Hearing Mecca James-Williams speak about sleep may put you into a dreamlike trance. “I'm a dreamer and I have detailed dreams,” she says. “I enjoy sleeping to really align with my ancestors, align with my own spirituality, align with my subconscious without it being active so much.”
Poetry. Just, poetry.
The stylist/visual creator finds herself at the “intersection of creativity and humanity.” and keeps herself on a tight sleep schedule that has (seemingly like magic) turned into a natural biological alarm clock. “I can go to bed around 10 and wake up 6-7 and really just be ready for my day. I don't have an alarm. The only times I ever sleep with an alarm is if I have a really early shoot.”
For Mecca, sleep is an “opportunity to regenerate your body,” and something she has a personal relationship to. She reflects on sleep patterns past and present:
“I grew up with alarms just being something that everybody used. A societal thing. Our phones have them. I remember I would hear my mom’s alarm. I think alarms make you very anxious. They wake you up and you feel like you have to go, go, go. Working in the fashion industry, you have to set so alarms. I used to be a market editor, and I would have to set alarms for Paris time, Milan time, London time... always being aware and awake to request clothing for editorials. That created a constant workflow in my body and my mind that wasn't conducive to who I am. Now that I get to create my own workflow, not having alarms is such a relief. And it's something that helped me to not have anxiety about my day.”
What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Right now, I'm sleeping sideways. I've been sleeping with my head at the left corner and my legs going down to the right. My window is always cracked. I’ve always like a natural breeze. I don't love to have a fan or air conditioner in my room, even in the summer. It could be dead heat and I just enjoy the window all the way with a breeze all the way through.
What can you not sleep without?
I would love to be one of those people. I know people like that [who need something in order to sleep]. I have to sleep naked. Maybe that’s my thing. I’m like a bare bone kind of gal.
What is currently next to your bed?
I keep a water bottle next to my bed. I keep crystals next to my bed. I have a book. I have my journal. I have an oil diffuser. Right now I'm trying this tea. I got it The Sleep Code. They have this tea by the brand Amina Mundi Herbals. It’s basically clairvoyant tea. It’s a sleep aid and it’s called Lucid Dream. I'm actually really excited to tap into this, I literally just bought it for that because my dreams, they're very descriptive and I can see people clearly and I can see situations clearly. And as I've learned how to sleep better, my dreams are more clear and I remember them a little bit more. So I'm tapping into those now.
Do you keep any electronics next to your bed?
I want to be better with electronics in my bed. I'm trying to work on looking at social media from the moment I wake up. I used to have news on my app, but I disabled the apps on my phone because I found that I would wake up and I would see, especially during the pandemic, death and grief and immediate pain. That would be the first ping when I opened my phone.
So social media right now, it's kind of a habit that I’m trying to lose. I've tried putting my phone in the living room. I've tried turning off my phone. But it does sit in my [sleeping] area.
What is your nighttime routine in five steps or less?
When I'm ready to go to sleep, I just turn off the lights and I just really go to sleep. I don't watch TV to sleep. I don't like light. I like to really just put myself to sleep.