Sleep, wake, repeat. Read all about how our friends optimize their surroundings, unwind, and relax the mind for a good night—every night.


Travis Bell, Miller Island

We sat down with Travis Bell, the founder of interior design studio, Miller Island, to talk about his nightly bedtime rituals.

Double, Queen, or King?

Queen, but honestly I sleep on my couch most nights. I have a bad lower back and for some reason this vintage sectional that I found at the habitat for humanity has cured my lower back pain. When I go to sleep on a normal mattress the pain comes back so I actually prefer my couch. To make it feel like a bed I put down a sheet and use proper bed pillows. My grandma just passed away this year and she always loved sleeping on her couch so part of me also finds comfort in that memory.

Why is a good night’s sleep important to you?

When I don't sleep well I feel hungover and I really don't need that in my life more than it already happens.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night—or at least dream of getting?

Usually 7 on a good night. I'm insanely jealous of my little brother who can sleep like 10 hours. People who can sleep long don't get how lucky they are.

Are you a dreamer?

Sometimes but very rarely. I'm such a daydreamer already so sleep tends to be an escape from my overactive mind.

What’s currently on your bedside table?

My Vitrivi with lavender oil, a giant mason jar of water and my phone.

Do you partake in any nightly routine before settling into bed?

I watch TV until I fall asleep usually. I also love watching pedicure videos on YouTube. The Meticulous Manicurist is the best.

Tell us about where the magic happens—and by magic, we mean sleep. How do you optimize your sleep environment?

I dim my lights and keep a clean apartment. Overhead lights are a crime to humanity. I have a vintage brass floor lamp that came with my apartment that gives the place a dim and cozy atmosphere at night. I also tidy up before bed so I know I'm waking up to a fresh space. I find this act of preparing for tomorrow helps me end the day.

If you feel a restless night coming on, is there anything you do to help get you through the night without waking?

I think you just have to let it out. If you are feeling restless just get up and do something. Fighting it makes it worse.

What kind of pillows do you use to keep your head in the clouds?

I have several different kinds of pillows. I like having a variety so I can place them where they are needed. It's all about the pillow case for me though. Looking back I'm so blessed that my mom stocked her linen closet with the softest cotton pillowcases and sheets. I grew up on that and can't settle for less now.

Last but not least, what is your number one piece of can’t-sleep-without advice?

Don't eat fatty foods before bed. It's self sabotage. Also don't go to bed until all your energy is out.