What is your bedtime routine?
Mine actually starts at 7:30 a.m., when Mr. Magpie or I (we take turns “sleeping in” until 7:15 a.m.) make our bed as a gift to our future selves, as we know we will want to pour ourselves into a tidily-made bed come 9 p.m.
But the official kickoff is at 8:30 p.m., when I tune into my audiobook while cleaning the kitchen and packing mini’s lunch. Even though I’m technically still fussing with housework, the audiobook shifts me into bedtime mode, and I begin to feel the daytime frenzy of getting things done dissipate into stardust. Sometimes I linger by the window, looking out over the brownstones on the Upper West Side while finishing the dregs of a glass of wine or listening, intently, to the last few pages of a compelling chapter. It is so relaxing that Mr. Magpie has to remind me to switch on the dishwasher, as I have routinely forgotten to do so on the nights when he finds me staring dreamily out the window in this way.
I change into my pajamas (I love the sets from Roller Rabbit, J. Crew, Lake, and Recliner and am eyeing one of the washable silk sets from Lunya)* and then make my way through my bedtime skincare routine before brushing my teeth and using my favorite floss — tastes great and works so much better than the standard drugstore variety because it’s much thicker and the material acts like velcro!
Climbing into my well-made bed is — next to the enthusiastic hug from mini the moment she sprints through the door after school — a consistent highlight of my day. (Is that sad to admit?) We currently have it made up with Boll & Branch embroidered link sheets (generously gifted and seen above), which are just about the softest sheets I’ve ever slept on. They are satiny-cool and Mr. Magpie insists that they are better at maintaining the perfect temperature in our bed. I also love the embroidered detail, which ties in perfectly with my embellished Serena and Lily shams. We also have a set of Boll & Branch’s plain white hemmed euro shams behind them. We have a Restoration Hardware gray quilted coverlet that I accidentally laundered on too high of a heat and that now gives us the biggest headache on a daily basis as it is just barely tuckable. Now that I’ve fallen in love with Boll & Branch’s sheeting, I think I might switch that coverlet out for their soft waffle blanket,* which people go crazy over. Finally, we have a Hill House duvet cover over a fancy Feathered Friends down comforter, which I cannot rave about enough. For sure worth the investment — it is like sleeping swaddled in clouds and Mr. Magpie and I have long held the opinion that bedding/mattresses/bed frames are worth the splurge because you spend so much time in bed! (Cost per use and all that…) This is also why we invested in our S&L headboard about five or six years ago and still love it to this day.
While we’re deep in the weeds on the anatomy of a well-made bed, let me also share that these memory foam pillows* are life-changing (stay cold, keep their shape, reduce husband snoring!) and that if you go with a European pillow size (26×26) for decorative purposes (which is what we have), fill with a pillow that is 2″ up in size, so 28×28. Trust me. This is a secret to interior decorating I did not know for a big chunk of my 20s, when I routinely wondered why my pillows looked so sad and deflated. This trick holds true for cushions on a sofa, too — if you buy, say, an 18×18″ pillow sham, buy a 20×20″ pillow to fill it. It will fit and it will look amazing. I don’t spend a lot of money on the fillers for the Euro shams on our bed since we don’t actually sleep on them (just toss them off before bed) and they are more there for decoration. These inexpensive ones do the trick just fine. Lastly, I bought one of these box spring covers one or two years ago because we started rolling up the comforter at the foot of the bed rather than covering the bed with it and suddenly you could see the unseemly boxspring! It is an inexpensive way to create a more polished look in your bedroom, but I will say it makes tucking the sheets in a little trickier since you’re contending with a layer of fabric that wasn’t there before. But, still totally doable and IMHO worth it because little things like an exposed boxspring drive me crazy. Oh! One other note: in between launderings, I keep our sheets, shams, and duvet cover in shape by using The Laundress’s Crease Release, which helps with wrinkles and also lightly perfumes them.
Once in bed, I put 8 Hour cream on my lips and La Roche Posay’s foot cream on my feet (<<tragically discontinued — SOB! — but they recommend this as a substitute, which I will ploddingly submit to once I’ve finished my last tube) and either read a book or turn on the TV. I know most sleep experts would scold me for that, but I find it relaxing to fall asleep to a TV show — I am currently knee-deep in Sweet Magnolias on Netflix, which is horrible in a good kind of way (stagey, cheesy, and just what I want before bed — I’d liken it to Hart of Dixie) and the kind of thing you can drift into and out of without a problem.
The last things I do? Say “I love you” to Mr. Magpie (who will usually say, hilariously, “Bye!” right before he’s about to fall asleep — ha! He’ll just shout it out from his side of the bed as he drifts into la la land), turn out all of the lights in the house using my Philips Hue app (I’m sorry if you’re tired of hearing me talk about the wonder of Philips Hue lightbulbs* — we are evangelical in this house), and say a quick prayer.
What about you? How do you ease your way into sleep?
*I asterisked some items in this post that would make incredible gifts for the holidays, as several of you have asked for creative gifts for loved ones as we head towards the festive season. I love love LOVE to give products like these that are useful around the home but slightly luxurious.
Finally: a few recent finds for home: this organizer for your lingerie drawer (I’ve been using a sock organizer for my underwear, but that one looks much better-suited to the job), pretty scented shelf liners, and — brilliantly — Myriam of Mother Could recommended these laundering bags as a way to keep toys/puzzles with easy-to-go-missing pieces contained.
P.P.S. What to do when you can’t sleep.
P.P.P.S. Have you been watching The Home Edit on Netflix? If you are, you will understand why I need these. If they are good enough for Reese’s filmography paraphernalia, they’re good enough for me. Ha! 🙂