How Jet-setting Celebrity Hairstylist Jen Atkin Finds Time for Sleep

Plus, her smart tips for a calm, restful bedtime routine. By Jen Atkin, As told to Thrive Global Studios.

Jen Atkin moved out to Los Angeles, California at the age of 19 with $300 in her pocket and a goal of becoming a hairstylist. Today, she has a growing empire that includes her haircare line Ouai and her digital platform Mane Addicts — all while working out of three salons in Los Angeles, New York City and Dubai with a roster of celebrity clients including Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Emma Stone and the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Jen shares how she balances all that… while still managing to get some sleep.

“My relationship with sleep is that I love it more than anything in the world. [I] literally love it. I hate waking up. I’m not a morning person at all.

I usually start the day at 8 am. I try to get up a little earlier to get some quiet time in the morning, and have my tea. I don’t really have a typical day. Just looking back at the past week, I had a 5:30 AM call-time for a 13-hour advertising job, where I was boarding a flight and getting picked up at 6:45 AM, or I was filming a takeover for Instagram stories at 9 AM. This morning I went to the gym at 7:15 AM, just to get it in. So I definitely don’t have a typical day — I travel a lot. Often, it’s just about trying to beat jet lag, and get myself up and out of bed.

[When it’s time for bed at night,] I usually scan through emails from the day, delete what I can, and flag what I need to deal with the next day. I usually then will wind down with my husband and recap our days while we’re brushing our teeth. I do all the creams; I put on oil and eye cream every night. I definitely hydrate my skin a lot. I’m obsessed with using a body oil and body scrub if I’m taking a bath. It’s a whole process. Basically, my nighttime routine is drinking lots of water, washing my face, moisturizing, kissing my hubby and putting in my sleepbuds. My Bose sleepbuds have made my routine easier because they help me get straight to sleep by drowning out the world’s noise.

Before, I would typically have to use either a white noise machine at home, or a white noise app when I’m on the road. I can’t fall asleep unless I drown out the noise that’s going on around me. The [Bose] sleepbuds are perfect for me to have on the go. That’s my favorite time of the night, when I can turn on whatever it takes to get me to calm down and go to sleep. I am the person that needs to really focus on getting into a routine, and shutting off.

I do also have rituals with my phone. I’m so bad about this, but I will totally skim through Instagram stories quickly before I go to bed. I try not to look at Twitter or things that are going to bum me out or stress me out before bed, but I for sure could use a lot of help.

I really need to try to get to bed an hour earlier. I’d love to be in bed by 11 or 11:30. I just can get rebellious at night. I’m like, ‘I’ve been working all day, I wanted to do something fun!’ and either watch Housewives, Keeping Up, or Portlandia. It’s not doing me any favors. I need to sleep. So I want to try to get into a better routine getting those eight hours. I should be shutting off the computer and my phone by 10.

I’m also listening to Arianna Huffington’s podcast, actually. And I love it. I just listened to Jessica Alba’s, and Chelsea Handler’s, and Katy Perry’s. I just discovered it and I’m so hooked — I love the tips she gives about putting your phone outside of your bedroom, and cherishing your time to sleep — that time is for you. That’s something that I think I definitely could be better at, and I still have a little work to do.”

This article was produced by Thrive Global and sponsored by Bose.

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