‘The Office’ Star Angela Kinsey Shares the Hilarious Reason She Can’t Sleep
Anyone who snuggles with a pet will relate to Angela Kinsey's nighttime conundrum. Here's her purrfect solution.
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You might recognize Angela Kinsey as her character on The Office…but for the most part, the two couldn’t be more different. Offscreen the 51-year-old Kinsey is vibrant, friendly and cheerful. She hosts the popular Office Ladies podcast with former co-star Jenna Fischer, and the pair even became New York Times bestselling authors with their book, The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There.
But even if she’s a little warmer with her coworkers than the onscreen Angela was, the two have one thing in common: Their love of cats. A proud cat mother of two, Kinsey recently partnered with Blue Buffalo—her preferred cat food brand—to highlight a common issue among pet owners: Disrupted sleep.
Kinsey spoke with The Healthy @Reader’s Digest about her best tips to protect your sleep through the feline fracas, and how she practices self-care…with and without her pets.
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Adam Hendershott/ Courtesy Angela Kinsey
Angela Kinsey on getting healthy sleep…even with pets
The Healthy @Reader’s Digest: So first of all, my cat loves to hunt my feet under the covers. Do yours have a particular favorite way of waking you up?
Angela Kinsey: That is so funny. We have Snickers and Oreo, they’re sisters. They could not be more different. So basically, Snickers loves to snuggle at night, but how she starts that snuggle is by walking on my head, walking on my pillow, and then wrapping herself around my head and maybe sometimes eating my hair. Sometimes she kind of just does this little thumper move with her back feet on my head. And then she’ll do this thing where with all four of her paws she wraps around my hand, like some kind of wrestling move. I don’t even know what that is. So that’s kind of how we start our sleep night with Snickers. But she will then sleep the whole night just right next to me or on top of me. And in the winter it’s wonderful cuz she’s like a little heating pad. In the summer she kind of gets me a little hot and I have to, like, scooch a leg out.
But then Oreo, she is going to completely get into something. She is mischievous. She’s exploring. I came into the kitchen one time in the morning and she had taken every single recycling bag we had out of this little cubby where we shoved them, which she loves to crawl into. She’s very busy at night and then she’s a real talker. So starting around 4:30 in the morning, she wants to tell you about her night, what all she did. And she’s chatty, chatty, chatty.
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The Healthy: What are some of the strategies you use to sleep through the night with Oreo and Snickers?
Angela: So one of the things we have done to help us get some sleep is we have made their mealtime our bedtime, and we give them a nice big meal. And then Oreo starts wanting a little something so early, because she’s up.
So we got a feeder with a timer—this was the real game changer for us. In the morning we have this little timer that goes off, and you can record a message for your cat. So we recorded this message that goes, “Here, kitty kitty.” And our kids thought this was so cool. Our kids made a little poster for Oreo. They drew Oreo on one side and Snickers on the other, and we hung that by the feeder. Not that the cats care, but the kids were so invested.
So anyway, at about 5:45 in the morning this cat feeder goes off and then Oreo runs down there and she gets her little morning treat so she’s not howling at our door or jumping on our heads so early.
Those are the go-tos, you know. We sleep with our door open because if we don’t, Oreo will try to take it off its hinges. The cat loves to try to open a door, so if you shut your door, you’ve just given her a goal for the whole evening, you know? So we sleep with the door open, feeding them at our bedtime. But then also having that timed feeder for dry food early in the morning has just really changed our life.
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Angela Kinsey on managing restless sleep
The Healthy: Absolutely. So addressing some of your own sleep habits, do you have any advice for people who struggle with waking up in the middle of the night—whether it’s because of pets or another disruption?
Angela: I mean, we have three kids, we have four animals—it happens, right? One of the things for me is if I just don’t get up. If I wake up in the night and I get out of bed for whatever reason, just the act of physically leaving the bed, my brain starts to wake up, my mind starts to wake up.
So if something wakes me up in the night and I know it’s not an emergency, I just don’t let myself sit up. I find if I actually physically get up, it’s much harder for me to then get back into that sleep.
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The Healthy: Can you tell me a little bit about your bedtime routine? Is there anything in particular you do to set yourself up for a restful sleep?
Angela: I really don’t eat after dinner. We eat dinner at like 5:30, so a very early meal. And then once the kids are in bed, I like to lay in bed and I like to read for a little bit. I find if I read that just helps my whole body relax. I don’t like to watch something right up until bedtime because if I watch something, it just activates my brain in a different way. So that’s kind of my routine. I get a nice big glass of water and I read a little bit, and then I go to bed.
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Angela Kinsey on walks as self-care
The Healthy: Finally, what’s your number one self-care habit that you refuse to skip?
Angela: I love to go on walks, and it’s not even about burning calories for me. It’s just about getting out of work mode, getting outside and walking through my neighborhood and looking at the trees and the flowers and just getting a little bit of vitamin D.
Often on my walks I’ll call my mom or my sisters. I miss them. We don’t live in the same state, so talking to them is just like having a little minute where I’m home with my mom at her kitchen table and we’re having a cup of tea. That is one of my absolute favorite self-care things. A nice walk where I get to just check in with my family and take in some nature.
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The Healthy: We have to ask: Have you ever tried the harnesses that let you take your cats on a walk?
Angela: Oh my gosh. You know what we did? One of the things we got, I don’t know if you have heard of CatCon, but it’s one of my absolute favorite things to go to. And when you go through CatCon, you get to meet people that are featuring anything and everything. We met this young woman who had designed a little backpack that had the little circle for the cat—you could either have mesh or the glass dome with little holes in it.
And so we have started taking Oreo out. Snickers was like, No way, no thanks. Do not put me in that. Forget about it. But Oreo’s so curious, so we put her in the little backpack and we walked the neighborhood with her. She’s really into it. So we’re looking forward to some warmer evenings when we can take her out and about.
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