When Serena Williams isn’t goofing around with daughter, Olympia, or taking family trips, she’s juggling what often feels like the weight of the world on her shoulders. “It’s countless responsibilities,” she tells Glamour, from her tennis career and strength training/conditioning to her various business ventures. “I want to make sure I’m always ready for any challenges.”
For Williams, that means taking care of her mental and physical health so the stress doesn’t overwhelm her (always easier said than done). As someone who has battled severe migraines for most of her life, managing stress is crucial to her overall health. “Just because you’re tough doesn’t mean you have to be in pain,” she says.
The superstar, who recently turned 40, swears by a good night’s sleep—a full eight hours—and the prescription medication, UBRELVY, which she credits with treating migraine attacks when they come on. But what else helps lull her to sleep when she has so much on her mind? For Glamour‘s latest edition of How I Sleep at Night, she fills us in on her calming—and essential—nighttime routine.
How much sleep I need a night
My sleep schedule typically doesn’t change much even if I’m in the middle of a tournament. I always strive to get eight hours, but I’m definitely a bit of a night owl. I typically go to sleep around 11 P.M. or midnight so I can get my eight hours in, but it’s important for me to start my nighttime routine early so I can wind down and relax [since] it’s hard for me to turn my brain off. However, I know sleep is extremely important to help the body heal, so I always try to get eight hours of sleep.
What I always drink before bed
Hydration is super important for everything from skin to muscle recovery, so I try to make sure I always have water next to my bed. I also avoid snacking, especially sugar, as that tends to keep me awake longer.
How I deal with a debilitating migraine
I’ve dealt with them my entire adult life and typically get about two migraine attacks per month. When I was younger, I would complain to my mom that I had a headache. It wasn’t until my twenties that I realized that I actually had migraine attacks. I would even have to stop training because of my migraine attacks. Aside from head pain, my eyes get very sensitive to light, which is my number one symptom and how I know I have a migraine. It makes it hard for me to function. With UBRELVY®, I’m able to take the medication anytime and anywhere a migraine attack strikes. As I continue to expand my entrepreneurial ventures, the last thing I need is a debilitating migraine attack.
My preferred bedroom style
My sister, Venus, has an interior design firm and she just finished designing our new home. My house and bedroom definitely have a lot of soft and clean colors like white and ivory but I do like pops of color.
My favorite skincare product to use at night
My nighttime skincare routine is something I love doing because it helps me wind down before bed. I’ve been using coconut oil for years to wash the makeup off my face. Then I love using serums, creams and masks to ensure my face feels clean, smooth and hydrated before bed.
My favorite type of pajamas
I do love a cute set of silk pajamas because there’s nothing like getting into a fresh bed while wearing silk. It truly feels like heaven!
The bedtime accessory I swear by
I love a good eye and face mask before bed but I don’t have a favorite, I love to try different ones.