When last many saw Kristen Brown, she was in a bed on ABC’s “Live with Kelly & Michael” with the hosts of that show.
The Twin Cities author was promoting her latest book, “The Happy Hour Effect: Twelve Secrets to Minimize Stress and Maximize Life.” Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan were gamers, changing into pajamas for the segment. Kelly said she was wearing her actual pajamas, while Michael was faking it as he admitted he sleeps in the buff.
Brown advised the TV hosts to enhance their sleep by laying out the next day’s wardrobe, just as they would do for their kids. Other recommendations included keeping your room’s sleep temperature between 62 and 68 degrees, turning off the electronic monitors well before you want to sleep, and drinking hot tea in a bedroom with dimmed lights. Brown has posted the video of the segment at her website: www.HappyHourEffect.com.
Hearing all Brown’s advice made me curious to see her Twin Cities bedroom. It was very tidy, but it wasn’t the way it will ultimately look, as the room was being prepped for a paint job when I came over with my camera to shoot a startribune.com/video.
Brown’s bestselling first book, “The Best Worst Thing,” is a memoir about her husband, Todd Brown, dying in 2007 when their daughter, Brooke, now 6, was a baby. Brown’s in the market for a man. She’d like someone who looks like Bradley Cooper but makes better dating decisions, as you’ll read here.
Q What’s the correct phrase: “stress release” or “stress relief”?
A Both work. We want release from the tension and anxiety of stress and relief from the symptoms and challenges it can bring.
Q How do you become a stress relief expert?
A It’s all about the combination of personal, professional and educational experience. I experienced extreme personal stress as a young widow mom. I have been in corporate America for years, which is a stressful place to be much of the time. Plus, I have been a stress expert for five years through my writing, media appearances, coaching and speaking. And on top of that, I’m a certified holistic health coach and master’s certificate holder in integral theory (the art and science of multiple perspectives and growth). So it’s a mixed bag.
Q What are the finer points of a good bedroom?
A When you are in bed, ensure it’s a place you want to be. You want to be in a place where eight hours of your life are going to be spent. For me, it’s a nice soft blanket, nice bedding.
Q Let me see your sheets.
A All right. They don’t even match the bedspread. I go for soft — nothing fancy.
Q Do we know what the thread count is?
A Oh, gosh. I usually try to go for a high thread count. I’ll admit I’m kind of a sheet snob.
Q If you could have any kind of bed, which one would it be?
A That spinning cool bed on “Austin Powers” would be pretty awesome.
Q What do you fret about when you can’t sleep?
A It’s usually to-do lists. What do I need to do? Or if my daughter’s sick, I’m listening for her. There are lots of things that keep me up. I’m a serial insomniac — have been my whole life.
Q Who was better in bed, Kelly or Michael?
A Well, Kelly was a better cuddler, but I mean, Michael Strahan, come on. Yeah.
Q Is Strahan’s gap distracting, or does it look bigger on TV than in real life?
A You know, I didn’t even notice it when I was talking to him.
Q He seems to be up awful high, at 6 feet 5 inches?
A He was high [off the ground] and I was focusing on the stuff on the table [where items illustrating the tools of stress relief were placed].
Q With whom do you dream of being in bed next?
A There are all the obvious choices. Bradley Cooper. [Last week Brown said Cooper was off the list as a result of rumors he’s dating a model who is age inappropriate.] People like that. But I really look forward to having my daughter crawl into bed with me when we go on vacation for five nights of no computer, no technology, just reading and relaxing and sleeping.
Q What do you drink to get the traditional “Happy Hour” effect?
A If it’s just a really quick happy hour, I’ll have a glass of wine. In winter, I like to have pinot noir; in summer, I like to have something crisp. If it’s a long night out, I usually opt for vodka soda.
Q Where are those jammies you can’t wait to wear at night?
A They are in that dresser. You want me to show you? Most nights I wear a T-shirt and a pair of shorts, but when I’m really wanting super luxury, I have these silky pajamas that are so comfortable and loose. They’re these H&M pajamas, super cheap, super luxurious. You almost feel like you’re wearing nothing. They are like my little treat.
Q What drawer am I not allowed to open in your bedroom?
A There are none you’re not allowed to open. There’s nothing dirty or anything, but there are some that are pretty darn messy, because I’m kind of a slob.
Q May I check your kitchen for camomile tea?
A I definitely have a variety.
Q Ever tried one of those Stressless recliners?
A No, but they look dreamy!
Q What is your nonalcoholic “Happy Hour” place?
A I love solo movies — no one to steal my popcorn, wreck the movie with questions or argue with about which movie to see. Or naps — anyplace a nap can happen is a great happy hour for me.
This interview was edited for clarity and space. Reach C.J. at firstname.lastname@example.org and see her on Fox 9.