P&G Science of Sleep Event Recap

CATEGORIES: Kate, The Scoop

yellow_penguin_pg_sleep copySo last month, Sara and I got an invitation from Procter and Gamble to visit their headquarters and learn about the science of sleep. Now…you might think this wouldn’t be of interest to me because I am a food blogger. It was actually of great interest to me because I am very interested in sleep, specifically how I can get more of it. And if it took me staying in a hotel room by myself to learn more about sleep, I was all for it. Unfortunately, Sara couldn’t go because she and her family had other plans (and it became clear how unfortunate it was that she wasn’t there as we explored out hotel–more about that later. We would have had a lot of fun together.)

So I headed to my local airport where I learned my flight was delayed. Which is not surprising, because I tend to attract bad luck and bad weather whenever I travel (like that time I went to Hawaii and the first hurricane in 20 years headed straight for me.)

waiting in the airportHave I ever told you guys I’m a compulsive overpacker? I am. That was for one night. It’s really, really bad.

I finally made it to Cincinnati…

Cincinnati Skylineand didn’t have nearly enough time to explore the hotel before the meet and greet that night. But I did see a little of this…

museum21c_collageWe stayed in the Museum 21C Hotel. Yes, that is a nose in my shower. There were other body parts in my shower, too, but this blog is pretty g-rated, so I’m going to have to leave it at the nose.

This guy was hanging above my bed:



And then there was this dude wearing a pair of tighty-whities on the Do Not Disturb sign. Don’t worry, I documented all of it for posterity, so when my kids think I never do anything cool and I embarrass them when I yell their names in public places and sing loudly to the chorus of “Gonna Get Over You” by Sara Bareilles every dang time, I can prove that I’m super hip and edgy.

On our way down to the party, I met up with Carrian from Oh, Sweet Basil, Susan from She’s Becoming Doughmesstic, and Paula from Bell’Alimento.

paula and susan(That’s Susan and Paula…I was too busy wondering where the food was. Photo by Jason Donovan Hall.)

This was the party place. Yes, that is a bed in the bottom right-hand corner. No, I didn’t lie down in it. More on that, too.party_scenes_collage_pg_sleep

We ate


and talked and laughed. There were yellow penguins everywhere.


There was this Cincinnati artist who would paint your dreams.


I didn’t want to scare him with my most recent vivid dream about me walking down a steep hill at a mountain resort in a pair of high heels with a bag of brown sugar, and at the bottom of the hill, Phillip Seymour Hoffman was offering to help me if I’d buy him a Mountain Dew, but I got the feeling he wanted more than a Mountain Dew, so I declined. And then I woke up to the news that Phillip Seymour Hoffman had died.


After the party, Carrian and I visited in our Snuggies (seriously, we got purple Snuggies that smelled like lavender) and then after she went back to her room, I rounded up a few penguins and put them outside her door.

penguins museum 21cThe next morning, we headed to the Procter & Gamble headquarters…

P&G HeadquartersThe first speaker was from the National Sleep Foundation and she was delightful and fascinating.


As a mom, I always wonder if my kids are getting enough sleep (I know I’m not getting enough sleep). She shared an infographic that can be found here that kind of encapsulated all of my favorite sleep information into one place, but these are a few of the things I really took to heart that I learned from her:

  • Newborns need 12-18 hours of sleep
  • Infants (3-11 months old) need 14-15 hours of sleep
  • Toddlers (1-3) need 12-14 hours of sleep
  • Preschoolers (3-5) need 11-13 hours of sleep
  • School-aged children (5-10) need 10-11 hours of sleep
  • Teens (11-17) need 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep
  • Adults need 7-9 hours

Other interesting facts:

  • Most people are most alert during the mid-morning and evening (like after dinner) hours.
  • You’re sleepiest right after lunch and right before 6:00 am. Unfortunately, unless you’re under the age of four, you’re probably awake during one of those times. And if you have a kid under the age of four, you’re probably awake for both of them.
  • If you want to take a nap, you should make naps less than 20 minutes (um…I don’t think I’ve ever laid down for a nap and fallen asleep in less than 20 minutes) or around 90 minutes; that’s so your body can make it through one sleep cycle. This explains why I feel nauseous and stabby when someone wakes me up from a nap early.

These were her tips for improving your sleep:

  • Establish a routine. Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every night, even on weekends.
  • Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. Listen to relaxing music, take a hot bath, read a book, unplug from electronics, dim your lights.
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment. Bedrooms should be on the cool side (but you can keep warm with blankets). Keep it dark, free from distractions, paint it relaxing colors, and use white noise machines and/or sleep friendly scents like lavender, vanilla, and honey to help you relax.

We also got some of these…


and smelled some of these (heavenly…seriously.)


and Carrian and I hopped onto the display bed because we’re wild like that.


