Jennifer Aniston Struggles With Sleep—Here's How She's Coping

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Her pre-bedtime routine helps.

Skincare, sound machines, and the stress of not being able to fall—and stay—asleep, Jennifer Aniston has never felt more relatable than when sharing her own sleep struggles. Good news: her go-to sleep hacks don't require a celebrity salary. Read on for easy tweaks you can make to score a more restful sleep tonight. Sweet dreams!

REAL SIMPLE: So, Jen, tell us, how are you sleeping these days? 

JEN ANISTON: Not great! Last night? Not so good.

RS: Talk to us about your pre-bedtime routine.

JA: Of course, skincare. I love water, but snacking, no good before bed. Do I love to snack before bed? Of course, but that's on the list of don'ts. I cut it off probably about three hours before I go to bed. [...] So about an hour before [bed], if I'm being good, and, by the way, this isn't always achievable because there's so much to do in a day, but that's life, I'll turn all my screens off—computer, television—do a wind-down, take the dogs out, wash my face, do my skin routine, take a hot Epsom salt or magnesium [sulfate] bath for like a half-hour, and then meditation, and then to bed. If I haven't gotten efficiently exhausted by that point, I usually put on a sleep meditation of some sort or some sound waves.

RS: Do you sleep with a sound machine? 

JA: I do sometimes. And then there are times when it's so loud. It's funny because there's rain and beach waves, but when it's actually raining like it was last night, you just want to go, "Shut up, turn that off." But that sometimes works.

RS: We know you love your dogs (hi, Chester, Clyde, and Sophie!). Do your dogs sleep with you? 

JA: Yes, they do. [...] And, you know, they're busy so that's probably part of the problem. I'm sure that doesn't help, but that's not ending, so…

RS: What do you actually have on your nightstand? 

JA: I have a stand for my phone, I have a few crystals, I have a few essential oils, and that little purifier that I usually drop a couple of drops of lavender in, and, oh, an Apple TV remote, and books underneath the nightstand.

RS: What do you do with your crystals? Are they there for protection and good energy? 

JA: Yes and yes. And when there's a full moon, I put them outside for a moon bath. They're everywhere; I'm not going to lie.

RS: Are you picky about your sheets and bedding? 

JA: I have a weighted blanket and that is another game changer, I have to say. I got one about two years ago, and that's very helpful for sleep. And, then, you know, I'm not very picky, but I like soft sheets; I don't like a scratchy sheet. I don't think anybody does, and I use silk pillowcases.

RS: My husband loves flannel sheets in the winter, which I hate, but whatever. 

JA: What about flannel pajamas? Then he gets his flannel and you get your sheets; that's your compromise.

RS: Favorite temperature to sleep in?

JA: 68 degrees, cold.

RS: When was your last great night's sleep? 

JA: Four nights ago.

RS: What does a great night's sleep mean for you? 

JA: It means eight hours and it means I don't remember getting up in the middle of the night. I really appreciate those nights.

RS: Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? 

JA: You know, it depends. It's usually the staying-asleep part, honestly. But if I know I have a 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. wakeup call, that's when the committee starts to get really anxious, and talks about how fearful they are of not falling asleep, which is half the problem, is our brains are not calming down and relaxing.

RS: If you're memorizing lines or have a red carpet the next day, is it harder to sleep? 

JA: Yes, oh yeah, anytime that there's [stuff the next day], and that didn't used to be the case. I used to take sleep for granted. I could survive on three to four hours of sleep and think, "Oh, I can do this. I feel great." Then as [you get older], since our nighttime is when our cells are rejuvenating and, you know, basically repairing from the day before from everything we put out, and overtime, that all starts to show its effects on our performance during the day and our workouts and our skin and our hair and our memorization—all of that stuff starts to pay the price for it. And then you go to your doctor and you say, I don't have enough energy to work out, my muscles aren't strong, this and that, and you never think it has to do with your sleep. It's the easiest thing. It's almost too obvious, but my doctor will just say that's the most important. Out of everything you are doing that's right, that's the one thing that's not allowing everything you're doing right to work.

RS: I feel like that's so frustrating because if getting great sleep were easy, we'd all do it. We want to sleep; sometimes it just doesn't happen!

JA: I know. It doesn't, and that's also why it's really good to go to the Idorsia website for the Seize the Night & Day campaign and learn all about what insomnia does and how you can remedy that. And that's why we partnered up to begin with. It's about creating awareness, because nobody really talks about how important it is; it's just the most important thing to do. We're all sick and tired of being sick and tired.

RS: Before you go, do you have any new beauty favorites that we need to know about? 

JA: Well, obviously, my hair oil, that's my obsession, and also I started a workout last year—I've been obsessed with P.volve. I've added that to my workout routine and I absolutely love it. My girlfriends and I have all become obsessed and we do it together or alone or you can do it online or you can go to the studio and it's really geared toward bodies that are injured. So many people say, "Oh, I can't work out, my back, my this, my that," but this allows you to curate your workout so that you can support whatever injury your body has and you can therefore still get the benefits of workouts.

RS: Thanks, Jen! Happy sleep! 

JA: Happy sleep!

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