First, wedding jitters are normal as are some sleep problems because of them. But, if you’re getting less than seven hours of sleep more often than not, there are changes you can make to your personal habits to reduce your stress and get more sleep. Remember, be patient as it might take some trial and error to find methods that work for you.
There’s a lot to do before a wedding. You probably work all day then spend the evening going over wedding lists or details with your fiance or wedding planner. Even when you’re not actively working on wedding-related tasks, your upcoming nuptials aren’t far from your thoughts.
An hour or two before bed, it’s time to start slowing things down. Easier said than done, right? You can help by physically slowing down. For example, try turning off the television in favor of quiet, relaxing music. Televisions and many other electronic devices emit a bright blue light that can suppress sleep hormones. Not only that, their content and programming may elevate your heart rate or blood pressure. Read a book or spend some quality time talking with a friend or your fiance.
Your evening “slow down” may or may not be part of your bedtime routine, but it should happen at roughly the same time each day to help your body establish a regular schedule.
Meditation has a long list of benefits from rejuvenating the quality of your sleep to reducing your pain perception. In as little as 10 to 15 minutes a day, you can activate the body’s relaxation response, which leads to a drop in your heart rate and blood pressure. Meditation can also help strengthen the connection between the logic and emotional centers of your brain so that your emotions don’t overly influence your behavior.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to treat various ailments of the mind and body. German researchers found that jasmine can be as effective as valium as a mood and sleep enhancer. Another study found that when lavender was used along with sleep education, people slept better and longer.
Aromatherapy has other benefits as well. Your body is designed to respond to predictable routines. If you use the same essential oils at night, the body recognizes the behavior that goes along with the scents. Consequently, you’ll start to feel tired when you smell those familiar essential oils each night because the brain has been conditioned to behave that way.
Exercise releases endorphins that can counteract some of the stress hormones coursing through your veins. It’s also a good way to tire out your body before bed. Any kind of exercise can help, but if you’re looking at something strenuous, try to do it at least four hours before bed so your body temperature has time to drop.
If you want an exercise routine that’s relaxing, simple, and sleep supportive, look into yoga. There are many yoga poses that help your body prepare for sleep like child’s pose and legs-up-the-wall pose. Of course, if you’ll be doing yoga before bed, it might not count as exercise but more like active meditation. Either way, it can help you sleep.
Finally, make sure you’ve created the right sleep conditions. Your bedroom should be cool, dark, and quiet. If your mattress is causing more pain than sleep, look into a mattress topper or a new mattress. Neighbors or traffic noise keeping you awake? Don’t be afraid to invest in a white noise machine to block it out and increase your sleep hours.
As you make time to slow down, you’ll be able to get the rest you need. Take a deep breath (remember meditating works wonders) and stop and smell the roses (or aromatherapy). Before you know it, you’ll be saying “I do” with a full night’s sleep behind you.
This post was brought to Wedding Warriors TC by Stacey L Nash of Tuck.com:
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.