Elsa Kugelberg

She’s the speechwriter of Swedish politician Birgitta Ohlsson and expert on foreign affairs. Political writer Elsa Kugelberg sleeps on a bed of nails while practicing German and listening to a Harry Potter audiobook. Beside her in the bed: political philosophy doctor Henrik, in a matching sleep mask. 

Tuesday evening ends:
Henrik and I have popcorn and bubbly water while watching a film in the sofa. One of us falls asleep and then we both brush our teeth before seeing the last part in bed.

Before turning off the lights:
I pack my bag and make sure I have everything. Right now I am using the Lenovo nylon laptop backpack I got from work. It goes super well with my ankle-length leather coat and my football scarf from Eurotic.

I sleep in:
A borrowed t-shirt from Hugo Boss. I know it’s the wrong way to do it but I put on my pyjamas when I get out of bed. Our bedroom is very light so I also have to use a huge sleep mask. And my watch. Except for cleaning and repairs, I have taken it off maybe five or six times since I got it from my parents ten years ago.

I share the bed with:
My boyfriend Henrik and a lot of pillows.

On my nightstand:
Books in line waiting to be read, Försvarets lip balm, my phone and a sandal wood scented candle from Klinta that I also use as hand cream. A miniature snail sculpture in glass I got from my best friend Adéle when we lived together in Paris a couple of years ago.

On my boyfriend’s nightstand:
Books, his Burberry perfume, and a HUGE glass of water that he never drinks from.

My best tip for a good night’s sleep:
I use a Swedish bed of nails to relax for an hour before going to sleep, while reading, meditating or practising German on the Duolingo app. If that does not work, I try to get out of the bedroom and read until I feel too tired to keep my eyes open. As a last resort, I’ll take an ice cold shower. It totally knocks me out and I fall asleep immediately afterwards.

Keeps me awake:
The future. I worry easily, but it sometimes helps to make a list of what bothers me and then I can let it go until tomorrow.

My version of counting sheep:
Listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks narrated by Stephen Fry.

My best midnight snack:
My body tells me what I need, so it depends! But often it will be a glass of plain yoghurt.

I last dreamt about:
Getting up, eating breakfast and biking to work. Then I woke up and was really annoyed I had to do it all again.

My evening beauty routine:
I brush my hair and put a little hair oil from Sachajuan in it. I wash my face and moisturize. I am not that picky about products since I never really had a problem with my skin. I normally use organic baby oil for both cleaning and moisturizing.

Favorite bedroom feature:
I love my duvet from Engmo dun. I use it all year round and have had it since I got my first own apartment. It’s super fluffy and always the perfect temperature. Other than that, my nightstand from Kartell in white acrylic. It is the perfect size and has the cutest name – Small Ghost Buster.

I know it’s the wrong way to do it but I put on my pyjamas when I get out of bed.

– Elsa Kugelberg

Wednesday morning starts:

At 7.15 a.m.

My alarm sounds like:
I use the Bedtime function on my iPhone. It tells me when to go to bed and comes with melodies that wake you up a little bit more gently than the standard tune. I checked what mine’s called just now – Early Riser.

The first thing I see:
Because of my sleep mask, the first thing I see is darkness.

My morning mood:
I’m not really a morning person, but since I’m a breakfast fan I come around quickly. I want to get up as soon as possible to prepare the kitchen, set the table and boil my egg.

Everyday breakfast:
Yoghurt and granola, an egg, and a glass of apple juice.

Birthday breakfast:
As above but with vegetables, strawberries, walnut levain and croissants. And lots of coffee!

A dreamy weekend morning:
Starts with a walk to café Pascal for breakfast. After a while our friends come by and we all have more coffee and gossip about what happened the night before. Or, Henrik and I bring two copies of the same book and read it side by side.

Morning beauty routine:
I clean and moisturize my face. Then I put on some rouge, highlighter and eyeliner, do my brows and brush my hair. I work out three times a week and I try not to wash my hair more often than that. I use a Gucci perfume that I occasionally throw on before going out the door.

My do’s and don’ts when making the bed:
I’m not sure, it’s always Henrik who makes it. So I guess my do is to get a man who makes your bed so you can just lie in it.

Also .. we just have to ask, how is Birgitta Ohlsson’s morning mood?
It’s great! Our morning meetings are super inspiring. Birgitta usually brings coffee or smoothies and we go over the agenda and discuss the affairs of the day.

Text by Josephine Blix

Photo by Mikael Lundblad

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