Too Stressed to Sleep? 3 Ways to Reduce Stress and Get Better Sleep Before Your Wedding

By Sam Kent

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Samantha (Sam) Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.

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Preparing for your wedding, from the dress to the guest list, can stress even the calmest bride. As one of the biggest events of your life, a wedding takes planning that may leave you wide-eyed all night long. Not only does lack of sleep make it harder to cope with stress, but it can also wreak havoc on your body from dark circles to lackluster hair. If you want to look your best on your wedding day, sleep needs to be a priority.

Benefits of a Good Night’s Rest

When you’re preparing for the big day, you want to look your best. Thirty-three percent of Aussie brides report their appearance as being one of their biggest stressors. Sleep helps control appetite. That’s right; if you’re looking to shed a few pounds to fit into your perfect dress, sleeping can help. When you’re sleep-deprived, the hunger hormone ghrelin gets released in larger amounts, and the satiety hormone leptin gets released in smaller quantities. The result—overeating and unwanted weight gain. Adequate rest lets you better stick to a well-balanced diet.

How to Relieve Wedding Stress for Better Sleep

It’s easy to say, “Get more sleep!” But, sometimes doing it is no easy task. Before you try anything else, check the sleeping conditions in your bedroom. Start with the mattress. It should be comfortable and supportive without any sags or lumps that could cause wakefulness. If it’s not helping you sleep, you may want to replace your old mattress. At night, be sure the room is cool, dark, and quiet, so you’re not interrupted. After that, it’s all about reducing stress and building good sleep habits.

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1. Bedtime Meditation or Yoga

Both meditation and yoga have been found to not only reduce stress but to relieve inflammation and lower heart rate. A regular yoga routine changes how your body works. Studies have found that it reduces the activity of the proteins that cause stress-related inflammation. Mindfulness meditation shows similar results. Not all yoga and meditation are meant to calm the mind and body so be sure to use a series of poses or a meditative method that’s intended to bring you to a relaxed state. For the ultimate relaxation experience, perform meditation or yoga poses in bed as part of a regular bedtime routine.

2. Keep a Journal

You may find your mind wandering long after you’ve shut out the light. Worrying about the guest list and who will sit next to whom can leave you tossing and turning for hours. Sometimes, you need to see your thoughts on paper to fully grasp or deal with what’s bothering you. A journal gives you a safe place to get all your worries and frustrations out. If your future mother-in-law is driving you crazy, but you don’t want to start a squabble, write it down. Writing down your worries also lets you leave them on paper so your mind can rest.

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3. Turn Off Your Screens

Not only does excess screen time interfere with your sleep (it suppresses the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone) but it can also up your stress level. Whether you’re a social media junkie or you can’t miss the nightly news, sometimes unplugging gives you a chance to refocus, take a deep breath, and remember why you’re getting married. Recharge your phone somewhere other than your bedroom. The light can interfere with your sleep, and you won’t be tempted to take a late night text when you should be getting some shut-eye.