Dr. Anthony Youn Sleep Diary
Welcome to Sleep Diaries, where interesting people share a week’s worth of late-night habits. They’ll tell you, the reader, how they wrap up their day, how they get to sleep, stay asleep or fall back asleep, and how they feel when they wake up in the morning. Why? Because sleep is America’s Most Wanted thing. We chase after it like an elusive elixir that’ll make us look younger and feel less stressed. (Maybe because it will.) We thought by getting people to share what works for them—and doesn’t—it might help you find better ZZZs. Or at least give you something entertaining to read. This week we have Dr. Anthony Youn, a board-certified plastic surgeon and award-winning author of The Age Fix.
Sunday: Sip on a calming tea before bed
I usually get things done on Sunday evening since the weekend is not that productive. Now that Game of Thrones is over, I don’t have anything that will keep me up late watching TV. I put on my TrueDark Blue Light-Blocking Glasses to help protect my eyes from blue light while doing work on my computer. I’ve been working on writing my upcoming book, Playing God: The Evolution of a Modern Surgeon, and am preparing notes for an upcoming podcast. I practice intermittent fasting most Sunday nights, so I don’t eat anything after 8 p.m., but I drink some Pique Tea Organic Hibiscus Beauty Elixir to calm my mind. I’m in bed by 11 p.m. and wear my Bunny Eyez Reading Glasses in bed, which is great because I can lie on my right side and read without my glasses going askew. Lights go off by 11:30 p.m., and I conk out a few minutes later with my puppy at the foot of the bed. The next day, I wake up at 6:40 a.m. for work.
Monday: Dog cuddles before bed make everything right
I hate going to bed on an empty stomach, even though I do that when I am intermittent fasting. To help ease my hunger, I have a small snack at 10 p.m. I enjoy a slice of gluten-free toast with almond butter. I worked out tonight from 8 to 9 p.m., so I shower before going to bed. My wife and I share our king-size bed with one of our dogs. We are committed to rescuing senior dogs who otherwise would have a hard time finding homes. Bella is the lucky one who sleeps in bed with us. She is 11 years old and has two types of cancer—lymphoma and leukemia. When we adopted her, she had mange, a widespread infection of the skin due to being immune compromised from her undiagnosed cancer at the time. She was missing fur on half of her body. Now she has grown pretty much all of her fur back and is just the sweetest, gentlest girl. She warms my wife’s feet at night by sleeping on them.
Once again, I spend 30 minutes reading over final edits for my upcoming book before calling it a night. Tonight is the first night of being on-call at the ER. I have my phone by my bedside with the ringer on, in case they call me. I sleep soundly until I wake up at 5:50 a.m. on Tuesday morning to go to work. I usually get up early Tuesday mornings for surgery.
Tuesday night: Pamper my skin with my own anti-aging products
Tuesdays are my long OR days, so I am usually shot by the time I go to bed. I watched a little Fear the Walking Dead and walk the dogs at 10:30 p.m. before getting ready to go to bed. They each get their nightly treat after the walk. My nightly routine is to cleanse my face using my YOUN Beauty Green Tea Cleanser, which makes my skin feel clean but still moisturized. Then, I apply the YOUN Beauty Retinol Moisturizer. This is my top choice for its anti-aging benefits. It’s made with natural and organic ingredients. I follow it up with the YOUN Beauty Ultra Night Lift to keep my skin looking young and moisturized.
I also take a few supplements before bed: three capsules of YOUN Health Essential Antioxidants to fight off the day’s free radicals and oxidation and YOUN Health Collagen Support Multi-Vitamin to help keep my skin and hair youthful (hopefully!).
I spend another 30 minutes doing final edits for my book and then turn off the lights. At midnight, I’m awakened by my phone going off. I’m getting paged by the ER. Turns out, a young man was bit on the face by a dog while at a party. I get out of bed, put on my scrubs, and head to the hospital to take care of him. After repairing his injuries at the ER, I get back home around 1:30 a.m. I’m a little hungry so I eat a banana and a couple of almonds before going back to bed. I’m a bit wired, so I put on my TrueDark glasses and read the latest news on my iPad mini. I turn it off at 2 a.m. and fall asleep about 20 minutes later. My alarm goes off at 6:40 a.m. I get up and get ready for the day, which begins with rounds at the hospital.
