Kourtney Kardashian Barker Is Leaving You on Read

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Getty Images

Kourtney Kardashian Barker knows she has a knack for putting people to sleep. Whether it’s her famous sisters mocking her monotone voice or the frequent requests she gets for ASMR videos, it’s clear that if The Kardashians star is talking, someone somewhere is getting ready to doze off (her and Travis Barker’s newborn son, Rocky, very much included).

But Kardashian Barker — who possesses that rare celebrity quality of wanting in on the joke — seems intent on having the final word in this sleepy saga. While wrapping up a photo shoot last month, the reality star and Lemme founder spoke to the Cut about the release of her Valentine’s Day collaboration with the meditation app Calm: “The Calma Sutra.” The new sleep guide boasts Kardashian-tested sleep positions, including “sleeping sloth,” “breakfast burrito,” and “love knot,” as well as a Sleep Story narrated by Kardashian Barker in her self-proclaimed “precious voice,” as inspired by her Lemme Sleep gummies. I feel personally inspired by “sleeping sloth,” though I’d counter that it’s less of a sleep position and more of a lifestyle or general vibe.

In addition to singing the praises of a good night’s sleep, Kardashian Barker shared some of her modern rules for survival, including saying “no” to as much as possible, leaving the house only when necessary, and sparingly checking her texts (she currently has 481 unread messages, and for this, she is sorry, sort of). “I make my own rules,” Kardashian Barker declared, an understandable statement from someone whose rules for enjoying life include cuddling with Travis Barker all night in a nine-foot-long bed.

How did this Calma Sutra collaboration come to be and why did it make sense for you?

I think I have a very soothing voice for lulling people off to sleep. I’ve been doing it for 14 years since I had my first baby. Because we have Lemme Sleep, Calma Sutra was a fun collaboration for us to do. I actually do have the Calm app and use it on my TV sometimes with my kids, so I thought it was such a fun opportunity to do a bedtime story and a guide to sleep positions. Calma is spelled with a C, but it should be a K.

Obviously, you have an insane schedule, and you have a newborn to take care of. What’s your No. 1 rule for keeping all of the moving parts of your schedule straight?

I am a top-notch sleeper. I think sleeping is one of my greatest skills. But with a newborn, I didn’t make any other plans besides taking care of my baby. I don’t have a baby nurse or anything, it’s just Mom and Dad, really, taking care of him. So the first 40 days I did at home; it’s a practice that a lot of people do in different cultures. I really just didn’t make plans, and now that I have a few work commitments starting back up, I have an assistant and I get my schedule sent to me every night. I’ll look over that and make sure I prioritize my kids and don’t overschedule myself. I say “no” to a lot.

That sounds really freeing. Then how did you get to be so good at sleeping?

I think I’ve always been that way. Me and Kim are really amazing sleepers. I don’t know why; I don’t know if our parents made us cry it out or something torturous. I could take a nap in the middle of the day — not that I ever really do, but I can really sleep anywhere, anytime.

On the floor? On a bus?

Yup. On a chair, in the car …

Okay, a scenario for you: Let’s say you and Travis are both exhausted and want to go to sleep, but there’s one last chore for the evening, whether that’s dishes or laundry or just general toy cleanup. Who out of the two of you is going to grab that last chore, and who’s knocking out?

Travis would do it with pleasure. He would want to.

And then you just get to go to sleep and not worry about it?

Yeah, I’d be the one sleeping. I would say he just loves to handle it and make sure that everything’s done.

So you’ve narrated this sleep story, and you’ve talked about how your voice is good at putting people to sleep. What are your rules for taking care of that voice and making sure you don’t lose it while filming or doing publicity?

I’ve never thought of having to protect my precious voice, but I am a big tea drinker. Maybe that helps my monotone voice, as my sisters like to say. We’ve also done some fun ASMR videos at Lemme to really drive home my calm, soothing voice.

What kind of tea?

Because I’m breastfeeding right now, I’m doing no caffeine. So I just mix up a lot of herbal teas — saffron and peppermint are really good for mood enhancement as well. I have a rotating mix of teas, but I love nettle-leaf tea and turmeric ginger. There are certain ones you can’t drink while breastfeeding. But even today, we’re on set and we had hot almond milk with cinnamon, and that’s one of my favorites. Or I’ll do hot coconut milk with cinnamon.

Bedtime marks a very sacred routine for many people. They have to do the same exact steps in order to get their best sleep. What are your go-to maintenance rules for bedtime? Are you flossing?

I do floss my teeth.

Do you enjoy it?

