Perfecting your nightly wind down and building good sleep hygiene habits is crucial if you want to get more sleep. Looking for some advice on how to sleep? Here, six celebrities discuss the tips and tricks that work for them – and might just work for you, too.
Celebrities, they’re just like us. It turns out that they sleep, and often have trouble sleeping, just like we do.
Which means that they have perfected the art of a well-crafted nighttime routine, with plenty of healthy habits and sleep hygiene, to help them get a good night’s rest. Whether it’s taking a long, relaxing bath, meditating or even something as simple as switching off their phones, here are six nighttime routines that really work, as tried and tested by some of your favourite celebrities.
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How to sleep: Jennifer Aniston’s bedtime routine
Jennifer Aniston has often spoken about her struggles when it comes to sleep and, in particular, insomnia. In an interview with Arianna Huffington, Aniston revealed the little tips that really work for her.
“My one key tip,” she said, “is to sleep with my phone at least five feet away from me. That’s helped me tremendously. And I also do a quick meditation before I get into bed, even if it’s just for five minutes. There are also some yoga poses that I’ve found to be quite helpful in relaxing my mind, even if it’s just a simple downward dog and some stretching. But the biggest thing is the electronics shutdown, ideally an hour before I turn off the lights. It’s really a big deal.”
The Friends star added that though she knows that many people love baths, she just doesn’t find them relaxing. “I tend to get a little antsy in a bath for some reason. But a shower always helps,” she added.
How to sleep: Oprah Winfrey’s bedtime routine
Aniston might not like them, but Oprah swears by a nightly bath. The media mogul has a marble and onyx tub in her bathroom that is carved to the shape of her body.
No wonder, then, that she finds them so relaxing she regularly falls asleep in them. “I major in bathtubs,” Oprah has said. “I love creating bathing experiences: bath gels, bubbles, crystals, salts, lavender milks.”
For her, the nightly bath before bed is “a ritual”. “I’m a bathing professional,” she once joked. “I have different bubble baths, salts, beads and oils.”
How to sleep: Sheryl Sandberg’s bedtime routine
The Lean In author and Facebook COO makes sleep, and a healthy nighttime routine, a priority. Sheryl Sandberg always leaves the Facebook offices at 5.30pm every day, no matter how busy things are, so that she can get home to her family and a restful evening.
Sandberg has admitted that she still checks her emails from home, and she also gets to the office early, usually around seven. But by carving out time for rest and relaxation at home, Sandberg sleeps better, and sleeping better helps her work smarter. To achieve that good night’s rest, Sandberg switches her phone off every evening, after one last check of her emails, of course.
“Sleep deprivation just makes people anxious, irritable and confused,” Sandberg has said. She even went so far as to say that if she could give one piece of advice to her younger self it would be not to skimp on sleep in order to have more face time at the office: “If I could go back and change one thing about how I lived in those early years, I would force myself to get more sleep.”
How to sleep: Gwyneth Paltrow’s bedtime routine
The queen of Goop believes that sleep, or lack thereof, is the root of all health issues. So much so that she dedicated a section of her book Goop: Clean Beauty to the subject.
“Sleep plays such a powerful role in determining your… energy levels that I believe it should be your first priority,” she wrote. “The lifestyle I lead is based not just on clean eating, but also on clean sleeping: at least seven or eight hours of good, quality sleep, and ideally even 10.”
For Paltrow, clean sleeping involves banning technology – including phones, laptops and television – from the bedroom, which makes sense since the blue light emitted from our screens can disrupt our sleep patterns. Paltrow’s other clean sleeping advice involves avoiding late-night snacks, which echoes advice from the NHS to avoid eating late at night.
“For me, sleep is a major thing,” Paltrow has said. “I don’t always get it, and when I don’t, I look like I’ve been hit by a truck.”
How to sleep: Michelle Obama’s bedtime routine
If you’re already a huge fan of Michelle and Barack Obama’s relationship, get ready to swoon. Did you know that every night Barack tucks his wife Michelle into bed to ensure that she has a good night’s rest?
“[He] will come and turn the lights out and give me a kiss, and we’ll talk. He’s like ‘Ready to be tucked?’ I’m like ‘Yes, I am’,” she told People magazine.
This is in sharp contrast to Barack’s own nighttime routine. When he was President of the United States, the New York Times reported that he would often work until the early hours of the morning, first having dinner with Michelle and their daughters at around 6.30pm in the evening before retiring to his office to work for the next four or five hours.
“I’ll probably read briefing papers or do paperwork or write stuff until about 11:30 pm, and then I usually have about a half-hour to read before I go to bed, about midnight, 12.30am, sometimes a little later,” Barack has said.
Michelle has said that Malia shares her father’s night owl tendencies, and on occasion would come to tuck her in as well. Michelle, for her part, is an easy sleeper.
“I cannot stay awake,” she has said. “It’s one of the reasons I’m missing reading. I can’t get into books, because if I’m sitting still and I slow down, I’m asleep. So it’s rare that – if I do have trouble sleeping, it comes on the other end. Like, I’ll wake up at four in the morning. So my internal clock just clicks, and it’s four and I’m up and now I’m thinking about the day and what I have to do. And now, I’m like, I only have an hour to sleep… so let me just stay up. But at night I am out like a light.”
How to sleep: Rita Ora’s bedtime routine
For Rita Ora, getting a good night’s sleep is all about sticking to a routine. “I’m always on the right,” she said in 2014. “I’m always anywhere close to the door.”
Part of that routine, the singer added, is making sure that her bed is made up exactly as she likes it, no matter where she chooses to rest her head of an evening. “I always travel with these four things,” Ora said, “a lavender pillow, it’s really good. It’s silk-covered and it’s got lavender leaves in it. It makes me go to sleep. A candle, a blanket, and a rose oil to keep my skin moisturised.”
philosophy is the wellbeing beauty brand inspiring you to look, live and feel your best, and is the official partner of Stylist’s Remarkable Women Awards 2020.
This piece was originally published on 11 February
Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.