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What’s On My Nightstand

Every year around this time—after we’ve put away the Halloween masks (and I’ve eaten way too many Almond Joys) and Thanksgiving is coming in hot—I get the urge to slow down and simplify. Lately, I’ve noticed that the items on my bedside table are a perfect reflection of how I’m feeling and what I’m focusing on. So, I thought it would be fun to start a new series on the blog called “What’s On My Nightstand” to share with you.

This month, I’m all about rest and relaxation. I need energy to keep up with the kids and our busy schedules—and I want to do whatever I can to cultivate a little calm before the impending holiday storm. 

Two things you won’t find on my nightstand? An alarm clock or my phone. I don’t need an alarm clock—hello, children—and I’ve found that keeping my phone outside of our bedroom keeps my head clear. (Let’s face it: The news and Instagram can wait.) 

Read on to find out what seven items have a dedicated spot on my nightstand this month, and let me know what’s on your nightstand in the comments below!

What’s On My Nightstand

Austin Press Forager’s Woods candle

This candle, which is a blend of soy, coconut, bee’s wax and essential oils, smells so good and reminds me of Vancouver. Plus, I love that it’s poured into a holder that’s made out of recycled glass. 

Stranger’s Guide

I’m currently obsessing over this quarterly magazine that gives readers an inside look at different places around the world. The guides don’t just talk about where to go or where to eat—they connect with the pulse and narration of locals through beautiful photo essays and investigative stories. Each issue is well written and thought-provoking.

Aura Cacia Chill Pill 

I need all the chill that I can get! I’ve been dabbing a little of this essential oil mix onto my pillow or stirring it into some lotion. The combination of lavender, peppermint, orange, basil, peppermint, chamomile, and patchouli really relaxes me.

Turnco carafe

Staying hydrated helps keep stress levels down, but it’s easy to forget. This chic carafe gives me a pretty reminder to drink up. And the glass is heavy enough that I don’t have to worry about it shattering when three kids and a dog come stampeding into the bedroom in the morning.  

Herbalogic Solid Eight Herb Drops

I tend to wake up during the night, so I will try any natural sleep aid that prevents that. These drops, which you can put under your tongue or in water, are something I’ve recently started using. The blend of eight herbs is working for me so far. I’ve been sleeping better and feel less groggy in the morning.

Fredericks and Mae Cedar Rope incense

The smell of this incense is so soothing and is supposed to have anti-anxiety properties to help calm your mind and body before bed. Yes, please!

HomArt Washes of Modern Water Colour matches

I am a sucker for great design and bold colors, so this matchbox is right up my alley. I love the gorgeous colors on the cover—they remind me of an orange sunset. It honestly makes me so happy every time I open it up to grab a match to light a candle or some incense. And isn’t that the point?



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  • Lydia

    I love having my favorite magazines and books on my nightstand. I love to relax and read before bed.

  • Alesia Blake

    I keep Noxzema on my bedside table, at 60 my skin gets really dry, I’m a Noxzema helps to add some moisture at night. I also have a glass of water to stay hydrated, I have a beautiful candle that smells of vanilla, and incense that is black cherry. I also keep a book, right now it is a mystery by James Patterson who is my favorite author. I also have a tube of soothing lotion, that contains a rose water which I put on my feet and hands at night.

  • Catie

    I have a lamp, my phone (which is my alarm clock), an essential oil mist diffuser (usually diffusing Roman chamomile, lavender, and orange before bed), baby monitors (my kids are on a different floor than us), and right now it’s Misha and Vicky’s Adventurous Eater’s Club book!
    Oh, and my Little Mermaid “Find Your Voice” stainless steel Tervis water bottle, which actually is usually wherever I am.
    And a glasses case. =)

  • Kim

    I have water a lamp my cell no alarm pen paper

  • Melissa

    I have tissues, my favorite photo of my son from when he was a baby, a combo carafe/glass from Crate & Barrel, my Bible, and an essential oil diffuser. Occasionally I have throat mist over there too. Love your suggestions

    • Michele Sloan

      Clock, lamp, candle lamp with a peppermint candle right now, Yeti with ice cold water, my house alarm key and a small plaque.

