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A Really F*cking Honest Breakdown of My Nighttime Routine

feature image photo by AndreyPopov via Getty Images

I don’t know what it is about Get Ready With Me videos that I find so soothing. Maybe it’s the ASMR, maybe it’s the idea that I’m body doubling with them, maybe it’s just a place for me to take notes so I can be more glamorous and efficient in my own life. It’s probably a little of all three.

I’ve long thought about publishing my end-of-night routine, especially because recording it keeps me on track to do an actual routine. I previously wrote a piece for Autostraddle’s AM/PM series about a skincare routine I once had. While I absolutely did that routine, it’s not the full truth. I would like to amend my previous post by giving you a really fucking honest breakdown of my nighttime routine as a queer person in night school with various medical and mental health issues.

9-11pm: Night class for grad school

10pm: Take the ten-minute class break to prep lunch for the next day

11:05pm: Decompress on my bed, using TikTok as a coping mechanism to avoid checking my email, which is something I always have the urge to do in the middle of the night

11:30pm: Feel guilty about how long I just spent on TikTok and take a shower — IF I have the energy

11:40pm: Immediately moisturize my whole body, because the second it isn’t wet I turn into a desert

11:45pm: Fill up my CPAP water compartment with distilled water

11:46pm: Decide if i need to respond to any lingering text messages before morning and apprehensively do that

11:47pm: Probably not say goodnight to anyone because I have weird trauma around that

11:48pm: Take all three of my nighttime psychiatric oral medications

11:50pm: Put prescription ear moisturizer in my ears

11:52pm: Put dry-relief eye drop cream into eyes

11:53pm: Put retainer in bowl with denture cleaner while I brush my teeth and use mouthwash

11:55pm: Rinse out retainer and pop it in my mouth

11:56pm: Wash face, apply toner, rosehip oil, moisturizer

11:58pm: Put on a very intensely hydrating lip cream

11:59pm: Set alarms for next morning at a really weird hour like 7:51

12:00am: Turn on fan because I get hot while asleep

12:01am: Attempt to read an actual book to distract myself from electronics but get too tired

12:04am: Put on my headspace brown noise

12:05am: Turn off lights

12:06am: Lay in bed with this headache relief cap thing until I’m about to actually fall asleep

12:10am: Fall asleep briefly and remember I need to put my CPAP mask on my face

2:07am: Wake up inevitably unable to breathe because I’ve involuntarily taken my mask off in my sleep and fiddle around in the dark for 10 minutes trying to piece it back together

None of this was originally planned as a routine. I usually try to create intentional routines in my day to help with emotional regulation, but most of my night time routine is more out of urgent necessity. If I don’t take my one med, I’d probably have to go to urgent care. If I don’t fill my CPAP, I’ll stop breathing in the middle of the night and it will be unsafe for me to drive. If I don’t put the headache cap on, I’ll have racing thoughts and try to distract myself on my phone, which will inevitably keep me up. Also, my body is just dry as fuck in every place and every way. Nothing about me at night is cute or cuddly (seriously, you can’t cuddle with a CPAP on), but this is the real deal as someone living with a slew of medical issues.

I genuinely hope your nighttime routine is more glamorous than mine, but if you have any tips or tricks do let me know!

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Em Win

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Em now lives in Los Angeles where she does many odd jobs in addition to writing. When she's not sending 7-minute voice messages to friends and family, she enjoys swimming, yoga, candle-making, tarot, drag, and talking about the Enneagram.

Em has written 70 articles for us.


  1. happy 66th post! mahalo for sharing your urgent need-induced night routine! it actually gave me a lot more understanding of how, as my partner and i sing, “everybody’s different, nobody’s right & nobody’s wrong!” (imperialism excluded). specifically the part abt u most likely not sending good night texts to anyone bc trauma and & losing time on tiktok. i love to send & receive gn texts (bc trauma lol) & my partner loves tiktok and idgaf lol. mahalo for the links to that headache hat, i may try one for myself & i shared w my partner the knee options!
    u wrote “I usually try to create intentional routines in my day to help with emotional regulation” & i feel that!
    i feel like i would accidentally get the ntensely hydrating lip “sleeping mask” on my pillows :/ but i wanttttt. mahalo for all the links you’ve shared!
    i wish u refreshing, respiratory-filled slumber. mahalo again for sharing this insight nto your life 🥰

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