The average adult needs around 8 hours of sleep a night and for teenagers, that number climbs upwards of 9.
But according to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 3 adults do not get that much. It’s understandable given that we live in a world of distraction: buzzing phones, blinking computers, omnipresent televisions. In our modern lives, sleep can be our white whale.
Finding a nighttime routine that works for you can make all the difference. I know you’ve heard that cutting screen time before bed can help regulate circadian rhythms, but what else can you do to help your mind relax and prime your body and mind for a good night’s sleep? An effective sleep routine is personal and is usually built from trial and error. But to give you a jump start, we spoke to five successful guys from all walks of life to find out what they do to make sure they get enough sleep even when they’re working through the night, traveling across the globe, or juggling multiple projects. Here’s what they had to say.
Andrew Dudum, Founder and CEO of hims / hers
“The vibe of the room really matters [to me] when I’m getting ready for bed. I make sure overhead lights are turned off and favor warmer, side lamp lighting instead. I also like to stick to a routine. I listen to music (James Taylor is a favorite), drink tea and get into cozy clothes. Beyond sleep itself, I’ve learned that our skin cells turn over and rejuvenate while we rest, so it’s important to apply the right skin care treatments before bed. I use hims’ goodnight wrinkle cream because it’s thicker than an everyday moisturizer (and smells really good!). If my routine fails me, I take a few of hims’ sleep gummies and I’ll be resting peacefully in no time.”
Daniel Martin, Celebrity Makeup Artist
“If I’m traveling to Europe, I try to take an early evening red eye to arrive in the morning. This way I can sleep on the plane and wake up when their first light happens. On the plane to knock out, I take a CBD tincture (my friend Jena makes hers by hand) or a CBD gummy (my favorites are Lord Jones). I take it at take off and 45 mins later, I’m out.
Only when I travel do I spend a bit more time masking and double-hydrating because traveling is so harsh on my sensitive skin. My usual routine is pretty basic: Tatcha CALMING Enzyme Powder to cleanse, Susanne Kaufmann Enzyme Peel once a week and Joanna Vargas Super Nova Serum every other night. I have a noise machine at home and also one I travel with. Living in New York City for over 20 years, I’m used to ambient noise. I also never travel without this incredible REN And Now To Sleep Pillow Spray and I carry Diptique Baies candles with me as well. It adds the comfort of home when I’m in a hotel room. I usually need pitch dark to sleep, but on a plane I fly in a giant hoodie that I can pull over my face when Im lying down and that helps too.”
Davidson Petit-Frere, founder and designer of Musika Frere
“I usually get seven to eight hours of sleep, [to help me] start my day feeling well rested and ready to [tackle] the task at hand. I like to end my day with a nice glass of red wine to help me relax before I call it a night. I use Peter Thomas Roth masks before bed, especially the eye patches. For me, I’ve learned that I love sleeping with it warm and on soft and comfortable sheets, but whether it’s pitch dark or light never seems to be a issue for me. I don’t use any supplements whatsoever. I prefer [to be as] natural as possible. Then falling asleep to a movie or favorite show of mine is pretty ideal. When I travel, it’s honestly easier [to get a good night’s sleep] because I tend to stay up on the flights, so I like sleeping when I get to my hotel to regroup.”
Jason Kim, screenwriter and producer
I’m a triple threat of terrible sleep habits. My favorite hobby in bed is the go over my day and think about what awkward moments happened and whether people like me or not. Could I have done more to ruin my enemies? I also sleep on my stomach, against the advice of all my medical professionals. I have severe writer’s neck so it feels like my neck is stuck at a 45 degree angle. The thing you’re supposed to do to relieve tension is sleep on your back but I never do. Finally, I wake up often and I always look at my phone. I’ll start reading something and stay up for 4 hours when I shouldn’t. I take Ambien only when i’m jet lagged, but I have the craziest dreams so I don’t do it often. The problem is that nothing softer works on me. I need either Ambien or a horse tranquilizer.
The most important part of my sleep routine is what happens in the bathroom beforehand. [My skincare routine is] the most meditative and joyful part of my day. My mother instilled in me at a very young age that skin is the most important part of your body. I try to be as hydrated as possible. At night, I wash my face with a very simple hydrating cleanser. If I’m feeling extra dry, I used Biologique Recherche Lait U Cleansing Milk. If i’m feeling extra dirty, I do it twice and aways us a clean washcloth to wash it off. Then I use Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 every other day. I don’t use it if I’m feeling too dry. Then I do what I call the active ingredients routine: I make sure there is moisture on my face and I apply a Vitamin C and E serum (I think the one I’m using now is also from from Biologique Recherche). I apply both liberally and let that seep into my skin. Then I apply oil. Lately I’ve been using squalane oil because a friend recommended it. Then I do what my mom has done since her tweens, which is the Korean method of massaging my face. Quick upward strokes from chin to forehead, around my eyes and cheeks. I do that for a few minutes. Then I lock in all the moisture with as much cream as I can use. It literally looks like I take an ice cream scoop of cream to my face. I do this every night without fail no matter where I am.
Alex Costa, Youtuber and Influencer
“I’ve learned that sleep is one of the most important things in my life and do everything in my power to get as much of it as possible. I know that my body needs 7 hours of sleep every night, but traveling can be really brutal on your sleep schedule! I was tired of losing these battles against jet lag and came up with a really good routine to let my body know that it’s time to sleep, regardless of the time zone.
I created a playlist with slow, comforting songs that I play every night before I go to bed. It starts with the song “Burn” by Norah Jones and includes songs like “when the party’s over” by Billie Eilish. My body knows it’s time to sleep the moment I hear that first song. I need to sleep in pitch black with no sunlight whatsoever or I wake up since I’m a light sleeper. I like to sleep naked but can’t be too cold. A blanket is always a good idea, just in case it gets cold (especially in airplanes… though I’m not naked in planes). Right before I pass out, I play one of these sounds: Ocean, Rain, Forest, or Fireplace sounds.
My nighttime skincare routine will vary depending on how my skin looks and feels that night. Sometimes I need more hydration, others I need to make sure I have no zits the next day due to photoshoots or events. I’ll brush my teeth, wash my face with House 99 Purefectly Clean Face Wash, apply a moisturizer that I’m currently developing (wink) , and either ZO Skin Health Intense Eye Cream or House 99 Truly Brighter Eye Balm. Overnight masks also work really well for me if I need additional hydration. It’s such a great feeling to have clear, fresh skin in the morning – I talk about it all the time on my YouTube channel!”