Published on March 29, 2020

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Courtesy of Ana Gambuto; Illustration by Brit Ashcraft

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 explore the nighttime routines of people we admire to make the most of the moments before bed.

“Nothing is ever easy with two toddlers; I’ve learned to surrender and go with the flow, but also be firm,” says Nicole Berrie, the New York–based founder of food and well-being website Bonberi and plant-based corner store Bonberi Mart, which is set to open in Manhattan’s West Village this month. Berrie has made a commitment to wellness in all aspects of her life—and her nighttime routine, which includes a bath and reading to her kids and dinner with her husband, is no exception. Despite the chaos that comes with caring for two children, she uses her evenings to decompress and spend quality time with her family, even if it’s just for a few hours.

Rest and relaxation: I usually get home from work around 6 or 6:30 p.m., when the kids are finishing their dinner. Then we head upstairs to take a bath with lots of toys—they love Magna-Tiles and Legosmusic, and a pound of Epsom salts for relaxation (yes, it’s a lot!). My husband and I are out most of the day so we think of it as our special time to spend with the family.

Bookworms: Our little one, Sea, who’s almost 2, still gets a bottle, so I’ll warm that and then read to her and our 4-year-old, Jude; they love Caps for Sale and Elbow Grease. We limit our youngest to three books and our oldest to two before brushing teeth. He tries to negotiate for more, but having a set routine helps a lot! Also, having a special lovey: For us, it’s a bunny for our daughter and a blankie for our son. They won’t go to sleep without them. And we definitely rely on our sound machine; once it’s on they know it’s time for bed.

Feed your soul: By 8 p.m. I’ll whip up dinner for me and my husband and we’ll eat, chat about the day, and watch a new show (right now we’re loving Cheer and The Outside on HBO). I usually make whatever’s in the fridge or my usual go-tos: curry, veggie tacos, pasta. Thought-out, planned meals have kind of escaped me since having two kids and working full-time, but decompressing with my husband and cooking a nourishing meal is my self-care ritual. I always feel better doing that than when we order in. Even if I’m exhausted, it’s my moving meditation.

Skin saviors: My favorite nighttime cleanser is Naturopathica Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm with a soft bristle brush, because it seals my skin and moisturizes so well. Then I’ll use Squalane Oil by Biossance, Honey Girl Organics Face & Eye Cream, Naturopathica Argan & Peptide Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream, and Lucas Papaw Ointment on my lips. 

Perfect pj’s: One day I’ll be mature enough to wear real pajamas (I think!), but I’m still an old vintage T-shirt and Suzie Kondi velour track shorts kind of girl. 

Keep calm: If I’m wide awake, I’ll rely on a natural poppy flower supplement called Deep Sleep. It works like a charm. 

Nightstand essentials: On my nightstand you’ll find an eye mask (right now I’m using one from Hill House Home’s sold-out collaboration with Dada Daily), a Hay water canister (we’ve done away with plastic water bottles in our house), Papaw Ointment, and my phone (it’s bad, I know). I had a bout of charging my phone in the bathroom, but because work has been so busy, I went back to keeping it next to my bed. 

Late night: My husband and I are night owls, so we usually get in bed at 11 and fall asleep around 11:30. Then it’s lights-out!

See more stories like this:
Books (Lots of Books) Are Key to Justina Blakeney and Her Family’s Bedtime Routines
Bedtime Rituals Are a Must for Oliver Jeffers and His Globe-Trotting Family
Rebecca de Ravenel’s Nightly Routine Involves Chips in Bed