Naomi Osaka’s walloping serve and 100-miles-per-hour-plus forehand won her four Grand Slams by the time she was 24. Shortly afterward, in 2022, Osaka was strong enough to admit that the pressures of being a champion were too heavy to endure, and she took a hiatus to focus on her mental health. Last summer, while away from the court, she gave birth to a daughter, Shai, “a cool little intermission,” as she described it on Instagram. Now the tennis star and new mom is training for her return, which is set for 2024. She shares her nighttime routine, which is designed to soothe mind and body.
When do you start getting ready for bed?
As a new mom, my routine has changed quite a bit. It’s no longer about my schedule. While I try to be consistent, to be honest, every day is different. In general, I start getting ready for bed around 9 or 10.
Take us through your nighttime skin-care routine.
My skin-care routine is so special to me, especially these days, when it’s a rare moment to myself. After cleansing and toning, I love massaging my face with a gua sha tool and using the Hydrating Facial Oil from my brand, Kinlò. I really see a difference in my skin when I wake up, especially now that it’s drier than it was before I had a baby. I also make sure to use an eye cream before going to sleep to help with eye bags. Kinlò’s Hydrating Eye Cream is great because it’s not too heavy or greasy.
What about your hair-care routine?
I love the Treatment Mask from Pattern. I use it after I shampoo and condition for about 5 or 10 minutes to lock in moisture. My hair can get dry, so using it about three times a week makes a huge difference in how soft my hair looks and feels.
What are you taking, drinking, and eating before bed?
I don’t like to eat too close to my bedtime; otherwise I wake up feeling bloated and sluggish. I drink hot herbal tea about an hour before bedtime, which helps me decompress from the day. Sometimes, if I’m feeling like I need something to relax, I’ll use Moon Juice’s Magnesi-Om. I’ll also have a glass of lemon water on my bedside table.
What are you watching or listening to before bed?
I try to limit TV and screens before bed because it makes falling and staying asleep really challenging for me. I love listening to calming and peaceful sounds before bed. My favorites are pouring rain or crashing ocean waves.
How does your sleep before a match compare with your sleep after a match?
I’m naturally a bit nervous before a match, and can be a little more restless than usual. Before bed, I like to do some mediating and journaling to calm and re-center my mind. Light stretching and breathing exercises also help with the wind-down.
My sleep after a match is dependent on how I played. Oftentimes, I can stay up thinking about things I should’ve done differently, but my body is usually so tired that sleep comes easy.
Is there anything special you do to relax after a match?
Spending time with my daughter, Shai, always helps relax me. She’s the most special thing in my life! Getting into comfortable clothes, slippers, and letting my hair down while playing with Shai is the ultimate grounding, relaxing activity.
Are you particular about sleep conditions?
I like my bedroom to be pretty dark, which is good now that Shai is sleeping in there. While I usually prefer things silent, Shai’s little noises are my bedroom soundtrack now.
On to the bed …
My only requirement is that I have to make my bed every day. There’s nothing worse than getting into an unmade bed at the end of the day.
Where is your all-time favorite place to sleep?
There’s nothing better than my own bedroom, especially since I had to travel so much growing up and for work. I keep my bedroom nice and dark at night. I have a few plants, which brings a bit of nature to the space, which I love.
Tell us about the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had.
I always sleep well when I’ve been on my feet all day. After a really tough training session or a grueling match, getting a good night’s sleep is the best way for me to unwind and recover.
Jensen Davis is a Senior Editor at AIR MAIL