Our new sleep series, The Wind Down, provides a minute-by-minute peek into the wind-down routines that get well-being experts ready for bed. Today, we’re relaxing with model and entrepreneur Kate Bock, who has found her ideal nightly formula after years of sleep tracking.
If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have told you that I was a great sleeper. I don’t have a hard time falling asleep, and I don’t wake up a lot at night. But then I got an Oura ring and was surprised to see all the things that were affecting my sleep and all the areas where I could improve.
My husband Kevin and I have had our rings for a few years now, and we’ve really nailed our prime sleep zones. Now, I scientifically understand what I need to do to get my best-quality sleep: Exercise during the day, eat an early dinner, avoid alcohol and red meat, and go to bed early.
For us, this isn’t always possible. Kevin plays professional basketball, so we have very funny schedules. On game nights, we only get home at 11:30 p.m. or midnight and then eat dinner and go to bed. In the offseason, we try to have dinner around 6:30, and we go to bed a lot earlier. So our sleep schedule is pretty inconsistent, but we try to find ways to get good rest year-round.
When I’m doing all the sleep things right, I’ll wake up before my alarm, around 6 or 7 a.m., and have an hour of me time where I’ll get some fresh air, go on a walk, and play with the dog. I find that this early, energized start puts me in such a good mood and helps me have a better-quality day overall.
After an amazing but exhausting summer of travel, I’m happy to be back in Cleveland, where I have more of a schedule. It’s training camp and there haven’t been too many basketball games to go to yet, so I’m in my ideal sleep routine. Here’s a peek into what a recent night looked like for me:
6:30 p.m.: Kevin and I eat dinner together. We typically have fish when we can eat early. (On nights when there are games or we have to eat late, we eat vegan because it’s easier to digest and helps us sleep.) We try to keep dinner pretty light. I notice that if I overeat or eat too fast, my digestion will be off and it will keep me up. I also stop drinking a ton of water after dinner because I don’t want to have to wake up in the middle of the night.
7:30 p.m.: We watch TV for a bit. Right now I’m really into Dopesick and could very easily binge a lot of episodes. But I’m trying to intentionally stop watching TV earlier to save time for a nightly bath.
8:45 p.m.: I enjoy an Epsom salt bath and then take a shower to cool down. Then I do my nighttime routine: Wash my face, brush my teeth, etc. I also take a melatonin gummy if I want to have the best sleep I can dream of.
9:30 p.m.: I get in bed with my blue-light-blocking glasses on. They allow my eyes to get tired and really help me feel sleepy when I’m listening to a podcast or watching one more episode of TV.
10 p.m.: We really try to have the lights off by 10 p.m. Before I go to bed, I’ll turn on a rain app on my phone for some white noise to mask any other sounds. That was something Kevin showed me, and now whenever I’m traveling or in a hotel with a girlfriend, I always have to turn it on. It’s like my brain knows that once the rain is on, it’s time to go to sleep. It really works.
10:05 p.m: For me, it’s not the number of hours of sleep but the timing of it that really makes a difference. I’ve found that if I go to bed at midnight or 1 a.m. and sleep eight hours, they are much worse quality than if I go to bed at 10 p.m. and get eight hours. So I’m always happy to be in bed early. I’ll slip on my eye mask, snuggle with my puppy (who’s in my arms all night), and fall asleep.