How Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez Spends Her Perfect Night In at Home

updated Oct 23, 2019
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Perfect Night In is a series where we ask actors, artists, entrepreneurs, and beyond how they’d spend the ultimate luxury—a blissful evening at home.

Laurie Hernandez is known for being one of the “Final Five,” the U.S. women’s team of gymnasts who helped take home gold and silver in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Since then, the athlete hasn’t slowed down: she’s the youngest winner of “Dancing with the Stars” and has started a partnership with Alcon to promote the importance of eye health, to a name a few happenings.

But when Hernandez isn’t pursuing her next athletic feat and actively being a role model for young women, she likes to spend her downtime like any other 19-year-old: eating takeout and binge-watching TV shows with her friends, with a few surprises thrown in.

See below for all the details on Hernandez’s perfect night in, and get ready to be inspired for the next time you’re staying in.

Set the Scene

Describe your perfect homebody scene in five words:

Cozy, relaxing, aromatherapy, lazy, funny.

Are you alone or with someone else?

I’m with my best friends Danelle and Julie. They want to sit and binge-watch movies, so it’s perfect.

What’s your night-in uniform?

It’s either a super long extra large t-shirt because that’s the best, or it’s being completely bundled up and having sweats and a sweatshirt and fuzzy socks, the whole shebang.

What two people, dead or alive, would you let crash your night?

Holy moly! The first person I would want is Brie Larson; I keep trying to figure out how we’re going to play Mario Kart together. And then probably Shakespeare just for entertainment and to see what he thinks about on the daily.

Favorite cozy product:

In terms of self-care and mindfulness, I have a Pinterest board full of motivational quotes, so just printing those out and creating mantras for myself. If you go to, it’ll generate [a mantra] that’s tailored toward you. I think that’s really important as an athlete and also for those days that you just need a boost.

Now Playing

TV or a movie?

I don’t think I can pick. I usually watch movies after I binge a TV show, it’s my way to come down from watching a TV show.

What are you watching?

“The Good Place,” “The Office,” “Brooklyn 99,” and lately it’s been a lot of “Supergirl.” If it’s not that, it’ll be the complete opposite, so “Killing Eve,” “Game of Thrones,” “Dead to Me,” all those crazy shows. For movies, it’s about what I’m in the mood for. My favorite movie of all time is “Silver Linings Playbook,” I could watch that one over and over. If it’s not that, it’s the complete opposite, “Moana” and “Tangled.”

E-books or the real deal?

I do love print books. Something about just holding the book and having the text in your hands is really nice. I also like how new books smell. If it’s on my phone, then it’s probably a podcast.

What are you reading?

Don’t judge me for this, but I just started the Harry Potter series. If it’s not magic or fiction, it’s probably a crime series or thriller. I just finished a book called “Dead Man Running” by James Patterson. It’s a short book, but it’s crazy.

Board games: yay or nay?

Yay! For board games, Monopoly and Life are the best. My friend and I made truth or dare Jenga, so you write truth or dare on the Jenga pieces and pull them out.

What’s Cooking

Order in or cook for yourself?

Totally order in. I’m the worst cook, I can make breakfast. For literally every other meal, definitely order in.

What are you eating?

Chicken potstickers.

What drink are you pouring?

I’m probably just drinking water or, this is going to sound odd, but sometimes I drink coffee at night. It tastes really good, it’s sweet, it makes my brain all happy.

What’s for dessert?

Homemade cookies. I like chocolate chip but if they’re made in the oven, I’m gonna eat the whole thing.

Late-night snack?


Take Care

Do you have a self-care ritual?

It’s making sure that I can take care of my skin and my eyes, that’s been really important ever since I was a little kid. Also, I’ll do a lot of journaling or mantras, sticky notes everywhere.

What do you try to avoid at all costs?

Usually social media. Being on social media is a way to kill time, and what I’m trying to do is be present and enjoy where I’m at, even if I’m watching TV or listening to podcasts,

Candles: yay or nay? (if yay, what’s your favorite?)

Yay, for sure! I’m a vanilla kind of gal.

Face masks: yay or nay?

Yay, but not the peel-off ones because those really hurt. I like the goopy stick-on ones.

Bubble bath: yay or nay?

Yay-ish. Epsom salt is my go-to, just because of practicing and being super sore. That feels really good on my muscles.

Chores: yay or nay?

Nay, but they do need to be done.

Ideal bedtime?

Usually it’s around 10:30 or 11 p.m., somewhere in there.

Thanks for chatting with us, Laurie!