In our Sleeping With… series, we speak to people from different career paths, backgrounds, and stages of life to find out how they make sleep magic happen.
Jemele Hill is a multifaceted veteran sports journalist—but don’t tell her to stick to sports. The writer and host wrapped up a 12-year career at ESPN in 2018, where she co-hosted the 6 PM hour of SportsCenter. Since then, she joined The Atlantic as a contributing writer and hosts the popular Spotify podcast, Jemele Hill is Unbothered. Her latest career move is Stick to Sports, a new late-night show on VICE TV she co-hosts with best friend (and fellow veteran sports journalist) Cari Champion.
A day in Hill’s life “looks like total chaos,” she tells SELF. Between writing, hosting, developing, and now shooting and promoting her late-night show, she’s got a lot on her plate. Hill and her husband, Ian Wallace, recently moved to Los Angeles and redesigned their dream house. But still, her wind-down time is crucial, even if it’s just partaking in her new favorite act of self-care: watching mindless television, something she never had time to do while working in broadcasting. “I'm a big proponent in general of women taking time—even if it's just a small bit—so that they can have something for themselves,” she says. For more on what bedtime looks like for Hill, how she found self-care in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and her advice for other “work wives,” read on below.On her new sleep schedule
I'd like to say I'm the kind of person who gets nine hours of sleep, but that is also sort of impossible to do. During the week, I consider it a win if I'm able to get to sleep before midnight. I feel like my sweet spot is really in between 10:30 and 11:30. It's funny though—it makes me feel sort of washed, because I probably spent a good 12 to 15 years of my career where I did not have to be up early for anything. I was a sports writer covering teams and leagues, so you're on a team schedule, which is different. There's usually never anything early in the morning, because you're covering games at night. It was perfect because I was allowed to sleep late, and I didn't really have to be anywhere before noon for a really long time, and so I was a night owl. But once I started doing television, when I was at ESPN, my schedule completely flipped. I am becoming what I most hate, which is an early riser, even to the point where I'm the type of person where it's now difficult for me to sleep in on the weekends beyond 8:30.On not being a morning person
Even though my schedule unfortunately doesn't allow me another option, I'm not a morning person. I'm also still making the adjustment to living on the West Coast. This is the first time I've lived on the West Coast, and anyone who lives on the West Coast can tell you how it feels like you're working two work days at once, because you're accounting for the people that you have to deal with on the East Coast. Your day may wind up starting at 6 AM or sometimes 5 AM, so it's a much earlier start time than I've ever had in my life. Many days, you can get started at 6 or 6:30 in the morning and go straight until 7 or 8 o'clock at night.
I'm the kind of person who needs to ease into my day. My husband is the exact opposite. The alarm could go off and he will wake right up. I am the person that hits snooze, like, three times. And then when I hit snooze, I still lie there for a good 20 minutes. I might check my phone, or I might just turn on the TV. I need to not feel like my day is off to a shotgun start. I've just got to ease into the day.