They say the way someone treats wait staff or what the inside of their car looks like tells you a lot about them, but what I think really says the most about someone? The nightstand essentials they keep on their bedside table.
The nightstand is the holder of all essentials, which is equivalent to being a window into the soul. What does a person absolutely need on the limited space next to their bed to reach for at a sleepy moment’s notice? It says a lot—and mine is always stocked with the same few items.
From mid-night wake-ups to bedtime necessities, my nightstand’s precious real estate has a rotating arsenal of items on it, but these five have earned a permanent spot. These are the things I keep on my nightstand no matter what.
1. A book I’m reading
I’ve been a big reader since I was little. No matter what, I’m pretty much always in the middle of a book—which also means that it takes quite a bit to impress me.
After the wonders that was Big Little Lies, #1 New York Times bestselling author Liane Moriarty had my heart as one of my favorite authors of all time. I devoured both Nine Perfect Strangers and Truly Madly Guilty in mere days, so when it was announced that she was releasing another book, Apples Never Fall, it got to the top of my to-be-read list—and it’s no surprise that it hooked me from the first few pages.
The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The parents, Stan and Joy, are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killers on the tennis court, and off it, their chemistry is palpable. But after selling their tennis academy, they’re not as happy as they hoped they would be in retirement.
The four Delaney children (who are now adults) were all tennis stars in their own right, but they went in different directions in adulthood, veering away from what once looked like a chance at professional tennis stardom.
One night, a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door with a bloody wound and nowhere to go. The Delaneys take her in, and soon after, their kids are worried about her intent after she overstays her welcome. Then, suddenly, Joy goes missing, Savannah is nowhere to be found, and the obvious suspect left is Stan. Two of the Delaney children stand by their father, while the other thinks he might have had something to do with their mother’s sudden disappearance.
The character development Moriarty establishes has the unique ability to get you to empathize with and understand every single character. From the second I started reading Apples Never Fall, I couldn’t put it down because of how invested I was in each character and what was happening in their adult lives. Throughout the book, you get to understand how each of them ended up where they are in adulthood and how tennis (and growing up with two tennis parents) affected them in the long run.
When Joy disappears, so much is unknown: why she sent her kids a cryptic text message before she left, why her phone was found under her bed, and why Stan was left with a damning scratch mark across his cheek. But as the story goes on, you realize there’s so much more to the couple than what you see from the outside and are left wondering what really happened to Joy until the very last pages.
If you read one book this season, it should be Apples Never Fall—you won’t regret choosing it. The gripping storyline, twists and turns, and incredible characters make it the perfect choice for a fall read.
2. A big glass of water
No matter how much effort I put into hydrating throughout the day, I inevitably feel thirsty either before I go to sleep or during my sporadic middle-of-the-night wake-ups. Rather than relying on myself to remember to refill my water bottle and put it on my nightstand, I have a glass of water that lives there permanently that I fill up every night.
I opted for a big mason jar, but I also love the idea of having a tumbler that lives next to my bed for all of my drinking needs. Keeping it there is preparation at its finest, and I’m constantly patting myself on the back for keeping it full for whenever I need it.
3. A lip mask
I truly have the dryest lips of anyone I have ever met. I drink water and constantly slather them in hydrating goods, but it feels like no matter what (or whether my AC or heat is to blame), they’re absolutely parched.
One of the only products I’ve seen that makes a tangible difference in my lips’ hydration is this lip mask. I used to keep it in my medicine cabinet, but it has graduated to living on my nightstand so I can apply it without fail before I sleep. When I do, I wake up with hydrated, plump, and happy lips. When I don’t, I pay the price. This is a constant re-purchase for me and would be a top three desert island product if I had to choose.
4. My glasses
Since I read before I go to bed, I keep one of my pairs of glasses on my nightstand at all times so I don’t have to scramble for them (and don’t have to in the morning, either). I have more than one pair, and after years of wearing them, I’ve found that my favorite strategy is to make sure one lives on my nightstand at all times. I often swap these out based on the ones I’m reaching for every day, but for my own sanity, keeping them near me when I sleep is a must.
5. Hand Cream
I used to have perpetually dry hands and cuticles—until I started keeping a hand cream on my nightstand.
Hand moisture has always been one of those things I can’t be bothered with. I have an entire body to worry about, and dedicating time to my hands just did not make the cut. But after a cold Chicago winter, I began moisturizing my hands before bed every night, and it’s made a world of difference. If I didn’t keep a hand cream out on my nightstand, I would absolutely forget to put it on, but I now remember to do it before I go to sleep. This little trick has saved my hands (and I know it will prevent any peril this winter).
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Henry Holt & Co., but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.