The One Trick Jessica Vander Leahy Swears By to Ease Her Nighttime Anxiety
Welcome to Bedtime Stories, an interview series where we ask inspiring individuals to share their nighttime routine and sleep secrets – from the beauty products they can’t live without to the tricks they swear by when they’re too tired to function (no coffee needed). For this instalment, model, writer, podcaster, presenter and founder of Project WomanKIND Jessica Vander Leahy, reveals why her sleep routine is centred around the world 'calm' and the one surprising trick she swears by for when anxiety is keeping her up at night.
Take one look at Jessica Vander Leahy’s Instagram and you’ll instantly be captivated by her charismatic, glowing presence.
Jess is the epitome of what it means to be an inspiring woman today, encompassing three things we all hold dear: a booming career, a flourishing social life, and – perhaps mostly importantly – a firm grasp on her physical and mental health. Between modelling, writing, podcasting, influencing, running Project WomanKIND and enjoying the Byron Bay life, she manages to prioritise her health by sticking to her own tried and true daily habits - and they all revolve around a balanced bedtime and morning routine.
Naturally a night owl, the model wakes herself up in the mornings with a green juice and – if she's extra tired – some nose breathing exercises. At night, she shakes off excess energy with a workout and winds down with a long shower.
Bed Threads Journal sat down with the beautiful Jess to find out all the sleep tricks behind her glowing complexion and radiant personality.
Hi Jess! Welcome to Bedtime Stories. Can you walk us through your bedtime routine?
Naturally, I am a nocturnal animal so I have to be super vigilant about my pre-bedtime wind down or I simply won’t sleep.
I try to workout in the evening to get rid of any excess energy, I have a shower and do my beauty routine and then it’s all about calm—calm voices, calm music and calm stretching before curling up into bed.
What sleep or beauty products do you swear by that you won’t go a night without?
If I’ve been at work all day I like to do a scrub and mask before bed to reset my skin from all that heavy makeup.
Right now my go-to scrub is Ole Henriksen Lemon Scrub and I like to use a L’Oréal mask with all that hydrating hyaluronic in it. Also, my Drunk Elephant retinol is usually the last product I pop on before bed.
What is your solution for those nights you simply can’t nod off to sleep?
Stretching. It sounds counterintuitive but if I can’t get to bed, rather than laying there and putting pressure on myself to sleep — which just makes me anxious — I get up and stretch. Just putting myself in a few relaxing poses allows my body to kind of prompt my mind, ‘It’s sleep time, silly! Go to bed!’
What time does your alarm go off in the morning?
Ideally my alarm doesn’t go off before 8am as I think that’s my natural wake time but, with my job, that’s hardly ever the case because we chase that glorious morning light!
If I can get a workout in early I will—boxing and a beach dip.
But one thing I always do is make my bed—it’s almost like I little gift to myself for later to come home to a fresh bed.
What are three things (besides coffee) that help when you’re too tired to function?
In a pinch, I think a fresh juice gives me a bit of bounce.
I also have been doing some nose breathing exercises to get my body just a little more oxygenated when I’m tired.
Last but not least, I take little power naps, too!
What do you normally eat for breakfast to kick start your day?
Normally for shoots I’m up pre-dawn, so to kick start my body I have a big glass of water followed by a green juice or smoothie with a touch of Vida Glow collagen in it and then coffee. I'm not able to really eat that early so I wait for brunch time.
For more from Jess, follow her on Instagram @jessicavanderleahy and @projectwomankind.
Liked this? This is how MasterChef Australia judge Melissa Leong stays energised despite 4.30am wake-up calls.