  • Jessica Lozano

    Hi Gen!
    Wonderful post!! Thank you! I put lavender on my pillow and find it helps for a more restful sleep. I also breathe deeply right when I lay down and it really cuts back on my tossing and turning at night. I also try and keep the temp low so I don’t wake up from being too hot. I’ve been thinking a lot about your family and hope everything is going ok 🙂

  • Kristin

    I currently have several candles, all fall scents, an air diffuser (due to the dogs) and Bath and Body Works Essential Oil “Sleep” lotion. And my newest addition is an elephant platter that I purchased on Sunday at an outdoor craft fair in Micanopy, FL. The elephant is currently holding all my candles 🙂

    • Amy

      I love Mounds, which is Almond Joy, without the almonds for those of you who may not know.
      There are recipes online to make a homemade version. It’s really easy. Maybe something for you and the kids to do together?
      I have also tried a bunch of things for sleep. I have insomnia and wake up in the middle of the night. Two things that really help me are listening to ASMR videos. I dont watch I put my phone face down. There are so many choices of ASMR types of videos you have to weed out and find the ones that work for you. My favorite is Whispers Red.
      The lotion Sleepy is from Lush. It is vegan, fair trade and they do not test on animals. The scent is a combination of lavender and Tonka. It’s a light formula made with cocoa butter, glycerin and almond oil. It soaks right in, isn’t heavy and the scent lasts for longer than it tajes me to fall asleep 😴 haha
      Ok sorry for the super long post! I hope some of this will help someone ☺

  • Tasslyn

    What are the books!?! Hard to tell. 🙂

  • Cheryl Sheppard

    Thank you for sharing the books. I went straight to their site and signed up!

  • Kelly

    What a lovely idea Gen! This post makes me want to clean up my bedside table, as it seems to be the place where I empty my pockets and drop things at the end of a busy day. I currently have a number of items on mine that I love – Noxema hand cream, a bottle of essential oil blend I make myself using bergamot, chamomile, lavender, ylang-ylang and cinnamon (I call it stress-be-gone) that I find VERY soothing, a apple cider scented candle, an amazing book I was given years ago (don’t sweat the small stuff), a small basket I decorated with rope and paint that holds my medications, and a large Starbucks cup with a lid and straw – I have a black lab and two cats that like to knock things off the table if I don’t wake up early enough for their tummies – and of course my reading lamp and my glasses case… love reading your blog dear. Its a very nice part of my day, and one I look forward to with a cup of my favorite fall tea up here in Vancouver Canada. All my best to you and yours.

  • Diana Vinson

    Hello Gen!
    I have to Thank You for this particular post!
    I’ve never associated what’s on my nightstand
    With my sleep. But, you are so very right with
    All of it! Right now I have my books that I have not
    read, in a nice basket, on my nightstand. Now, I love
    To keep my books close by. I love books. I could
    Never be happy with electronics taking over. I love
    Going into a Library and seeing all the books. They
    Even have a particular smell to them . ANYWAYS! Even
    With my books close by, I don’t sleep well and I think one
    Reason is, I get upset with myself knowing I have so
    Much reading to catch up with. I do keep water on
    The stand and my light hooked to my bed. I love all
    Of your relaxing suggestions and I def will try them
    and I will let you know how it goes!!

  • Shelly Dalton

    Hi Gen,
    This Vintage lady has ice water, CBD oil, timer candle, small oil diffuser, cell phone and audio book. Oh yes sometimes gummies from Sprouts if I play on my tablet.

  • Christine

    Hey Gen, on my nightstand is a painting of a fairy that my friend painted for me for my birthday. My Alexa because I listen to music to help me fall asleep and right before I doze off I tell her to play “rain sounds”. My phone is next to my bed but I have no trouble ignoring it. I also keep a glass of water. I spray lavender on my pillow and turn my salt lamp on about a half hour before I go to bed.

  • Victoria Stephens

    I absolutely love the framed painting. That alone relaxes me. I always have water next to me and some essential oils. A very beautiful way to cope with the stresses that come to all of us. I also just bought new jammies. What a joy. I’ll check out your new recommendations.

  • Alicia

    Hello Gen!
    I really needed this right now. I’ve been stressing out a lot and it has started to get me down a bit. I never thought of examing something like my nightstand to see how it can affect me. I wake up at night and have struggled with finding something natural to help me sleep through the night, so I’m excited to maybe try out your suggestion. Thank you for posting fun and insightful things! Take care xo

  • Hannah Kirby

    I’m all about the relaxation right now. Being in nursing school, I have to take a breather wherever I can get it. I keep a lavender pillow mist and a cup of ice water on my nightstand along with a small lamp for bedtime reading. I like to listen to thunderstorm sounds to help me sleep, and in the morning I’ll use some refreshing wipes I made with witch hazel and lavender oil to help wake me up.

  • Taylor Neave

    This asthetic is so dreamy I’m in love. I also absolutely adore the table!! Just curious, where do you keep your phone at night? I love the idea of having it out of the room, just not sure where I’d leave it!

