Being a bride or groom is arguably one of the most exciting and heart-warming days of a person's life, but as the big day draws closer, pre-wedding insomnia can cause difficulty in falling, and staying, asleep. As we know, our sleep is very important and no one wants tired eyes on such a big day. But what can we do to avoid the sleepless nights?
According to Dreams Sleep Expert, Sammy Margo, consistency is key. So, maybe it's time to drop the outdated wedding 'preparation' superstitions. Sammy says: "We love rhythm and routine, so sticking to the same routine of bed sharing makes sense before your big day.
"Many of the ideas of separating the night before your nuptials are more about historic traditions and superstitions, such as spending the night with your bridesmaids 'lest an evil spirt steal her', or in your family home so that you have a 'proper' send off.
"If you are used to sleeping with your partner every night, it can be incredibly distressing and unsettling to be without them, particularly the night before one of the biggest days of both your lives. Many are now opting to sleep with their partners the night before their wedding, and if you can I'd recommend doing so to ensure you feel more settled and part of your normal routine."
But for those 'wedded' to sticking to wedding traditions here's 8 top tips to avoid the dreaded pre-wedding insomnia:
Consistency of the Magic Number: "The magic number falls somewhere between six and eight hours of quality sleep per night, but not everyone is the same and not all sleep is equally restorative. Getting some good rest, as well as early to bed and waking up at the same time every day, on the lead up to your big day is key. A study looked at levels of attractiveness and concluded that sleep deprived people looked less healthy which we know we don't want on our wedding day!"
Keep your room cool: "Keeping your room cool will optimise the release of your sleepy hormone melatonin and so aid restful restorative sleep. Trick your body by taking a warm bath or shower before bed. Using scented oils, lotions or candles will help to relax you. When you emerge from the bath or shower into a cool room your temperature will lower which will help you feel sleepier. You could even try a TheraPur cooling pillow, duvet or mattress, which help to regulate your body temperature and absorb heat."
Exercise the morning before your wedding day: "Exercise can reduce insomnia by decreasing anxiety and depression. As exercise influences your circadian rhythm – this is more of a cue for sleep and can tire you out and boost your quality of sleep. Raising your body temperature, the morning before your wedding day with light exercise, can trigger sleepiness as well as boost immune functions."
Meditate the night before: "Meditation, yoga and stretching are all gentle and restorative exercises that can be done just before slipping into your duvet. A study examined the efficacy of a yoga intervention for the treatment of insomnia in adults and found practicing yoga does in fact improve sleep. Progressive muscle relaxation is also a great way to ease yourself into a relaxing state, especially if you have some pre jitters before your wedding day."
Bring your pillow from home: "If you aren't sleeping in your own environment, take your own pillow. A lot of hotels and venues offer a multitude of pillow types, but sometimes it's easier to just take your own so you don't risk any neck or back pain. It will also have a familiar scent, which has been proven to calm and relax the body and mind as being around familiar items and scents also help reduce anxiety and worry."
Avoid alcohol and nightcaps: "Much like caffeine, alcohol has been proven to affect sleeping patterns and the quality of sleep. Although at first alcohol may make you feel sleepy, it has been shown to cause a disruptive night's sleep, making people feel tired and sluggish throughout the next day, which prevents you from getting into a deeper stage of sleep which you want to avoid before your wedding day.
Make Your Bedroom Sleep-Friendly: "Removing artificial light, opening a window and sleeping with earplugs or an eye mask can help you combat any distractions you find yourself rising to in the night. Ensuring your room isn't too warm and keeping your phone outside of your bedroom will allow your body to embrace an ideal sleeping environment that in turn, will help you fall asleep easily before the big day."
Get yourself in a good routine: "Looking good and feeling great on your big day will allow you to enjoy it even more. And although you may not sleep well the night before your wedding, ensure that you get some good rest. It's all about consistency in the weeks leading up to the wedding."