We all want to relax, especially at the end of a long day, but we don’t all approach finding our chill in the same way. And so, we give you “Unwinding,” a biweekly column that asks different men about how they shake off the stress and kick up their feet when they get home from work. Our hope is that their chill will become your chill and that you’ll pick up a habit or two that helps you sleep easier. This installment: Brendan Fallis, a 39-year-old entrepreneur, DJ and founder of PRE.VEYOR Talent Management.
What time do you usually finish your work day?
That’s super variable. If I don’t have to DJ, I’m usually done around 8 p.m., but if I have to DJ, anywhere from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. My optimal bedtime is between 10 p.m. and midnight.
Work-from-home-wise, do you give yourself a “hard out,” or do you tend to find yourself still working from bed right before you go to sleep?
I never give myself a hard out. If anything, I usually give myself a hard start time in the morning. Based on my variable work schedule, it’s easier for me to plan a hard start in the morning — i.e., sleeping in if needed, or getting an early start to make up for the lost time another day.
Do you turn off your phone or put it in Airplane mode at a certain time every night?
Yes, but only when I go to bed. When I set my alarm, it goes into night mode, which is a “do not disturb” mode so I can get my full night’s sleep. More largely, either personally or professionally, I try not to be on my phone for 30 minutes before I sleep.
Do you change your clothes as soon as you get home?
I only change if I’m heading out or have to work and my outfit doesn’t fit the next occasion. Changing to relax is something I’ve found myself thinking about more lately, but I’m still not implementing for some reason. Perhaps I’ll switch that up more consciously after this.
Do you ever fall asleep in the same clothes you worked in?
I did that more often than not when I moved to New York City, but I was also DJ-ing six to seven nights per week ‘til 4 or 5 a.m. Now that I keep more regular hours and I’m much older, I find myself more responsible.
On a scale of 1-10, how guilty are you of sleeping in your contacts?
I sleep with my contacts in maybe a handful of times a year, usually thanks to alcohol. Otherwise, I’m pretty damn good about it — besides on planes. There, I’m sleeping in them all the time.
Speaking of alcohol, do you drink or smoke weed on a nightly basis?
Alcohol on a semi-regular basis. Love me a mezcal negroni or a great martini with a twist.
Is there a specific time you eat dinner every night, or maybe a specific time you stop eating before bed?
I try not to eat dinner two hours before bed. It’s much more difficult to get a good night’s sleep if you eat in that last two-hour window. If I could eat at 7 or 8 p.m. every night, that would be optimal, but my work schedule is all over the place, so I eat when I can.
What’s your favorite beverage to sip before bed?
Dream by WellWell. If you haven’t tried it, get some asap!
Do you have any after-work hobbies?
Not really. I’m so focused on business right now that I just work a lot, brainstorm or conceptualize unless I’m tuning out to a TV series (lately Billions or Luther). Not that exciting I know, but it’s what makes me motivated and hungry.
Do you shower or bathe before bed?
Shower, yes. On a perfect day, I’ll shower twice — once in the morning and once at night. My morning shower is my favorite because it gets the day started.
Do you have a nightly skincare routine?
I do the age-old face wash first (Elemis scrub), followed by a moisturizer (Coola face 30 SPF) and an under-eye cream (Port Products undereye gel). I also do masks regularly. My secret is wearing a “frownie” to bed to avoid the 11s, or the lines that pop up between the eyes and crow’s feet around the eyes. I’ve actually never mentioned that to anyone other than my wife!
I take a probiotic before bed every night, too; I feel like it works to help my immune system while sleeping. And sometimes magnesium as well.
Which position do you like to sleep in while alone in bed?
Flat on my back, helps to avoid those extra wrinkles you don’t need in the future.
Do you prefer silence or sound while sleeping?
As much silence as I can get!
Does stress ever keep you up at night? And if so, how do you get rid of it?
I worry for sure, mostly about financial security. I try to mediate a couple of times per week. It seems to help me more than not. Right now, I use the Headspace app as I’m comfortable with it and it’s pretty easy to access.
I attempt some quick mobility if possible, too — focused on the hips and shoulders, which entails a lot of lunging in all directions, mixed with the cobra pose for the stomach and spine. I also like to use a doorway or wall for some shoulder work. It’s definitely super useful to take some time to do this. Most of us sit or stand for the majority of the day, so this allows oxygen and blood to flow into the joints, which is important for good health — mental or otherwise.
Lastly, I just remind myself that I’m doing everything I can to better myself and situation, and tomorrow is a new day, so don’t worry about anything that happened today.