“This past fall, I flew to Arizona to attend an inspiring weekend called Zeitgeist, hosted by Google. It was three days of powerful talks given by globally renowned thought leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, and environmentalists. The theme was 'The Power of One Small Step,' which really resonated with me.  

Among the many incredible speakers, which included Michelle Obama and Megan Rapinoe, I was struck by a neuroscientist named Andrew Walker. As a world renowned sleep expert, Dr. Walker sees sleep deprivation as one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21stcentury, thanks in no small part to screen addiction and technology consumption in the digital age. His research at UC Berkeley links a persistent lack of sleep to cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety, obesity, chronic pain, diabetes and more.

Beyond a number of fascinating facts—I was amazed to hear, for instance, that car accidents and trips to the ER spike after Daylight Saving steals an hour from us every spring—there were a few practical everyday takeaways:  We really need 8 hours of sleep each night for our body and mind to properly repair itself, and there’s no tricking your body out of realizing you got less. The ideal bedroom temperature is 65F (too hot, and your body won’t cool down enough to achieve ideal sleep). And while prescription sleep aids will put you to sleep, they don’t allow the body to achieve the deep REM that makes you feel rested.

When I came home, I reevaluated my approach to bedtime and my wellbeing. Here are five small changes I found helpful in making a big impact on my beauty sleep, and a few more that I hope to explore in 2020. I hope they can be of use!  xx Gucci

  • “After returning from Zeitgeist, I committed to putting down my phone an hour or so before bed and I started listening to audio books instead. It’s calming, so I don’t feel the need to check messages, and sometimes I do an LED mask at the same time. It’s a nice way to end the day. Right now, I’m listening to The Clarity Cleanse by Habib Sadegh, which is a method of being honest with yourself in order to clear your mind and increase your energy.”
  • “I recently started journaling again. Dr. Habib’s method is 12 minutes every night—12 is said to be a meaningful and auspicious number—and you write down anything that’s in your head, then you burn it. You never read it again. The idea is just getting stuff off your chest and processing your day. I have to say, it’s kind of epic for sleep.”
  • “The right bed is key. I love a feather topper, where you fall into this soft welcoming cushion but it’s also firm underneath. This year, I plan to look into a Cocomat, which is a natural mattress made from sustainable materials that’s layered on a box spring, molds to the body, and has an incredibly low carbon footprint and high recycling reach.”
  • “Good sheets are everything! They put me in the zone for sleep and create a positive association with bed.  I discovered beautifully made Italian sheets when I was visiting our labs in Milan. They're called My Style and they’re so crisp and clean. I also love Schostal pajamas—there’s a store in Rome where they monogram everything. Everyone in our family has a pair!” 

For more beauty sleep inspiration, check out Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon's Q&A (she says a full 8 hours changed everything) and Gucci's flash makeup tutorial for mornings when you just need to fake it til you make it.