‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Star Lexi Underwood Goes to Sleep at 4 A.M. but Never Skips Meditation
You know what sounds good right now? A bath. A warm bubble bath or at least a face mask or a hot cup of tea or even just a delicious, clean pair of pajamas to crawl into. In moments like this one, what we want most is to wind down—not to tune out the world, which demands our attention, but take a break from it for a few hours. Enter Bedtime Stories, a new series from Glamour in which we solicit relaxation tips, sleep hacks, and bedroom accessories from some of the women we admire most. Here’s how actor Lexi Underwood goes to sleep.
Aside from that whole starring-in-the-miniseries-we-can’t-stop-talking-about thing, Lexi Underwood is just a normal 16-year-old. “I go to sleep super late and then I wake up super late. It’s something that I need to stop doing,” admits the Little Fires Everywhere actor, who says she’s been going to bed around 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. lately. (Remember those days?) “Honestly, it’s so bad! But my mom is very adamant about making sure that I don't sleep my day away. Once it gets past noon, she’s like, ‘You’ve got to get up!’”
So what salacious activities have been keeping the teen up at all hours? “I’m working on a script right now. I usually start it around 9 [p.m.] or 10 [p.m.] at night, and by the time I look up and stop writing, I realize it’s 5 [a.m.].” Okay, so maybe the Washington, D.C., native, who plays Kerry Washington’s smart, spirited daughter, Pearl, in the addictive Hulu miniseries isn’t quite like every other 16-year-old.
Underwood—like the rest of us—is looking forward to putting our national period of self-isolation behind us. On a personal level, once work picks back up, her diligent sleep schedule will return to normal. (Underwood swears she otherwise goes to bed around 10:30 p.m. or 11 p.m., adjusting depending on her call time.) But in the meantime, the quarantine has upped the time she spends with her parents, who flew from D.C. to Los Angeles for the Little Fires Everywhere premiere, which ended up being canceled. “I’m glad it happened while we were all together. My mom, dad, nana, and I have been playing a lot of board games and finding ways to be creative,” she says. Still, there are only so many activities to do under lockdown, so the Underwoods are walking their bichon frise and watching TV…and then sometimes watching it again.
“My parents have been wanting to watch Little Fires Everywhere all the time,” Underwood says. “They’ve seen at least every episode twice.”
My Skin-Care Routine
When I was little, my family would call me “Little Miss Dermalogica,” because I was constantly using all of my mom’s products. I didn’t have any pimples or anything, I was just so infatuated with making sure that I had a healthy skin-care routine because that’s what I saw on YouTube. From years of playing around with products, I’ve learned that my skin is super sensitive and doesn’t react well to fragrances or heavy products, so I pared down my routine and found that the less I do, the better.
I absolutely love Cetaphil. It’s so light on my skin. I use Cetaphil face wash, then I use witch hazel as a toner—that truly gets off any excess makeup or dirt from the day. After that, I use Cetaphil lotion and then shea butter. I absolutely love shea butter. It refreshes my skin and makes it feel so glowy, and my skin never feels dry when I use it. I’ll finish it off with a splash of Mario Badescu’s rosewater facial spray, and if I have a pimple, I’ll use his lotion.
Lexi Underwood with Kerry Washington in Little Fires Everywhere
My Evening Ritual
I’ve been meditating since February 2019, and it’s something I do every night. I got into meditation after I heard Jhené Aiko talking about it on a podcast. I don’t use an app, but I’ve read several books on meditation that my mom bought me. I meditate anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes every night—it really just depends on how my day went. If I had a tough day, I might meditate for 30 minutes. With everything on the news right now, it helps me make sure that my soul is in check. I don’t like to go to sleep with a heavy heart.
The Music I Play
Music is a big part of my sleep routine. I listen to peaceful and calming music every night, and have my go-to playlists and albums I play at night. Right now, it’s Frank Ocean’s Blonde. I play it on loop from the TV in my bedroom until I fall asleep.
My Hair Care
I go to sleep with the Ms. Remi Deluxe Silk Bonnet every night; otherwise my hair is super frizzy the next morning. Wearing something on my head keeps my hair in check the next day.
My PJ Game
I’m not too precious about what I wear at night. I tend to just throw on whatever is lying around. Lately, that’s been a pair of sweatpants and my dad’s old college sweatshirt.
The Sheets on My Bed
My mom is an interior designer, so when we moved to L.A. from D.C. five years ago, she decorated my room and chose the bedding for me. I fully trusted her and love how it turned out.
My Sleep Splurge
I recently got LED lights that I hung up in my bedroom. They’re so calming and relaxing—I just love them. I first saw them on Instagram and don’t know how I slept beforehand.
The Book on My Nightstand
I keep a notebook on my bedside table and write poetry every night before I go to sleep. It’s been something I’ve been doing since I was in the second grade, when I was encouraged by my teacher. The type of notebook I write in doesn’t matter to me, but it’s always there by my bed and is really important to me.
How I Fight the Sunday Scaries
I burn sage in my room every Sunday. It helps clear my head when going into a new week.
How I Disconnect From My Devices
I keep my phone on my bedside table while I sleep, but it’s not something I really think about. Instagram is the last app I check before I start my nighttime routine, but I have a two-hour time restriction on it for the day, so I don’t go into a dark hole. Ever since Little Fires Everywhere premiered, I’ve been gaining about 1,000 new followers a day, which can be overwhelming, so I try not to spend too much time on it.
I don’t have much trouble falling asleep, thanks to my routine, but it can take me a bit longer to fall asleep if I was watching a show beforehand—maybe about 30 minutes. I just finished Love Is Blind, so I’ve gotten a bit caught up in that.
My Tried-and-True Midnight Snack
Goldfish! Oh my God, I love cheddar Goldfish. If I could only eat one snack for the rest of my life, that would be it.
New episodes of Little Fires Everywhere stream every Wednesday on Hulu.
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Caitlin Brody is the entertainment editor at Glamour.
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