Sleep, wake, repeat. Read all about how our friends optimize their surroundings, unwind, and relax the mind for a good night—every night.
We sat down with Gillian Johnson, the founder of Hawkly Jewelry to talk about her nightly bedtime rituals
Double, Queen, or King?
Why is a good night’s sleep important to you?
I always joke that I have an entirely different personality when I am short on sleep. When I get lots of sleep I can easily go with the flow and maintain a positive attitude even when life throws curveballs. When I am short on sleep, I find my reactions to obstacles to be far less inspiring and that compassion and patience and are much more elusive.
How many hours of sleep do you get a night—or at least dream of getting?
I like to shoot for around 8 hours or more and most often attain that goal (for the record, I have no children).
Are you a dreamer?
Unfortunately not much of one. If I do remember my dreams, they are usually anxious iterations of my current life with very little surreal or creative influence. This past holiday I was chatting with my family and they were all sharing their dreams which included being a guard in Israel and visiting ancient civilizations. I feel like I am missing out because I usually don’t get to have that much fun in my dreams!
What’s currently on your bedside table?
A stack of books, earplugs, lavender linen spray and a lemongrass foot rub.
Do you partake in any nightly routine before settling into bed?
I am not much of a routine gal, working on that for 2021 but I usually do some stretching and roll out my knots with massage balls before heading to bed. This has proven to be an essential ritual to keep my body in good form to be able to make jewelry on a daily basis.
Tell us about where the magic happens—and by magic, we mean sleep. How do you optimize your sleep environment?
I was recently chatting with my mother and she reminded me of my special gift of falling asleep absolutely anywhere as a little one. I am one of 6 kids so I imagine there was a certain amount of chaos consistently in my life when I was younger. Yet apparently no matter what was going on, I would fall asleep if I wanted too, often finding a little cozy spot on the floor under the coffee table or kitchen table. Later in life I also used to, by choice, sleep simply on a box spring so the notion of optimizing my sleep environment is a new concept for me. But I must say as I am getting a bit older I am much more focused on it and I just love getting cozy in freshly washed, soft sheets. I am a sucker for nice smells so do love to incorporate lavender or other essential oils into my sleep environment.
If you feel a restless night coming on, is there anything you do to help get you through the night without waking?
If I am feeling that kind of energy prior to going to bed, I try to just surrender to the feelings and thoughts that are coming up instead of fighting them and becoming fixated on how grumpy I will feel the next day if I am short on sleep. Deep breathing and self massage are effective strategies for relaxing me and calming my mind so I can fall asleep and I am always amazed at how well earplugs work for keeping me asleep.
What kind of pillows do you use to keep your head in the clouds?
I am actually just about to invest in new pillows and I am very excited. I have heard that the Casper pillows are good ones but I am taking suggestions :)
Last but not least, what is your number one piece of can’t-sleep-without advice?
Never feel guilty about giving yourself the space and time for a good night's sleep. There is so much pressure from society to always be on the go and to do more but if that is coming at the expense of your sleep, I would suggest a re-evaluation of priorities. Our health and our daily presence are the most important things and sleep is integral for both in my humble opinion.