5 Secrets to Getting Enough Sleep Before Your Wedding

Not getting enough zzz’s? You’re not alone. Read these five tips to get the prewedding rest you need.
by Nicola Bridges
photo by iStock

Sleeplessness is a common struggle when you're planning a wedding, especially as the date gets closer. So whether you're up all night searching for inspo or going over your never-ending to-do list, we've got real fixes to help you get your precious beauty sleep.

Set an exercise and bedtime routine.

Sticking to a daily fitness regimen should be a part of the planning process, says Helene Emsellem, MD, director of The Center for Sleep & Wake Disorders. “Exercise is an amazing stress reducer and also great for sleep," she says. A spin class or evening run gets out nervous energy and will have you feeling tired come bedtime. In addition to workouts, set aside at least 20 minutes before bed to wind down. Take a warm shower, meditate or do some soothing stretches.

Pull the plug early.

Not only is checking your email or perusing Pinterest a sleep stealer, the light your device emits is also extremely alerting to your brain. To help, Emsellem recommends adjusting your display settings. “Most smartphones now have a 'night shift' setting that reduces the blue and emits a warmer light." Also consider setting a tech cutoff time a couple of hours before hitting the sheets and dimming the ambient light in your surroundings to help your mind and body relax in preparation for sleep.

Make time for meditation.

If your mind is racing with to-dos, try a calming four-seven-eight breath visualization technique before bed, suggests Sara Gottfried, MD, author of The Hormone Reset Diet. Sit comfortably, with your spine lengthened and shoulders relaxed. Visualize your wedding day—your gown, your hair, the flowers. Then inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of seven, then slowly exhale for a count of eight. Repeat this three times. You can also use a guided meditation app such as Headspace.

Manage your multitasking.

Most couples roll right from their workday into wedding “work" in the evenings and on the weekends. But chronic multitasking puts you at risk for high cortisol levels, which can make you sleepless, short tempered and prone to meltdowns, Gottfried says. Consider scheduling specific days for when you'll work on wedding planning and when you won't. This will keep you focused and free from multitasking-induced freak-outs or pulling all-night shifts.

Take care of your circadian rhythms.

Busy brides- and grooms-to-be often suffer from high cortisol, which is the main stress hormone, and one that—among other things—prevents sleep. But in order to keep your hormones in check, you need to work on balancing your circadian rhythm (also known as your internal clock), Gottfried says. To do so, go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day—even if you don't feel tired at bedtime or aren't ready to get up in the mornings.

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