The night before your wedding is stressful, as thoughts about everything that could go wrong flood your brain, which increases your anxiety inadvertently keeping you awake. You know you need a full night’s rest, but with the adrenaline racing through your veins, it seems like an impossible task.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be and with these 13 tips, you will get the sleep you need the night before your wedding. These tips equip you with the tools you didn’t realize you were missing, so you don’t miss a single beat.
Your wedding day is important, and you should treat it as such, by armoring yourself with healthy sleep habits. Marriage is a big change and one you will need to meet with a level head through consistent rest. These tips create a way for you to sleep the night before your wedding but also builds a healthy habit to last you a lifetime.
1. Create a Sleep Schedule
This is by far the best tip you can follow as it is a fool-proof way to ensure you will be passed out on the night before your wedding. By placing yourself on a schedule, it puts you to bed at a reasonable time, giving you the rest you need in order to function properly on your big day.
You should start this process months before you tie the knot, creating a schedule your internal clock can follow, otherwise known as your natural circadian rhythm.
- Natural Circadian Rhythm: a consistent change in a body’s physical, mental, and behavioral cycles; usually caused by a reaction to an outside force, such as light or sound.
You should start by identifying a reasonable time you plan to be asleep by, establishing a timer within your body. This signifies when it is time for your internal systems to begin shutting down for the evening.
You should also set a specific time to wake up at every morning, delegating a specific amount of time for your body to sleep every night. This ensures your body will continue to fall asleep at the same hour every night, as it begins to shut down after so many hours without sleep, exactly how it is trained to.
Another pro tip is to give your body 15-minutes of sunlight within the first 30-minutes you wake, as hormone levels in the body respond to a pattern of heat fluctuation. When you expose your body to the sun, it interprets it as a signal to stop producing sleep-inducing chemicals.
Adding sunlight to your daily routine has added health benefits besides setting your internal clock. It works to boost your immune system by increasing your consumption of Vitamin D. It also improves brain function, which couples crave on their wedding day as they struggle to remember all the names of their new family members.
2. Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing exercises can relax your adrenaline-filled system the night before your wedding by actively reducing your stress levels and decreasing your blood pressure.
The most highly recommended breathing exercise is the 4-7-8 method. You begin by resting the tip of your tongue on the tissue above your front top teeth. You then breathe in through your nose for a total of four seconds, hold the breath for seven, and release the breath through your mouth for a count of eight. You want to repeat this process a total of four times in order to achieve the maximum effect.
There are several different exercises you can try, this being only one of them, and it all depends on your preference as an individual. You may want to try a few methods in order to find the one that works best for you.
Other deep breathing methods you can try the night before your big day include:
- Alternating Nostril
3. Make Your Bedroom Inviting
Your bedroom is the place you lie down to sleep at night, and you expect to be swiftly whisked off to dreamland within its confines. This is especially true on the night before your wedding, but in order for this to become reality, you need to create the perfect atmosphere for sleep.
Your bedroom needs to be cool and kept at a consistent temperature in the range of 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body will remain in this scope throughout the night, preventing you from waking due to a change in temperature, ensuring your circadian rhythm is not disturbed.
You should put your phone or tablet away before going to bed, turning them off or flipping them on their face to prevent the disturbance of light from waking you in the middle of the night. The midnight text from your future husband may be endearing, but it won’t be when you end up with only two hours of sleep to get you through your big day.
It might also be a good idea to invest in a set of blackout curtains, as they prevent the invasion of early rays of sunshine. There are other curtains that assist in blocking out noisy morning sounds, allowing your sleep schedule to remain intact, despite the rowdy critters outside of your window.
4. Essential Oils Put You to Sleep
Essential oils are known for their relaxing effects, as the scent invades your nostrils, lulling away any stresses you may be harboring. Your big night will be full of distracting thoughts and anxiety-inducing stresses, making these a must-have on your wedding checklist.
The essential oils which help you sleep include:
- Cedar Wood
These oils each have different properties, but they all act as sedatives to the body, soothing it into a quiet slumber. They promote relaxation and decrease blood pressure, giving your body the ability to rest.
Essential can also be used in a variety of ways:
- Pillow Mist
- Applied directly to the body
- Added into a bath
It is important to remember to never apply them directly to your body, but dilute it within a carrier oil. You should also consider trying out your essential oil prior to your big night as negative reactions can occur when using these products.
5. Begin Using Supplements
Supplements have effects similar to essential oils, but instead of breathing them in, you ingest them. These come in pill form and you take them shortly before bedtime to assist you in falling asleep.
You should begin taking these at least a month before your wedding night to allow your body time to adjust and in case of any adverse reactions. The last thing you want is to wake up with a face full of hives on your wedding day because your body didn’t like the supplement you took.
A list of supplements recommended to improve sleep include:
- Valerian Root
6. Start Exercising
This is not only a way to improve sleep on your wedding night but can improve your quality of sleep as a whole. Exercise helps tire out your body, so when it comes time for bed, your body is sufficiently exhausted.
Your body will signal your internal systems it is in need of restorative repairs, allowing you to spend a longer time in a deep sleep.
Exercise is also proven to release pent-up stress and anxiety, which you are sure to have plenty of the night before your big day.
Exercise doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym for hours or run until your heart feels like it’s going to stop, but rather, just enough to get your blood pumping. It takes a minimum of five minutes to help you relax and find the peace of mind you were looking for.
A good number to live by is 30-minutes for five days of the week. You should avoid over-training as this can lead to other sleep issues, like insomnia. It is also a good practice to exercise at least four hours before your bedtime.
