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INTERVIEW NO 15

ENOUGH SLEEP

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“... I mostly dream about alternative lives, with the same people that surround me now, but in a complete different setting. I find that very amusing.“

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Stefanie lives in Brooklyn together with her boyfriend Joris. They recently moved to New York from Austria. In their cozy brownstone apartment in Bed-Stuy Stefanie talked to us about her mummy-like sleeping pose and her morning rituals.

November 2015
Brooklyn, New York
Find Stefanie's graphic design work here

Interview & Photography: VM

“She [my Grandma] always thought that I stopped breathing, because I was breathing so silently that she couldn’t hear it. Seems like I creep everyone out while I’m sleeping. “

What are you doing during the day?
I’m working as a designer at a small design and branding studio called High Tide.

What time do you usually get up?
I usually get up at around 7:30 or 8am on weekdays and my boyfriend Joris who I live with is mostly getting up half an hour earlier than me. I used to be an early bird and get up at 5:30am, that was when I still had my analogue alarm clock, but now I’m setting my alarm on my phone and I just prefer to stay in bed a bit longer and snooze the alarm a couple of times! On weekends we sleep pretty long, until 10 or 11am.

How does your alarm sound?
It’s the standard alarm sound on my phone. It’s terrible! 

What is the first thing you do in the morning?
I usually take a shower right after I get up and get dressed. Joris leaves for work an hour earlier than I do and he skips breakfast. That’s when I’m taking some time for myself. I make coffee and have breakfast and I really take my time. 

Do you like having breakfast? And what do you have?
Breakfast is very essential to me. I like to spend an hour every morning drinking my coffee and having breakfast while making plans for the day or just catching up with friends, reading news and checking emails. On weekends I like bread with cheese (!) for breakfast and sometimes we make soft boiled eggs. On weekdays it’s always varying. I mostly have phases where I love to have porridge with nuts and berries for two weeks and then I’ll have a phase where I’d  have bread or bagels with cheese or peanut butter and jelly. In summer I also like having granola with fresh fruit. But the only constant is coffee really. I can’t get going without it!

What time of the day are you most productive?
I like to be productive in the mornings, which I mostly am, but I think it’s probably more in the afternoon. Because that’s when I push myself to get things done before the day is over.

Do you think sleep influences your work?
Yes, I do. If I don’t get enough sleep I can’t really think straight and be productive. I believe if I get enough sleep the outcome is better. 

Do you get enough sleep?
Yes! I am a very quiet sleeper. I don’t move a lot while sleeping and also don’t wake up very often and therefore always get a good amount of sleep. My friends used to make fun of me when I slept over at their places, because I usually sleep on my back with my hands folded on my chest. And because I mostly wouldn’t move or make sounds I would look like a mummy, according to them. My grandma on the other hand was always worried when I slept over at her place. She always thought that I stopped breathing, because I was breathing so silently that she couldn’t hear it. Seems like I creep everyone out while I’m sleeping. 

Where do you sleep best?
I can sleep pretty much everywhere. I think that I maybe sleep best at my parents place. They live in Austria on the countryside and it’s very very quiet there. But here in New York I sleep best in our bed when Joris is here. I can’t fall asleep at all every time he’s on a business trip or out with friends. I think it’s just because I’m always subconsciously worried. 

Do you have any rituals before going to bed?
I brush my teeth, put on my comfy pyjamas and set my alarm. Sometimes I watch Netflix or read a magazine. But right before I fall asleep I try to summarize what I need to get done the next day. 

Do you remember your dreams?
Sometimes I remember my dreams very clearly but lately I don’t remember any of them. Hmm, there’s not really a specific dream I can think of. But I mostly dream about alternative lives, with the same people that surround me now, but with a complete different setting! I find that very amusing.

Do you care about what you wear for sleeping?
It has to be super comfy! I usually wear leggings and a wide t-shirt and in winter sometimes my pink pyjamas. Joris always teases me for wearing them. They are pink and the fabric feels like a towel, so nice and comfy!

What do you keep on your nightstand?
I usually keep a few selected items there: hand creme, as my skin tends to get very dry, sometimes a magazine or book, candles, my phone, because it serves as my alarm clock and a glass of water. Joris usually keeps his iPad there, which I secretly use to watch Netflix when he’s not here.

Describe your bed in 3 words.
White fluffy clouds. 

What is the most special spot you’ve ever fallen asleep.
That one time we stayed at a cabin in the woods over the weekend. It was back in Austria and not too far from the city, but it was very quiet and dark. I slept like a baby.

What do you think happens while we sleep?
Maybe we are actually living alternative lives, like in my dreams! 

How many sheep do you count?
I gave up on that when I was little. I never really believed it would work and for me it never did! I rather like to create to-do lists in my head before I fall asleep. And it always works!

What do you want to dream about tonight?
Fluffy kittens. 

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