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.
Cari Champion recently embarked on her latest adventure with her work wife, best friend, and colleague Jemele Hill. Stick to Sports, the duo’s new late-night talk show on Vice TV, started airing in late August to acclaim from fans and critics alike. In it, Champion, a veteran sports journalist who spent many years as a host at ESPN, and cohost Hill, discuss everything from Black Lives Matter to “vagina-shaming”—with no stone left unturned and no topic out of bounds. Champion’s presence is outgoing, warm, and comforting; her dynamic with Hill is playful yet challenging. It is plain to see that they are exactly what we need to be watching at this moment.
Today, Champion lives with her “really old dog,” Coco, a Lhasapoo, in Los Angeles. “I have no complaints,” she tells SELF. “You can’t complain about things that you asked for.” She starts her days early, on calls with East Coast network executives and creatives at Vice. Then she takes Coco for a walk around the neighborhood, returns home for a workout and possibly a nap, and spends the afternoon in various Zoom meetings and other engagements. She doesn’t need much sleep, and she doesn’t really understand why. “How I do it is beyond me, but it's something that I'm used to,” she says. For more on Champion’s bedtime routines and rituals—and the air fryer she can’t stop using or talking about—read our interview below.On her go-to air fryer recipe
I hope to wrap up my day by 4 or 5 p.m., and then I either cook or order out. I bought an air fryer—the Power Air Fryer XL. Once we started quarantine, I knew the best way to cook in the quickest and seemingly most healthy way was with this air fryer. Cauliflower has been a godsend for me. I go to Whole Foods and I get a bunch of florets. I put a little salt, a little pepper, maybe some amino acids just for a little flavor, a little paprika, and whatever your special spray could be—I put a little olive oil spray in. I put it all in the fryer for maybe15 minutes, and right around seven minutes you check on it, you turn it around, you shake it up, you make sure it's not burning, and of course the cauliflower shrinks. At one point, I was really trying to move myself off meat, so I created all these different little reimaginings of how I wanted to cook. When I go to Whole Foods, I get vegetarian mac 'n' cheese, or vegan mac 'n' cheese, and I throw that on the side. I thought in my mind I was some sort of chef, but they were just quick meals. And then I would have a glass of rosé—I love it. It could be Whispering Angel, that was a go-to for a while, and I'd unwind.On her reading list
I always allow myself to get 30 minutes of news before it upsets me, and then I just read. I read a lot, because sometimes I get upset with the theatrics of it all, or the same talking heads, which is one of the big reasons why we're doing our show, right?
I have three books that I have picked up and delved into, but I haven't given them my 100 percent attention except for Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I'm a little biased because I did something called Share the Mic, and she was one of the organizers. I shared the mic with Busy Phillips, but one of the organizers is one of my best friends, Bozoma Saint John, along with Glennon Doyle as well as Luvvie Jones. I didn't know Glennon, but someone sent me her book like two weeks before. I fell in love with her while reading her book, but really truly saw that she was the woman she says she is for having that experience with her.On her day spa–inspired bedtime beauty routine
When I feel the sandman coming and sleep coming on, I literally get up, go to the bathroom, and my dog follows me around the whole time. I worked my way through college by working at a day spa. I was 18, 19 years old—I would get facials, I would learn about skin-care routines, and it has been a part of my life since. All my roommates that I've had in the past have been like, if I didn't live with Cari, I would not have been so used to being consumed with washing my face and products and what they mean and what they do. So I do this religiously.