Wednesday: A productive evening at home
Due to interrupted sleep last night, I’m off to bed early tonight. I take the dogs out for a walk at 10 p.m. and begin to get ready for bed shortly afterward. To wind down, I go over some of my recent podcast tapings to make sure there isn’t any additional editing I need to do. My weekly podcast, The Holistic Plastic Surgery Show, consists of interviews with health experts, ranging from plastic surgeons to alternative health experts. Tonight, I listen to a recent podcast taping with a prominent skincare expert and make sure the sound is good. I also make sure there isn’t anything objectionable that I need to edit out. This takes me about 45 minutes since I listen to it at 1.5 times the normal speed. I do my usual routine and am in bed by 10:30 p.m. Once again, I spend about 30 minutes reading over the Playing God manuscript and am out by 11 p.m. I wake up to my alarm the next morning at 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning is a surgery morning, so I let get up a little early, let out my dog, Sammy, to pee, and am out the door by 7:05 a.m.
Thursday: Dog dad problems
I work out tonight in our home gym while watching Botched. Afterward, I spend about 90 minutes going over the final chapters of Playing God, jotting down small notes and correcting a few typos. I’m really happy with how this book about “the evolution of a modern surgeon” has come together. I email my final thoughts to my editor at Post Hill Press and rejoice because the manuscript—a four-year labor of love—is finally complete. I’m excited to reveal to the world the truth behind a surgeon’s journey to a successful practice and all the bumps we endure along the road. I hope readers will be as excited to read it as I was writing it. At 10:30 p.m., I take my three dogs for a walk, give them their nightly treats, and get ready for bed. I shower and dry my hair prior to turning in for the night. For the first time in several weeks, I peruse my Apple News stories on my iPad (instead of editing my manuscript) while wearing my Bunny Eyez reading glasses prior to falling asleep. I’m asleep by 11:20 p.m.
At 3 a.m., I hear Sammy, our most recent rescued senior dog, pawing at the sides of his crate. We adopted Sammy nine months ago. He is a 12-year-old small mutt who had many issues, including the past trauma of being mauled by a pack of pit bulls. He’d been given up for adoption at least twice. It took him many months, but now the little guy seems to love living with us. He is always smiling and seems to be living his best life. He was recently diagnosed with Cushing’s Syndrome and has to pee often as a result. Luckily, my wife heard him first and brought him outside while I stayed in bed. I wake up at 5:30 a.m. Friday morning and after changing and brushing my teeth, I make my way to the hospital to round on my patients and go to the OR.
Friday: Long week = early lights out
I’m usually quite beat on Friday nights. I usually sleep the least on Thursday nights and by the time Friday comes, I’m ready to turn in early. My wife Amy and I watch a little TV tonight, Chernobyl on HBO, and she brings the dogs out for a walk at 10:15 p.m. I shower tonight and get ready for bed early.
Right before going to bed, I check my phone for email messages. I’ve just gotten one from my agent notifying me that an audio book company has offered me a nice deal for the audio rights to Playing God. Score! I debate whether I should offer to do the reading myself or allow them to hire a professional voiceover guy. I decide to mull it overnight. Like the night before, I read the latest news via Apple News on my iPad mini when the lights are off. Amy’s changed the sheets on the bed so the bed is nice and comfy tonight. I’m asleep by 11 p.m. Saturday morning I get to sleep in. Yay!
Saturday: Dinner, movie—and an ER call?
Tonight my in-laws watched my kids while Amy and I went out for dinner and a movie. We went to our favorite place, a plant-based restaurant called Green Space Cafe in Ferndale, Michigan. After dinner, we watched a movie at the old-fashioned theater turned multiplex in downtown Birmingham, Michigan. We walked home that evening since we live just a few blocks from the downtown area. I walk to the dogs at 11 p.m., then get ready for bed.
Tonight, Amy is in bed watching Seth Meyers’s latest monologue and is laughing. I look over and start to giggle, too. What a snark he is. Bella curls up on my side of the bed, crowding me in. I gently nudge her toward Amy, who likes her on her feet unlike me. Just as I’m about to fall asleep, my phone goes off again. Uh oh, it’s the ER. I call them and they tell me that I don’t need to come in. They just ask for some advice on a patient with some minor facial injuries. I fall asleep that night with a smile on my face.