The Nightstand Essentials & Bedding An Interior Designer Uses For A+ Sleep
I used to be a solid sleeper who could fall asleep and stay asleep for the whole night. Those were the days, right? After three babies, my sleep has suffered. Couple that with a partner who has a growing snoring issue, and my nights continue to be fragmented.
I've had to work at making my sleep better, especially in the past few years as I wrote my first book Home Therapy and spent chunks of time on the road shooting homes. For me, that means each day I make a mental note to go to bed on time—and make that time a nonnegotiable.
A good night's sleep allows me to think clearly. My eyes get tired easily so my vision is impaired early in the day if I don't get enough sleep. (With such a visual job, I need to make sure my visual game is on point.) Restorative sleep provides the anchor I need to make good decisions throughout the day. Not only that, I have a predisposition to anxiety and depression, so the second I don't have solid sleep, my reality is skewed. I find myself leaning toward irrational thoughts and mood swings. Sleep puts me on the path to a positive mindset.
- Average hours I sleep a night: 7
- Ideal bedtime: 10 p.m.
- Ideal wake-up time: 6:30 a.m.
- Nightstand essentials: Journal, aromatherapy, mood light, AirPods, yummy hand and body lotion
- Favorite place I've ever slept: An overwater bungalow in Tahiti
- Sleep bad habit: Sometimes I'll wake up around 3 a.m. and scroll on my phone instead of going back to sleep
- Caffeine consumption: 2 cups of Nespresso with almond milk
- How I track my sleep: Apple watch
- The last product or habit that changed my sleep for the better: Bearaby weighted blanket
- The first thing I do when I wake up: I take a deep breath and meditate for 5 minutes
8:32 p.m.: It's a Wednesday night and I'm starting to get into a wind-down mindset after a busy day visiting client renovation sites, creating content, and playing Uber driver to my kids' after-school activities.
First, I get my 9-year-old daughter ready for bed. Then I take a hot bath and relax my mind and muscles. One of my favorite bath salts to use is Gigartina Therapy bath salts. The temperature drop from going hot to cold when I get out of the bath gets my adrenaline pumping and endorphins in. This is truly a favorite moment I savor, and I am mindfully setting an intention to think positive thoughts about the night and day ahead.
9:08 p.m.: I get into my cozy PJs (Splendid has the softest fabrics for soothing sleep IMO), and I head downstairs and clean up the kitchen a bit so it's a clutter-free zone when I wake up in the morning to start my day.
9:25 p.m.: I go back upstairs and wash my face while repeating a nighttime mantra, "I am taken care of; everything I need is here." I brush my hair and put it in a scrunchie... I have long hair and hate sleeping with it in my face.
9:48 p.m.: I say good night to my older two teen daughters (and remind them to make sure they are getting enough sleep too!). I also check in with my partner and say good night as he goes to bed after me.
10 p.m.: I hop into bed and snuggle and relish the weighted blanket and organic waffle quilt bedding enveloping me. I write down a few notes of gratitude for something that happened earlier in the day or something in the present in my journal.
If I am not too tired, I allow myself to watch a Netflix show that is less than 30 minutes for a good laugh or inspiration. My guilty pleasure is true crime, but I don't like to end the night with that.
5:27 a.m.: I wake up earlier than usual but didn't have any middle-of-the-night awakenings. I am thankful I slept longer than expected, yay! I immediately take a deep breath and meditate and journal. Then I drink a glass of lemon water. I might hop on the Peloton for 30 minutes before taking a shower and starting my day.
Anita Yokota is a licensed marriage and family therapist turned interior designer who emphasizes the importance of incorporating wellness throughout the home. Domino named Anita’s site the Best New Design Blog and her work has been featured in MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, and many others. Anita lives in Southern California with her husband and their three daughters.