Not since the golden age of radio have so many personalities been in our ears. We’ve invited a lot of folks into our heads. They chat us through our showers, prattle at us through our commutes, gently lull us to sleep. We start our days with our favorite podcasters, so we sort of know how their days begin—but what happens when they put their honeyed voices to rest? We asked some of our favorite hosts for their bedtime rituals—what time do they tuck in? What’s on their nightstand? What do they consider pjs? Read their responses with your best radio voice.
Our panel consists of 5 very different voices—judges of celebrity status Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber of Who? Weekly; hilarious drag queens Alaska and Willam Belli of Race Chaser; and daily loveable human Luke Burbank of Too Beautiful to Live.
Tell us how you wind down for bedtime?
Our panel’s actual tuck-in-times ranged from 10 pm to 1 am (we’d judge, but we didn’t ask when they wake up), but we were most charmed to the admittance of a couple of bad-kids don’t want to go-to-bed behavior.
Willam Belli: If I’m not working, at like 10 pm I stretch, do yoga, then turn on the humidifier.
Alaska: I brush my teeth and get a glass of water. Sometimes I put on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm or I meditate.
Lindsey Weber: I take a shower, walk around in my robe (yes, it's Snowe!) for as long as possible. Then I'll begrudgingly put on proper PJs or a comfy equivalent, pop a magic (weed) gummy, slather on all my various creams and serums, brush my teeth (shout out to Who? Weekly sponsor Quip!), re-make my bed and then watch anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours of TV, there are just so many episodes of Housewives and so little time.
Luke Burbank: I make the rounds turning off the lights and try (unsuccessfully) to convince the cat to come inside, brush my teeth, exfoliate, get my water for the nightstand, set my alarm, and get in bed with whatever book I’m reading for work.
Your sleep uniform?
Pajamas appear to be over.
LW: Depending on the weather, anything from sweatpants to...honestly nothing.
A: That's very personal...
BF: No pajamas, too hot. Just underwear.
LB: It really comes down to if the house is going to be cold in the morning when I get up. If the house is cold, and I’m underdressed, I’m less likely to convince myself to get out of bed.
What’s on your nightstand?
At least most of them are staying hydrated...
WB: Condoms, poppers, a book (right now Mama’s Boy by Lance Black), a candle.
LW: So much crap it's embarrassing: an alarm clock that I can't figure out how to use, four books I'm midway through, an iPad mini for doing the New York Times crossword (and reading magazines), those aforementioned magic gummies and allergy meds. My glasses and stupid phone usually end up in my bed with me by accident when I pass out.
BF: A stack of books, my alarm clock, and a lamp. Then I throw my glasses and watch on there before getting in bed.
A: A glass of water. A candle. My phone.
LB: Water, a lamp, phone and watch chargers, a New Yorker from 11 months ago I’m still telling myself I’ll get through.
What’s your recipe for the perfect bed?
We know what we think works, but we can’t argue with a Rue McClanahan approved option either.
WB: It’s a princess and the pea sitch: at least eight pillows and three layers.
LB: Snowe sheets, which I love, plus a duvet. That’s it. Keep it simple.
LW: Right now I am fortunate enough to have a bed covered in gorgeous Snowe linen. I also have various blankets that go on or off depending on the weather.
A: I have the same bedspread as Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls. It has green palm leaves and matching pillows.
BF: Snowe linen fitted sheet and top sheet. And I can NOT sleep without a comforter, even if it’s hot out. I need the weight.
What do you do when you have trouble getting to sleep?
Are you surprised that two podcasters use podcasts to fall asleep?
BF: The white noise of the fan, or a podcast ("Sleep With Me") at a low volume that I play in one of those cool little flat headphone speakers you can put inside your pillowcase and lie on.
LB: I fall asleep pretty much when my head hits the pillow. This makes my wife crazy to no end because she’ll be in the middle of talking to me and I’ll be dead asleep.
LW: Magic. Gummies. But also the "Sleep With Me" podcast and white noise.
WB: I turn on a hookup app and invite a man over.
A: I just get drunk on wine.
We know people say they don't care about other people's dreams, but we do. Tell us about the last dream you had, I swear we actually want to hear it.
Turns out the I didn’t do my homework dream never stops, it just evolves.
WB: Couldn’t tell ya.
A: It was the night before the Drag Queen of the Year Pageant. I was very nervous and excited and so I was dreaming about the contestants and what they would bring and how it would all be going backstage.
LW: I dreamt that a girl I don't care for decided she was moving to Oslo(?) and everyone kept talking about it. I was like, "WHO THE F*** CARES." Oh also I got a really flattering dress, but it had sprinklers attached to the bottom. Chic!
BF: I was nervous about a live show for our podcast and dreamed we didn’t prepare and that we were about to go on to a sold out house without having any content—like a deranged version of the “I forgot to study for my test” dream.
LB: I have a recurring dream I’m at a comedy club and no one told me I was supposed to perform that night, and I’m running around the club trying to find a pencil and paper to write down some bits. I never find the stuff and just have to go onstage totally unprepared. Not sure what this means, but it can’t be great.
We picked these podcasters because we’d listen to them tell us just about anything, and their answers were both illuminating and perfectly regular. In the end it seems our favorite podcasters turn down the same way we do—by putting their headphones on one ear at a time.