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A quickly approaching wedding day has left more than one bride or groom sleepless. The anxiety and stress that accompany a life-changing event can make it hard to enjoy the special time leading up to the nuptials. While all stress can’t be eliminated, it can be managed and reduced so you can get the full seven to nine hours of rest you need.
You’re already planning a wedding, and now you have to worry about planning your sleep? Yes, at least in part. Even with an excellent wedding planner and the support of family and friends, the pressure of making decisions and completing tasks will build. To keep all the spontaneous needs from bogging you down, you have to keep sleep in mind when scheduling.
Your jitters will be at an all-time high the night before your wedding. However, if you’re going the traditional route, you’ll probably be spending that evening with friends and family at the rehearsal dinner. It’s a great opportunity to greet your guests but you don’t want it to keep you up too late. When planning, start the rehearsal dinner in the late afternoon or early evening so you won’t be rushed at the dinner but you’ll have time to get some sleep too.
Even more important, plan how you will spend that last pre-wedding bedtime routine. Why not pamper yourself a little in a long bath with your favorite relaxing playlist. It doesn’t need to be a long pampering session but you deserve a little extra special treatment before saying ‘I do.’
Your night of pampering should fit within an already established bedtime routine. A bedtime routine serves two vital purposes. First, a routine that’s started at approximately the same time each day and with each activity performed in the same order signals the brain when to start the sleep cycle.
The second purpose, which will be particularly important as your wedding draws near, is to reduce stress. Any activity that soothes your mind and relaxes your body makes a good addition. Keep it simple (changing into pajamas followed by brushing your teeth) and consistent, and you’ll be drifting off before you know it.
As you prepare for your wedding, you may want to include activities targeted directly at stress like meditation or yoga. With as little as five to ten minutes of meditation, you can trigger your relaxation response, which reduces heart rate and blood pressure. For mediation to work before your wedding, it needs to be part of your routine for several weeks in advance.
Yoga too has been shown to help with stress by reducing stress-related inflammation, improving mood, and increasing energy. A few simple poses before (or while in) bed can do wonders for alleviating physical or mental tension.
If it’s not already, your bedroom should be a sleep sanctuary, especially the night before your wedding. Everything about it should help your mind and body drift off to sleep.
A few days before the wedding, take the time to declutter so you’re not tripping your way to bed. Remove electronic devices like televisions, laptops, and iPads (baby monitors would be the exception). Not only do they emit a sleep-suppressing blue light but they can be a distraction that keeps your mind spinning when you need it to shut down.
Jitters are natural and should be expected, but they don’t need to keep you from a good night’s rest. With a sleep-promoting plan in place, you’ll be at your best on the most important day of your life.
Stacey L. Nash is a Seattle area writer for Tuck.com whose insomnia led her to research all aspects of sleep. With a degree in communications from the University of Puget Sound, she helps put sleep into the forefront of the health and wellness conversation. When not researching and writing about sleep, she spends time with her husband and four children on their heavily-wooded, twelve-acre piece of heaven.
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