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Stick to your bedtime routine even when preparing for a wedding

With so many people to include, events to plan, and details to oversee, whether you're getting married, planning the wedding, or both, preparing for a wedding can become a full-time and stress-laden job. You need your sleep more than ever to deal with the inevitable crises that will arise along the way, as well as to be present to enjoy every minute of the big day, once it arrives. The same general tips for getting sufficient, quality sleep become even more important in the months leading up to the wedding.  Here are a few tips to avoid adding sleep to the list of worries that keep you awake at night.

1. Keep to a Sleep Schedule

Whether due to fretting or having fun, during this hectic time, you’re going to have nights when you don’t get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. In spite of your best intentions, the sleep schedule you’ve carefully crafted to support healthy circadian rhythms may fall apart. There are sleep recommendations and then there is life, particularly when you’re planning a wedding.

Don’t panic if you lose some sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you can reduce a sleep debt created by insufficient sleep during the week by "sleeping an extra 1-2 hours on the weekends or 'non-work days,' or taking short naps."  Know that this time of wedding preparation is fleeting, and try to sleep in or take a nap, when possible, to catch up.

2. Wind Down with a Bedtime Routine

Whether it’s a warm bathyogabreathwork, or rereading your favorite novel, take the time to wind down from the stress of the day, as well as the additional stress of wedding planning, in the 90 minutes before you plan to go to sleep. We can’t stress a bedtime routine often enough.

Your routine is personal to you and can include simple things like brushing your teeth and positioning your pillows.  Large or small, focusing on these activities can serve to calm your mind and body and prepare you for sleep.

3. Make a Nightly List

You can’t possibly keep all the details in your head of the people, places, and things involved in your wedding. Whether it’s a first marriage or a third, yours or your loved ones, it’s a lot. We suggest finding an overall organizational method, whether that is an old-school binder or a project-management application like Airtable, Trello, or Discord.

Whichever overall organizational tool you choose, we suggest keeping a notebook—paper or electronic— near your bed. Getting down tomorrow’s to-do list before turning out the light can lessen overthinking and help you fall asleep easier. It will free your mind so you can worry less about forgetting something important and focus on sleep instead. 

4. Eat, Drink, and Exercise to Feel Good

It becomes more difficult to maintain a routine while attending the special events leading up to the wedding but doing so can make a big difference to your sleep. With evening events and additional duties to squeeze into every day, don’t forget to take care of yourself.

You may already know that eating heavy meals too close to bedtime can negatively affect your sleep, particularly if you have a tendency toward acid reflux or indigestion. Experts recommend you avoid eating a full meal two to four hours before bedtime. However, going to bed hungry is not the answer. A small nighttime snack rich in nutrients may be beneficial. Foods that encourage sleep include kiwi, walnuts and almonds, and milk.

Caffeine can delay or diminish sleep. Keep that in mind when you’re grabbing a coffee in the late afternoon to power you through the evening’s activities. It takes a long time for caffeine to completely leave your system. Additionally, caffeine sensitivity, like everything else, can change over the years. In general, you should stop consuming caffeine at least eight hours before bed.

While alcohol may seem to relax you, it can negatively affect your sleep by preventing you from sleeping deeply. We’re not suggesting you forgo toasts, but experts recommend you stop drinking three hours before bedtime.

Finally, exercise is not only beneficial for getting the look you like for the photos; it can improve your sleep. That doesn’t mean you have to start training for a marathon before the wedding since “even some light physical activity can greatly improve your sleep health.” Figure out the time of day that works best for your busy schedule.

5. Create a Cozy Nest for Yourself

Whether you share a bed or sleep alone during the time leading up to the wedding, you’ll want to create a comfortable oasis for sleep. Make sure your bedroom is as dark, cool, and quiet as possible. Make your bed cozier without a lot of effort by adding a decadent feather bed or replacing your pillows. This is the perfect time to introduce an aromatherapeutic silk pillowcase to your bedding. The lavender scent is soothing, and the silk is wonderful for your skin and hair.

Even with all the well-meant advice for maintaining your sleep routine, all bets are off the night before the wedding. If you find you're too excited to sleep, and you've followed your regular bedtime routine, don't continue to lie in bed staring at the ceiling. Experts recommend getting up and out of bed and going to another room. Keep the light dim while you read or listen to music or a podcast until you feel ready to return to bed. 

There’s a reason marriage falls within the top ten stressful life events. It requires a lot of adjustment, particularly if you didn’t live with your partner before the wedding. When it comes to sharing a bed, we suggest you start off where you want to end up. From setting the thermostat to selecting the bedding, we’ve assembled “5 Sleep Tips for Couples Who Share a Bed” that can help you to avoid some of the pitfalls of long-term bed sharing.

Cheers to a wonderful wedding celebration!

-The Team at down etc

Read more:

5 Ways to Make Gifts for Your Wedding Party Feel Special

Bedtime Rituals for Better Sleep

Consider Your 5 Senses to Make Bathing at Home a Spa-like Experience

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