There’s so much to think about before your wedding that you might find yourself skimping on sleep. It’s the one place you can carve out some extra time. But in the end, lost sleep can come back to hurt you in more ways than one. We’ve put together the sleep why’s and how to’s to help you look and feel your best on your wedding day.
Why Do I Need Sleep to Look (and Feel) My Best?
Beauty sleep isn’t a myth. A study conducted at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and funded by Estee Lauder found that lack of sleep accelerates skin aging. Participants who got a full seven to eight hours of sleep showed fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Their skin also recovered from damage more quickly.
Other studies support what you’ve probably already suspected—that you look more tired and unhealthy when you haven’t gotten enough rest. In side by side comparisons, people who have gotten adequate sleep are rated as happier, healthier, and more energetic. To keep dull eyes, skin wrinkles, and limp hair out of your wedding plans, you’ll need to move sleep up your priority list.
How to Get Your Beauty Sleep Despite Wedding Stress
Weddings come with a certain amount of unavoidable stress. To get the sleep you need, you’ll have to manage stress while developing good sleep habits. We suggest:
A Sleep Supportive Bedroom
Just because your room has a bed in it doesn’t make it sleep supportive. The bedroom needs to be devoted entirely to sleep, which means your home gym or office should be located elsewhere. You’ll need to do what you can to block excess light from street lamps or other light pollution and noise from neighbors and passing cars. That may mean adding blackout curtains or a white noise machine to eliminate distractions.
2. Stress Relief Before Bed
Stress management will be one of your most effective sleep aids as you move closer to your wedding. If you already have a bedtime routine, start including stress management techniques in it. If you don’t have a routine, it’s time to start. Meditation, in particular mindfulness meditation, has been shown to be an effective way to activate your body’s “relaxation response,” which causes a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. Yoga is another good addition as it reduces stress-related inflammation. Some poses can be done in bed and transition you into sleep.
3. Pick a Bedtime and Make It a Priority
A predictable bedtime helps the brain learn when to start your sleep cycle. With consistency, your brain will release sleep hormones in anticipation of your bedtime. For the best results, keep the same bedtime on weekends too.
4. Turn Off Your Phone (and More)
The bright light from electronic devices can suppress sleep hormones. Phones aren’t the only culprits; televisions, laptops, and iPads can delay your sleep cycle too. To stay on target for your bedtime, turn off all electronics two to three hours before bed.
5. Make Time for Exercise
Exercise is good for your physical, emotional, and mental health. It’s a natural stress reliever because of the feel good endorphins it releases. Working your muscles also makes them more tired so you’re better prepared for sleep.
Outer beauty isn’t everything, but you want to look and feel amazing on your wedding day. With a full night’s rest behind you, you’ll be able to smile with confidence knowing the happiness you feel on the inside is reflected in your appearance.