Jeremiah Brent is one of the country’s most popular interior designers and co-hosts the hit homemaker series “Nate & Jeremiah by Design” on TLC, with his husband and fellow interior designer Nate Berkus. In addition to designing a new furniture line, Living Spaces, he is a devoted father to two young children, Poppy and Oskar. Jeremiah and his family live in Los Angeles, where Brent, together with Berkus, has designed a peaceful, restful, and joyful home where the family can enjoy each other… and get the sleep they need. Here, he shares what that looks like.
“Each morning, I wake up at four, and I start my day with some alone time. I will light some candles, play some soft music, and then from four to seven, that’s my time to catch up with my New York office before the day starts in LA. That way, when my children wake up at seven, I’m able to just be a dad. I’ll make them breakfast, and then go to work. I travel constantly, but that’s my morning routine when I’m home in LA.
I have a morning ritual for my children — and an evening one too. I got that from my mom. One really good thing she taught me was to always have music playing in the morning. I do that too, and that way I set the tone and the energy of the room. The kids come downstairs, and the music’s happy, the smells are good, the lights are on. It’s not dark. I think there’s power in that.
I do the same thing at night. When I get in from my LA office, which is about 100 feet from my house, at six, I reset the environment once again. The lighting changes, I will re-light the candles, the music will come on, and I’ll get dinner ready. The music will shift a bit — on the weekends it’s always jazz, like Nina Simone or Ella Fitzgerald — but I always make sure we have that layer to the house happening, so it never feels dark. It’s very ritualistic. Truthfully, my kids sleep beautifully, and my theory is that it’s because, in large part, they’ve had the very same rituals since the day they were born.
The rituals aren’t just for our children. I have my own personal rituals at night, too. Every night, I have the same cup of tea. I have an aromatherapy diffuser that I put on an hour before I go upstairs to bed, so it’s just on in the room. And then I definitely have a whole ceremony down to washing my face, and decompressing and putting the phone away for 45 minutes before we go to bed. I always put it away, and just try to enjoy the last hour or two of the night without any noise. I also like the bedroom to be cold — so I can use the comforter even when we’re in LA.
All that gets me really ready for bed. Arianna [Huffington] has told me she thinks I may be one of those rare people who really only needs four or five hours of sleep. That’s all I really get most nights, and I’ve always been that way, and I do feel rested after that. For the time that I do sleep, I sleep really well. I attribute that to those rituals, and to the quiet. There’s no noise when we go to bed. The television is off. And usually I read a lot. Nate, my husband, is a massive reader, and he taught me that. He will stay up for almost two hours after I fall asleep, still reading. Nate will also mirror my whole bedtime ceremony. He’s the best part of bedtime — going through the routine with him, and sleeping next to him.
I also think a significant part of a good bedtime ritual comes down to the space you’re in. In our room, everything is ambient lighting: All of our lamps have just a 25 watt bulb in them. I know that sounds crazy, but I like a really dimly lit space. And the palette in the bedroom is all monochromatic: whites, creams, and beiges. But nothing is too precious, since it’s all about comfort. The whole idea of the room is that when you walk into it, you just want to fall into this big, upholstered bed. That way our kids will crawl in and out of it with us. I think your bedroom should be your sanctuary.
I try my best to keep up my rituals when I travel. I have this leather pouch that I will bring with me, and it has a mini version of my favorite candle from our house, it has my tea that I drink each night, and it has my aromatherapy, even though I don’t bring a whole diffuser. Now I use my Bose sleepbuds, which help recreate the quiet of my bedroom. I’m a fan of any form of technology that helps you disconnect from the noise of the day and reconnect with yourself. Sleep is such a crucial part of daily self-care that everyone deserves, and these sleepbuds really help you stay asleep for the times you really need it. I just find that maintaining my same ritual feels very connecting — after all, connection is the birthplace of creativity! — and it reminds me of home.
One of the best things Nate has ever taught me was that you have to put yourself first. Because if you’re great, then you’re going to show up and be great for everybody else. That was a weird lesson for me to learn, but I did, and now I have such appreciation for it. I can see the difference energetically in our kids when they see that we have done that, and we’re ready for the day. It comes from the bedtime ritual… taking the time to recalibrate. By having these bedtime rituals, we’ve shown our kids, 100 percent, that we value the transition to sleep, and having this peaceful time.”
This article was produced by Thrive Global and sponsored by Bose.