Guest Blog - 7 Tips To Stay Well Rested The Week of Your Wedding
Guest Blog post By Elizabeth Hennigan of Mattress Advisor.
There is no season like wedding season.
It’s charming, hectic, exhilarating, stressful—all of the above.
Something they don’t tell you, however, is just how exhausting wedding season can be—physically, mentally, and definitely, emotionally. Can I get an, “Amen!?”
At times, being a bride is as dreamy as it seems. But most of the time, it’s demanding. Everyone needs your attention, your decisions, and your time now. Engagement season is inevitably going to be busy. But I’d encourage you, bride-to-bride, do your best to cut back on the chaos at least a week before your big day.
A good night’s rest is probably the furthest thing from your mind right now. In fact, you probably have “I can sleep after ‘I do’” embroidered on a tote bag at this point. But here’s why that might not be a great idea:
Losing sleep will only increase your stress (and God only knows, it is not the time for your future in-laws to see you in that place).
Lack of sleep can cause loss of alertness, impaired memory, relationship stress, and possibly an effect on your appearance. That’s right, your determination to pull wedding all-nighters might be the reason you’re snapping at your soon-to-be-spouse, forgetting to call the florist, and your makeup artist is pulling out the big guns to cover those dark under-eye circles. Yikes.
If logging less than seven hours a night is part of your wedding planning checklist, go ahead and cross it out and work these seven things into your routine instead:
1. Give yourself a bedtime
Bedtimes aren’t just for children. In fact, our bodies are hardwired to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, all thanks to our body’s internal clock—the circadian rhythm. At least three weeks before your wedding day, get on a sleep schedule and stick to it. Yes, even on the weekends.
Let me let you in on a secret I’ve had to learn the hard way: people want to help you!
I understand there are certain tasks only you, the bride, can tackle but I guarantee there are 10 family members or friends ready to jump in and help at your call. Even if it’s something small, don’t be afraid to delegate the task to someone else. They love you! And this is a great way to include them in your big day.
3. Opt to unplug
Answering late night emails and stalking your cousin’s, best friend’s wedding on social media is only going to put you in a downward spiral. Put your phone (and laptop) down at least 30 minutes before bed each night. Not only is it bad for your mental state, but the blue-light from your technology’s screen is keeping your brain awake. Try reading a book instead.
4. Put it to paper
Did you know that on a regular day seven out of ten adults suffer from anxiety that disrupts their sleep? Now toss planning a wedding into the mix. Is it really that surprising your sleep may suffer during this season? I know for a fact there have been periods throughout my engagement season that my stress and anxiety levels skyrocketed. Mine came in the form of breakouts...maybe you can relate. If racing thoughts keep you tossing and turning for more than 20 minutes after hitting the hay, grab a pen and paper and write those thoughts down.
Here’s a piece of advice from someone who has learned it the hard way: they won’t go away until you acknowledge them. Notice I didn’t say “do something about them.” Just get them out of your head and out into the world—even an exercise as simple as that can put your mind at ease.
5. Say “yes” to saying no
In the week leading up to your big day, it is okay to say no if you become too stressed or busy to deal with whatever comes out of left field. Like I said, delegate. This goes for your honeymoon too. Don’t be afraid to say no to excursions or sightseeing every single day. Your honeymoon is about being present with your new spouse anyway! It’s okay to take naps, lay on the beach, and catch up on some rest.
For this tip, we’re going back to the basics. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a deep breath, or five. Everything is fine. You are fine (even if you don’t feel fine)!
Deep breathing has been proven to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety. That’s because lack of oxygen can make you feel tense and nervous. Taking deep breaths helps pump that oxygen back into your body.
7. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
Maintaining a healthy sleep hygiene lasts a lifetime. Even after your wedding week passes, it’s important you get quality sleep consistently and that means talking to your new spouse about expectations.
I don’t know about you, but I am nervous about sharing a sleep space for the first time! My fiance and I started by choosing the best mattress for us. We are different sleepers with different sleep preferences, but marriage is all about compromise. Through life’s ups and downs, a good night’s sleep just might keep you sane.
Now you are equipped to take on your wedding week stress free. Take a deep breath, be present, and try to catch those ZZZs!
Elizabeth is on the editorial team at Mattress Advisor, an online start-up in the heart of Raleigh, NC. When she isn’t writing about sleep, she’s working on planning her wedding day (which is coming up this month)!