A good night’s sleep is just what you need to look and feel your best on your wedding day. But how can you make sure you get enough rest? Phil Lawlor, Sleep Expert at Dormeo, offers his advice for soon-to-be-weds looking to get their forty winks.
After all the planning, organising, and last-minute jobs, the night before your wedding can be one of the most restless that you’ll ever experience. Whether it's down to pure excitement, sheer anxiety, or just being in a strange environment, losing sleep before your wedding day is all too common.
Unfortunately, not getting the right amount of beauty sleep can mean bloodshot eyes, dark under-eye circles, blotchy skin, and other symptoms such as yawning. None of these are ideal when you want to look and feel your best for your partner and your guests — not to mention your wedding photos!
Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can try to make sure you get enough shut eye before you marry the love of your life. Below, I’ll take you through three of the best.
Stick to your usual sleep routine
Normally, our bodies know when to go to sleep based on our circadian rhythm. This rhythm takes into account our activity levels, the amount of light we receive, and other aspects of our routine. It is also helped along by doing things at the same time every day. This can be why it’s often difficult to fall asleep earlier or stay awake later than you’re used to if you have a day that is out of the ordinary.
If you have any bedtime rituals, try to stick to them as best you can around two hours before going to sleep before your wedding day. This may include having a bath or shower, changing into pyjamas, and reading for a while. Some people like to have a small snack and listen to music. If you try to follow what you normally do before bed — preferably at the time you normally do it — you’ll signal to your brain that it’s time to start winding down and preparing your body for rest.
Perfect your sleep environment
Whether you plan to sleep at your own place or a hotel, it’s important your bed for the night is in an environment that encourages you to switch off. It’s suggested that adults sleep in temperatures between 15°C and 20°C, in rooms that are as dark and as quiet as possible (Sleep Council), but it’s also important to avoid checking your mobile phone or tablet while you’re under the covers. This is because blue light can stimulate our eyes and make us feel alert, so it can undo all the hard work you did relaxing before bed.
Avoid sleep-damaging stimulants
It’s common sense to avoid coffee in the evening to help you sleep before your wedding, as well as any other caffeine-rich foodstuffs that can make us more alert rather than ready for bed. Caffeine is also present in tea and, somewhat surprisingly, chocolate, so it may be best to avoid these from 6pm onwards if you’re planning an early night.
If you’re nervous, you might be tempted to have a glass of wine or another alcoholic beverage to help you relax and get to sleep. However, be careful not to overdo it, as alcohol can actually affect your sleep quality and make you feel like you’ve had no rest, even if it did cause you to feel sleepier in the evening. Plus, no one wants to spend their wedding day hungover!
Stick to just one or two glasses if you would still like some Dutch courage the night before your wedding. If you’re struggling to drift off, a glass of warm, full-fat milk can work wonders. This is because dairy contains soothing chemicals that can help you produce serotonin and thus melatonin, which helps sleep come all the more easily (Journal of Medicinal Food).
The tips in this guide can help you to get a good night’s sleep before your wedding day, helping you feel fresher and look great as you walk down the aisle.