  • Regina DeRolf

    Hi Gen I guess my night stand is a mess so when I saw this I started to clean. I usually have 3 books on my wicker night stand. my water is so important to me I have one on the top & 2 in the little drawers. a small candle from the Best of Me a small shop here in Northern Ca. I’m into black Cherry everthing I also have a Photo of all my childern (6) & grandbabies also (6) form last years Xmas the only Meds is small tube of Triple Antibiotic Ointment I use this for my face a little on the forehead,under the eyes & nose i found this miney years ago & it not only heals, it soft’ns the skin I keep a box of tissues & i put every thing else in the drawers there is one thing else i make a list for eash day to do on sented note pad i did want to say your paper i deal works great thank_U_

  • Tatiana

    Hi Gen, I really like this topic!
    On my bedside table at this moment there are:
    kleenex (I have a cold!),
    an art history book with figures that I watch with my daughter before she goes to sleep,
    a notebook on which I write the three beautiful things of the day,
    a notebook to free the mind from too many things to remember
    a lavender candle that I light up a bit before going to sleep.

    Thank you for your post.
    Its lovely.

  • Brandie V Wells

    I’m always about relaxation and my kids. I keep water by my bedside, it’s just good to keep hydrated. I am readi the book Gone, which is the first in a series of 6 books written by Michael Grant. I have a hard time sleeping as well; so, the doctor recommended reading a book to help use up the extra energy in my brain, when my body is ready for sleep. I also have yarn and a crocheting needle, which helps me unwind 😘. My grandma taught me how to crochet when I was little and it’s always brought me joy, feeling a little closer to her. Several textbooks that I’m reviewing to determine if I’m going to use them for my 15 year old Autistic son and 12 year old daughter, as I homeschool both of them. This time of year I find having Vicks Vapor Rub on hand is essential, I use it for traditional purposes, rubbing on the chest, on the skin between each nostril and neck. I have found that it’s a great moisturizer, rub on each foot, put on a pair of socks and go to bed, wake up to super soft feet; I do the same thing with my hands and put on gloves once a week. I love waking up to soft hands and feet.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

  • Zara

    I really love the sound of the anti-anxiety incense, these past couple weeks my anxiety has just been through the roof! I’ll see and give it ago. Also! There’s this app that I’ve started to use and it really is helping with my anxiety (and my depression) it’s called happy not perfect and it gives you six stages to go through and you can set a reminder sort of like an alarm, you write what you want on there (my personal favourite: you are enough). Whenever if things get stressful with the kids -because come on they can be a handful and a half- you can set a reminder and at the specific time you get notified of the little motivational quote you put for yourself. I think that this could really benefit you, being a mum and all.

  • Just me

    This is a lovely post. My nightstand isn’t nearly so serene. Though I do keep items nearby for stress relief & relaxation. I have a mess of prescriptions due to cancer, autoimmunity, PTSD and eczema (and yet most don’t get it when I start to spin out – hence the stress relief tools). I also keep lotion, chapstick, stress relief essential oil, water, a knitting project, a book, a hairbrush, and baby wipes because my dog is always up to something. It’s not nearly as picturesque as your nightstand, but it gets me by.

  • Elina

    Bueno… en mi mesita no falta el libro que esté leyendo ese mes (el de este mes es “Uno más Uno, de Jojo Moyes). Además, por supuesto, mi teléfono para despertar a horario y no llegar tarde a trabajar jajaja. Y, obvio para toda escritora, una pequeña libreta donde anoto las ideas y sentimientos que se dan a mitad de la noche.
    Tu blog es fantástico!

  • Sherry

    Thanks for this, Gen! I have the same problem with my sleep (waking up repeatedly), so I’m going to try your suggestion. I’m glad to know of something that’s worked for someone else; thanks for sharing this!

    • Sherry

      Update: Gen, I bought some of the Solid Eight capsules (instead of the drops) and started taking it about a week ago. I had nothing on my agenda for early today, so last night, I made up my mind to sleep as long as I wanted. I slept 10 hours and only woke up twice, briefly. That hasn’t happened in months, if not more than a year!! This is, I’m not exaggerating, a godsend! THANK YOU!!

  • Dawn

    I have two nightstands (because I’m high maintenance–ha!) and they have: cell phone charger, reading lamp, a small fan, oil diffuser, lotion and tissues, glasses case, extra tablet (I like watching movies in bed) and whatever book I happen to be reading. Probably not the most relaxing items, but it’s functional. Your ideas are better! I might have to purge some things. 🙂

  • Maria P

    I love this! Thanks. Very Inspiring. I have one night stand that has my journal, Medicine Woman Tarot Cards, Gabrielle Bernstein’s Universe Has Your Back Card Deck, Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Love Notes Card Deck, Rachel Hollis’ book Girl, Wash Your Face, A Lamp, Al-Anon Bookmarks, and a Sensational White Pine Candle and essential oil diffuser. It’s a bit crowded but sometimes some of the items are in my nightstand.

  • Pam

    How lovely. I do keep my phone in my room because I have a son who lives across the country and elderly parents. I have a rule of no use after 930pm. I keep various essential oils, a candle – though the scent varies, books, the journal I started after reading Felicia Day’s Embrace Your Weird and water.

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