage in it, which helps me ground down and relax. I am also addicted to Palo Santo. Right before I go to sleep, I light it and kind of run it over my body and around me to clear out the day.
Bedside table stash: Usually, it’s cluttered with some Palo Santo and essential oils. I love to keep Nucifera—which is a body balm—by my bed just in case my feet feel dry. I also have magnesium and zinc by my bedside, some CBD, and a topical cannabis balm from Papa and Barkley that I will use from time to time. I also have a big peach moonstone.
No alarm needed: Lights out is usually between 12:30 pm and 1 am. I don’t have an alarm. We have pretty light curtains so I wake up with the sun. I have a pretty strong body clock, so I’m awake at the same time every day.
More nighttime advice: Hannah Bronfman’s Nighttime Routine Involves Chilling Out to a Good Netflix Thriller Chef Sophia Roe’s Nighttime Routine Starts at 6:30 p.m. Babba Canales Rivera’s Nighttime Routine Includes Plenty of Herbal Cures