Then we got to tour the P&G archives. It was such a fun tour down memory lane, both my own memories and those that came from Mad Men. I swear that in my house growing up, we had every container of Vicks Vaporub that ever existed between 1962 and, well, whenever I didn’t live there anymore.

pg_products_pg_sleepAlso, who else had these hot rollers?! I didn’t technically have them, but my step-mom did and I spent many a morning having my hair rolled with them.

hot rollersAfterwards, these two guys got to talk to us about Always Maxi Pads. Despite what the picture looks like, they were surprisingly comfortable with the subject matter.



They even gave us a couple to take apart.

pg_sleep-69Pretty much a universal reaction of excitement and wonder filled the room. I’m fairly certain most of us hadn’t seen one since we were 13 and/or had a baby.

After that, things started to wrap up and we all headed home. At the airport, I had dinner…

pg_sleep-71then on the plane, I finished a book, drank a Diet Coke, and listened to Coldplay’s “‘Til Kingdom Come” while the sun was setting.

pg_sleep-70When I came home, I really had a newfound determination to make sleep a priority. I was always a morning person until I had kids, then I became a night owl because that was MY time, and then a morning person because my kids were up. So I came to the conclusion that part of my “me” time was getting more sleep. So I’m trying to get to bed by 10:30 and up by 5:30-6:00 and I’m not gonna lie, I feel so much better. I’m nicer to my kids, I’m more patient, and I’m less stressed and more productive throughout the day.

This was such a fun and educational trip that let me connect with friends oldish and newer and inspired me to make some positive changes in my life!

This trip was sponsored by P&G, but I have not been compensated in any other way and all the opinions are my own. If the photos were not taken with my iPhone, they were taken by Jason Donovan Hall.


  1. It’s amazing how important sleep is. I feel fortunate that my LO sleeps well and I’m able to sleep most nights. I can definitely tell a major cranky factor if she doesn’t get her total of 14 a day though.

  2. A less than 20 minute nap? Nah, I’ll just go for the 90 minute one instead! 🙂 Thanks for the info, it was interesting to see how much sleep babies need compared to toddlers and older kids, etc. And glad to know my son is getting what he needs, although it’s not because of me—it’s just what he does! 🙂

  3. Why is the pad so huge?!?!?! It’s the size of your arm! If a tampon was made to that scale it would be as big as a baseball bat!!!

  4. I think the part about getting up at the same time each day, even weekends is interesting and something that many people don’t realize is important. My son’s doctor told him that recently also. And on another note, I love the photography in this post!

  5. I laughed out loud at the penguins outside the door. Thanks for that! We needed the picture of when they opened the door! 🙂

  6. Sleep is my very best friend in the whole world and this sleep info just confirmed what I already knew…my kids do not get enough sleep. Much to my dismay and frustration (Why do kids think they don’t need sleep?). I need to be much better about getting myself into a good sleep routine. Thanks for sharing!

  7. You have inspired me to make sleep more of a priority. I know I need more and I know my family would benefit from me being less grumpy. Thanks for the post.

  8. I learned something! Thank you…like lavender, vanilla and honey to relax. That vanilla and honey might make me hungry, though. 😉

  9. I think “go to bed early” has been my new year’s resolution for like 10 years. I’m like you, I do not want to go to bed because I finally have some quiet time to myself or to spend with my husband! But I pretty much ALWAYS regret it in the morning. I don’t go to bed super late, but it’s always after 11 and my kids always wake up before 7, one sometimes wakes up before 6 and can’t ever go back to sleep. Anyway, I just need to buck up and get to bed. I think the getting ready for bed part is the worst for me. Somehow it takes me forever to get ready for bed and I always put it off because I hate doing it. Thanks for this post and the motivation to just do it!

  10. I was excited to see this because we recently moved from Cincinnati, so it might have made me a little homesick but that’s ok. Isn’t Graeters ice cream the best thing in the world?! You definitely got the best flavor!

  11. Thanks for sharing the amount of sleep we should be getting. I’ve been wondering if my kids are getting enough sleep. And those penguins are hilarious!

  12. Very interesting! I had no idea about the sleep hours.

    You were only about an hour down the road from me; unfortunately, that gray sky is what’s been typical around here all winter. 🙁

    Best flavor of ice cream ever! 🙂

  13. What an amazing, wacky, interesting trip. The stuff about sleep was interesting, but what I’m now fixated on is:
    1. You would think that they would have put you in a more relaxing room, considering the focus was on getting sleep (I don’t think I could have slept with that piggy staring down at me).
    2. Now we’re all wondering what other body parts were in your shower, and of course our minds are jumping to the worst possible conclusions.
    3. What could those 2 guys possibly have to say about maxi pads? Was it a promotional speech, or informational, or just as totally random as one would think?