I do. I used to talk to one of my best friends every night while I was flossing my teeth, and she would say she’d never spoken to someone or known someone who flosses their teeth as much as I do. But I do believe in good dental hygiene and love to floss and get my teeth cleaned. I also put this paste on my teeth after that to strengthen them. I do really simple skin care. I don’t have a big sleep routine. I would say we love to watch a show together.

What show would normally knock you guys out?

It’s not always something you’d think would knock us out. We watched Snowfall. We’re watching This Is Us. Sometimes Ozark. We’ll watch things that usually aren’t the most relaxing.

Okay, so what if Travis is snoring? Do you roll him over? 

He does not.

Wow, lucky.

Yeah, we sleep really peacefully together.

Does he ever have to nudge you and say, “Hey, you’re making weird mouth sounds”?

No, thank God. I do not either.

What are your No. 1 rules for cuddling? Are you guys the couple that wants to cuddle all night, or does he get ten minutes before you roll over and say “Don’t touch me”? 

Well, I’m sure this isn’t surprising, but we cuddle all night. We have a nine-foot-wide bed, and we sleep in the same two feet of the bed together. But now we have our baby in our bed with us, so we’re also cuddling with him. We do take up more of the bed now because we do safe co-sleeping, and there’s a position I have to sleep in with the baby.

You’re technically done dating as a single person. But if you were to give single women advice, what would be your No. 1 rule for dating etiquette to help them find their own Kravis love story?

I would say to trust in God’s plan for them and know everything along the way is to get you where you’re meant to be. Try not to force anything just because you think you need to be at a certain place by a certain age.

Both Lemme and Calm are about finding peace and promoting peaceful rest. What are your rules for finding peace in your own life, especially when you have a momager and a family who have a lot of opinions about your life? In other words, how are you protecting your peace? 

I just have to know what I want and what my priorities are. For me, as a mother, since I had Mason, I’ve always had this strong, motherly instinct about the way I want to do things with my kids. It’s evolved over the years, like being able to say “no,” as I said before. I also think recognizing what makes me feel good is important. Let’s say someone’s asking me to do something, whether it’s a friend coming over or a business thing. If it didn’t feel good in the end, I’ll take a mental note that I need to protect my energy more. And then I’ll just take a break from those things.

You’re slowly sorting out the things that don’t feel authentic to you.

Exactly. And I think more positive talk helps. I am a perfectionist, so when I get hard on myself, I try to think, Create the life that you want. I’ll think that to myself all the time. Like, Oh, you want to do this more? Just do it. I try to make time for the things that do make me feel good, like going on a walk. I make time for that pretty much every day.

Just down the street?

Yeah, just getting outside, getting fresh air. I’ll text my mom friends — I call them that, but they’re really just my friends that have kids — and whoever’s around will meet up with me. I’ll go by myself, go with my kids, go with my husband … it’s so important to know what makes you feel good.

Speaking of mom friends, there’s a lot of parenting advice floating around on social media. Everybody thinks they’ve cracked the code for the best way to do things. How do you ignore all of that and keep to yourself and your family unit?

I think that’s where my mom instinct is really strong. It’s just a feeling, but I’m always learning. I’ll ask my mom friends or people that I respect for advice if I need it. I’m always willing to grow and learn but also trusting my motherly instinct.

I’m assuming that you probably get a lot of texts every day. What’s your No. 1 texting rule?

Okay, so I have 481 unread text messages right now if that answers your question. I just recently started not touching my phone in the morning. I’m not on my phone at night, like when I put my kids to sleep. I’m not on my phone during meals, and I really try to leave my phone in the other room and just be present in everything that I’m doing. I just hope people don’t take it personally that I’m not responding, but I do read most texts. I just don’t usually reply. But there’s probably my top 20 people that I reply to. It’s my family and my kids and my top work people and friends. I don’t know, honestly, there’s no rhyme or reason. I can’t try to justify it.

It’s like a to-do list. 

Right. I would say texting is not a priority, especially now. I have a newborn baby, I have four kids, three stepkids, my husband, like … I just am not texting.

What is your No. 1 dinner party rule?

I don’t get out much. But I would never expect anyone to bring something to me. I think it’s a nice surprise if someone brings something. But … I really hardly go anywhere.

That sounds wonderful.

I know. I really don’t go many places at all.

Any other important etiquette rules that govern your life?

I make my own rules. The rules come from knowing your priorities. My kids, my family, my husband … my business partner, Simon Huck, gets me on the after-carpool ride-home phone call.

Kourtney Kardashian Barker Is Leaving You on Read