Health

My Bedtime Routine: Drew Barrymore Shares the Nerdiest Thing She Does in Bed

In our Sleeping With… series, we ask people from different career paths, backgrounds, and stages of life how they make sleep magic happen.

“It’s been a hard two weeks, but today is a good day,” Drew Barrymore tells SELF over Zoom. She’s been busy, but who can blame her—the iconic actor, entrepreneur, and host has a daily talk show, helms Flower Beauty, her booming beauty company, and serves as a mother to two young daughters. Like many parents, her children are fatigued by Zoom school, she says: “They’ve just hit a wall. It’s been really emotional—the masks, and they can’t see their friends, and the inconsistency of it all, the fatigue of it all.” Yet her work life—which includes launching The Drew Barrymore Show during a pandemic—is a source of creativity and comfort: “You’re birthing, inventing, creating. There are limitless opportunities and a need for constant ideas,” she says.

Another bright spot for Barrymore is her recent partnership with Kellogg’s. It’s not the first time she’s teamed up with the cereal brand. That was a Rice Krispies commercial in 1981, one year before her breakthrough role as Gertie in E.T. Here, Barrymore tells SELF about her nighttime routine, which includes a bowl of cereal, watching cartoons with her daughters, and lots of reading and working in bed.

I don’t have any time for myself. It’s kids and work.

I’m not kidding—I’ve fallen completely off the table, but you know, it’s hard to do it all. I feel like my kids and the work are a priority. I’ll find my way back to me. So there’s not a ton of time for myself.

That said, our nights and our mornings are very consistent.

At night, I’m either with the kids already or I’ll come home from work, and check in with the kids. If it’s early enough, I’ll get them dinner. This is only on work nights—on weekends, I’m making their dinner.

Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats, Breakfast Cereal

You can never go wrong with this classic breakfast cereal. 

Funny enough, I do eat a lot of cereal at night. I just love that whether life is consistent or totally bananas, we’re eating cereal. When I got my first apartment, when I was 14, Frosted Mini-Wheats were a staple in my pantry, and I called them FMWs. I want to start a FMW hashtag because I’m a passionate FMW eater.

I try to read a book with my kids every single night.

A lot of nights are messy because they start getting energy out of nowhere and they’re sisters, so they’re playing one minute and fighting the next. It totally turns to chaos, they keep jumping all over my bed. It’s nuts. And then I’m like, okay, I can’t read the children’s book tonight. But predominantly I read a book to them each night.

This has been the year of the iPads: There’s too much iPad. And they’re at homeschool on an iPad all day. They’re really wired from all that, so the wind-down for them has been particularly challenging. It’ll get better as we get out of this time more.

Our other nighttime ritual—I almost left out the best one—we watch Tom and Jerry cartoons every single night.

Sometimes we’ll watch a movie or Cobra Kai or some fun show. But 95% of the time, we watch Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny and all the old school cartoons, Roadrunner and Pink Panther. That’s our tradition. Sometimes it’s like 7:30-8:00 p.m., sometimes it’s like 8:30 p.m. I try to get them to bed early, but you know, good luck. Every parent knows how hard that is.

I do a lot of my own research and homework in bed with them.

Energizer Rechargeable LED Headlamp

Read in bed or BBQ outside with this handy headlamp. 

I do it at night and then in the morning as well, before we start taping. I read with a headlamp—it’s a groovy, Adirondack headlamp, and I have my pens and my highlighters and I do my work.

I write a gratitude list now.

Sometimes it’s one thing, sometimes it’s 10, every night, which is a nice prayer for me and it’s made me start acknowledging things to clock in the day to put in the list. I’m like, “Oh, that needs to go in the list.” I’m noticing things differently because of this gratitude book. It’s so awesome. So, that’s been a really nice nightly ritual that I just started a month and a half ago. I’m just wacky for it.

Right now, we’re all on a really similar schedule. I go to sleep with them at 9ish, or 9:30 p.m.

Sometimes I get up and go to the couch by myself and do something if I can—do a little more work or just read a book, chill out for a second. I don’t even want to watch TV, it’s too stimulating. I try to take off my makeup at work, but regardless, I’ll always wash my face. I’ll take care of my skin, make sure it’s clean and clear. Then I’ll go back into the bedroom and fall asleep. The sleep is good.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

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