    1. I agree with Heather. What other body parts were in your shower? Would you have been able to reconstruct an entire human, or was it just a random sampling? And why on earth was that maxi pad so huge? Was it the hospital, postpartum version? All those penguins would make a really excellent Dr. Who episode. I think this post has given me waaay too much to think about! It’s going to keep me up all night.

    2. HahaHA! They were random body parts on tiles. Nothing TOO scandalous–ears and eyes. There was a collarbone that was hard to decipher. But yes, there were breasts (male and female). Which, of course, was the first thing I noticed. And the maxi pad guys mostly talked about the science/design of the maxi pads (the materials they use, what purposes they serve, the different types and styles, etc.) One of them was in marketing and the other was in R&D.

  14. We’ve always made (at least the kids’) sleep a priority in our home. A nice 7pm bedtime for the little ones does wonders for their moods- and leaves mom with a couple hours adult time! Now that I have teens, though, the adult time is much diminished…

  15. I definitely sleep more than 9 hours. I am always tired and I go to bed early and try to wake up early. I have a nap on most days though. It looks like you had a great time in my home town. Thanks for sharing what you learned! It was insightful and inspiring. Now if only I could get invited to such a conference…

  16. Ok, with two toddlers it’s a little difficult to make sleep a priority but I’m going to give it my best shot!

  17. If nothing else (because I’m a good sleeper-don’t hate!), this line: “This explains why I feel nauseous and stabby when someone wakes me up from a nap early.” made my night. Stabby! That is going to become a new word in my vocabulary and, just like the amazing OBB recipes in my arsenal (hello, flourless PB cookies!), I have you to thank. Stabby. Still laughing and shaking my head.

  18. I was really envious when I saw you and Sweet Basil’s Instagram photos! I live by the same philosophy, as a mom of 5 after 11pm is “me” time. But, after reading this….maybe, I’ll reluctantly try to sleep through my “me”time! What was the coffee can looking thing on the bed when y’all came into the room? I tried to enlarge the picture and guess, but no such luck! And a Lavender snuggie…..man not sure the lengths I would go to for that! I have always bought the BBW lavender pillow spray but found the Febreeze ones are actually very nice… all of them! Thanks for the laughs and funny penguin! Sweet Basil’s scary rooster pic was worse than sleeping below the pig’s I believe! 🙂

    1. HA! Yes. The scary rooster. The can thing was a Dohm white noise machine. We’ve been using it since I got home and we’ve loved it!! But not right next to your bed. That only led to a night of VERY uneasy sleep where I had a dream that my husband wouldn’t speak to me because of a hotel situation, and another night of uneasy sleep where I had a dream that I died in a grisly subway accident and the afterlife was very underwhelming.

  19. I am in LOVE with Procter and Gamble, they have the BEST coupons! 😉 So did the penguins completely freak your friend out the next day?

  20. love learning about my sleep habits with bodymedia fit link! did you ever announce the giveaway winner for february scoop posts?

  21. My hometown! Graeters Black Raspberry Chip ice cream is THE best. It is made french pot style and they pour melted chocolate on the ice cream, let it harden and then stir–that is why the chunks are all odd shapes 🙂

  22. So interesting!! My sleep schedule is way out of whack, my biggest issues are falling asleep and staying asleep.

    I try to get to bed before my husband, because if I don’t, his snoring keeps me from falling asleep. When I do manage to get to sleep there’s always something that wakes me up between 2-3:00am. Usually it’s, again hubby snoring, dogs barking, police sirens, or people driving by with their stereo blasting. And once I’m up, I’m up for the rest of the night, there’s no way I can fall back asleep.

    I’ve been taking the NyQuil ZZZ almost every night (not sure if that’s a good thing) and it helps. If something wakes me in the middle of the night, I can usually roll over and get back to sleep. I should look into the relaxing scents and possibly a white noise machine. *sigh* I miss living in the country where it was dark and quiet 🙂

  23. This was so interesting thank you for sharing! I laughed out loud at your comments on the shower…my almost 4 year old could not understand why I was laughing:)

  24. I love sleep and never get enough of it. I think sleep is interesting and I love that you shared about your trip! You left out the reaction to the yellow penguins though!

  25. Kate, I grew up near Cincinnati! (It was a small town in Indiana, but I was in a Cincinnati Stake.) Our stake center was across from the original Grater’s. So we would always go there after stake dances. Best ice cream ever! Luckily they carry it at the Smith’s out here in The Beehive State.

  26. I have two little kids (2 and 7 months) and I always feel sleep deprived. I try to get up earlier to get things done, but am dragging by lunch. Found you post so interesting. Will try to apply to my life.

  27. I love how I’m making a comment about this when it’s 2 AM here and I’m still awake! Obviously I haven’t learned how important sleep is, especially when I’m less than a week from having a new baby 🙂 Oops!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.