An exception to this rule is bedtime yoga, but it involves a less stressful form of exertion in comparison to running or lifting weights. You can also try meditation right before bed to increase your body’s level of relaxation, which you may be needed to unwind on the night before you enter into a lifelong partnership.
Some yoga poses you can use to help you sleep include:
- Standing Forward Bend
- Corpse Pose
- Supine Spinal Twist
- Reclining Butterfly
7. Stop Drinking Caffeine
Caffeine is definitely a big no-no before bedtime, but you should also consider cutting it out of your daily routine. Caffeine boosts your energy, stimulating your body to stay awake, which is the opposite of what you want the night before your wedding.
Some people may not be able to function without their coffee in the morning, and this is okay as long as you finish your last cup before 2 PM to prevent it from affecting your circadian rhythm.
It is also recommended you refrain from drinking your first cup within the first 90 minutes you wake because it can cause an imbalance in your body’s production of Cortisol.
Cortisol is one of the hormones which tells our body it is time to sleep, but coffee works against this by drastically raising your levels. This prevents them from dropping to a level conducive for sleeping, keeping you awake well into the night even if you feel tired.
8. Alcohol Doesn’t Help Either
Many brides will tell you they used a few glasses of their favorite bottle of merlot to put them to sleep, but what they didn’t tell you was how they felt the next morning.
Alcohol does act as a depressant, lulling your body to sleep, but throughout the night it wears off and your body reverts to its state of wakefulness. This causes numerous disturbances in your sleep and leads to you waking well before your alarm goes off.
The next day you might be thinking the drink did its job and put you to sleep, but it also gave you a hangover and less rest than you were hoping for. So put down that wine bottle and drink a glass of water instead.
Water’s plentiful benefits make it a much better option, compared to alcohol, as it balances your hormone levels. Your joints and muscles will also feel more relaxed, resulting in a more restorative sleep before your big day.
9. Soothe Your Soul
Pampering yourself is never a bad idea, especially on the last night, you can call yourself single. You could create your very own evening spa at home, fabricating an environment where you can wind down and let the anxiety of the next day escape your thoughts.
You could take a hot bath, complete with bubbles and some relaxing music. You can even add essential oils to the bath or make yourself a cup of tea to increase the degree of your relaxing sauna, taking advantage of all of your senses. This all will allow you to construct the perfect evening for producing bountiful sleep before you join the world partnered with your best friend.
10. A Light Evening Meal isn’t a Bad Idea
Some of you may find eating the night before your wedding unappetizing as the stresses of the next day weigh down upon you. Others might find eating as their go-to way to relieve anxiety and release their negative thoughts.
You should avoid raiding your junk food cabinet at midnight and eat a light meal instead. It should be healthy and consist of mainly carbs and proteins, preferably red meats or fish.
These foods contain nutrients which work to regulate your restfulness by fueling the production of dopamine and serotonin, which are two major players in the sleep game.
11. Distract Yourself
Distracting yourself doesn’t involve playing on your phone or binge-watching your favorite television show, but it does involve participating in relaxing activities.
This includes creating a soothing playlist filled with wordless songs or relaxing sounds. You should avoid playing songs with words as they do distract your brain as they trigger specific thoughts or feelings which can keep you awake.
The word-filled pre-wedding playlist you created might leave you anxious as you imagine your bridesmaid tripping during their walk down the aisle or your crazy aunt giving an embarrassing toast you will never live down. It doesn’t matter what the words signal, but the lesson here is just don’t do it.
You can also attempt progressive muscle relaxation, which helps your body wind-down after a long day by narrowing your focus onto each individual muscle group.
This process involves a series of breathing measures where you tense a specific muscle grouping on intake and relax them as you slowly breathe out. If you have never tried this before it can be beneficial to listen to a recording to help walk you through the steps, ensuring you target every muscle grouping.
12. Write Down Your Thoughts
The night before you tie the knot you will probably find yourself lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, as you imagine everything that could go wrong. These thoughts will keep you up, preventing you from getting the sleep you need to experience the best day of your life fully rested.
Late-night thoughts raise your heart rate and respiratory rate. It also increases your sweat output, all of which can cause you to wake prematurely.
It is recommended you write down a complete list of things you imagine could go wrong on your wedding day and solutions to all of them. You can jot them down on a random piece of paper or start a journal to help you unwind.
This process will grant your subconscious a sense of peace, as your brain doesn’t have to work overtime to solve nonexistent problems while you sleep. This is a healthy practice to follow on nights other than the night before your wedding, as it helps reduce your overall stress and anxiety levels.
13. Establish an Unwinding Routine
This practice is beneficial, as it improves your sleep habits and assists you in establishing your circadian rhythm. You should start the unwinding process one hour to fifteen minutes before bedtime, to begin the process of relaxing and letting go of the stresses of the day.
You should also remove yourself from the world, both physically and electronically, by putting down your phone and shutting off your computer. The light given off by electronics can mimic sunlight, tricking your body into thinking it is not bedtime.
You can remedy electronic use by putting on your soothing music soundtrack and dimming the lights. Your body will associate this with sleep, and the longer you practice your routine, the easier it will become to fall asleep upon its completion.
These tips will improve your chances on the night before your wedding to achieve the amount of sleep you need to function properly on your big day.
Overall, sleeping on the night before your big day should be easy if you follow these tips and practice healthy sleep habits. Sleeping well doesn’t start the night before, but should begin months in advance in order to give you the best chance of success. It will leave you well rested so you don’t miss a second of the best day of your life.