Relieve Stress and Get Your Beauty Sleep Before Your Big Day
Stress and sleep deprivation don't look good on anyone. You want to feel and look your best on your wedding day, but not getting the rest you need can leave you feeling and looking frazzled!
Beauty Sleep is Real
Don't write off beauty sleep as an old wives' tale. There's real science behind beauty sleep, and the truth is we all look better after we're well rested.
A Swedish study presented randomized photos of healthy participants after a night of sleep deprivation and a night of healthy sleep. Observers rated their health, attractiveness, and tiredness.
The study found observers rated sleep-deprived people as less attractive, more tired, and less healthy. That means if you stay up late worrying about details the night before your wedding day, you're not going to look your best -- on a day when you want to look your most radiant.
Of course, it's not just one night of sleep you should be concerned about. While the night before your wedding is critical for looking well-rested, you should make healthy sleep a long-term commitment so you can look your best not just for your wedding day, but as you age.
Prioritizing sleep can help fight the appearance of skin aging. A study commissioned by Estee Lauder found poor sleepers experienced increased signs of skin aging. In the study, women who were sleep deprived showed signs of premature skin aging and a decreased ability to recover from sun exposure.
Wedding Stress and Sleep
Of course, most brides know sleep is essential. But stress, anxiety, and a never-ending to-do list can easily take priority over rest.
Getting married is a lifelong commitment, and even if you're thrilled to be marrying the love of your life, any major life change (even happy ones) can be stressful. The work of planning and executing a major event like a wedding shouldn’t be underestimated, either.
It's not unusual for excitement, nervous energy, or anxiety to keep you up at night. Wedding stress can influence your dreams, or you might lie awake at night going over to do lists or remembering tasks you forgot to cover during the day.
Losing sleep over wedding planning is easy. But not getting enough sleep can make you more sensitive to stress, so it's vital that you find a way to relax and get the rest you need.
Sleeping Well Before Your Big Day
Focus on stress relief. If wedding stress is keeping you up at night, you can suffer night and day. Find a way to relieve your stress. Consider relaxation techniques including meditation or yoga. Talk to a friend about your anxiety, and keep a journal next to your bed so you can write down and let go of worrying thoughts that might otherwise keep you up at night. Go through a calming bedtime routine each night before you go to sleep. It can be as easy as turning off screens at least an hour before bed, taking a warm shower, and doing some light stretches before you go to sleep.
Prioritize sleep. Sleep may be near the bottom of your to-do list when you have many other demands on your time, but it should be at the top. Everything is easier when you're well rested, so you should focus on giving yourself the time you need to recharge and face every day stronger and better prepared -- especially your wedding day.
Get help. Don't try to do everything yourself. Taking on an ambitious wedding DIY project can be fun, but it can become a burden. Enlist the help of family and friends to power through your to-do list and take some of the pressure off of you.
Practice healthy sleep hygiene. Pay attention to what you're eating and drinking before bed, as caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals can interfere with sleep. Avoid late night screen time. Although you should stay active during the day, it's important to avoid late night exercise, because it can leave you feeling too pumped up to sleep. Make sure your sleep environment is calming and comfortable: consider getting a new mattress for your new marriage.
*Thank you Samantha Kent from SleepHelp for contributing such a great article!