Updated: Dec 2, 2020
How to Look After Your Sleep and Health Before Your Wedding
If you’re about to get married, sleep is probably at the bottom of your to do list. But managing sleep and health before your wedding is so important to feeling and looking good on your wedding day, honeymoon, and beyond. So while it’s fun and exciting to plan every important detail and take on cute DIY projects, don’t lose sight of what’s most important: your sleep and health. Without it, you may not feel up to enjoying all of the delightful details of your wedding day!
Follow these tips for making the most of sleep and health before your wedding.
Exercise regularly. Many brides focus on exercise for weight loss, toning, and just generally looking good in that dress. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re not going overboard! But exercise is important for your more than just looks, it’s great for overall health and getting a good night’s sleep. Exercise produces feel good endorphins that make you feel better, makes you healthier, and prepares your body to feel tired when it’s time to go to sleep. It’s a good idea to get some form of physical activity every day, just be careful not to exercise vigorously late at night, or you may feel too energized to sleep well.
Eat a healthy diet. Similarly, many brides watch what they eat before the wedding for looks — but that shouldn’t be your only motivation for eating a healthy diet. Generally, healthy foods support a healthy body, and avoiding junk foods like ones full of fat and sugar can help you sleep better. When you eat junk food, it can interfere with your ability to sleep well, and can even shift your body’s focus from rest to digestion if you eat a heavy junk food meal before bed. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and other healthy food throughout the day to support good health and sleep.
Manage stress. There’s no denying weddings can be stressful, and it can take a toll on your health and sleep. Wedding stress can keep you up at night as you mentally run through your to do list or remember things you forgot to do. And while some level of stress is unavoidable, you can take steps to reduce the wedding stress you encounter and create a healthy response to stress so you can minimize its impact on your health and sleep. Ask for help with planning and projects so you’re not trying to take everything on yourself. Keep a journal next to your bed so you can write down anything that pops up when you’re trying to get to sleep. And practice relaxation techniques throughout the day and especially as part of your bedtime routine. Yoga and meditation can be helpful for clearing your mind and relaxing.
Prioritize sleep. Getting enough sleep is essential for feeling and looking your best, and sleep deprivation can be a factor in numerous issues including fatigue, mood, memory, and concentration. You’re more likely to experience accidents or injuries when sleep deprived, too. It’s important to set aside enough time for sleep, no matter how busy you get. Typically, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you’re under a heavy load, you may need more than that. Plan ahead and count backwards from when you need to wake up. It’s a good idea to shoot for about eight hours and give yourself time to fall asleep and wake up. Consider cutting back on commitments or letting go of things on your to do list if it’s interfering with your sleep time.
Practice healthy sleep habits. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and bedtime routine. Make sure your bedroom is a healthy sleep environment, with a comfortable mattress and bedding, calming paint colors, and using a white noise machine if needed. Avoid sleep pitfalls, like consuming caffeine after 3 p.m., late night screen time, or alcohol just before bed, which can lower the quality of your sleep.
Don’t let wedding events derail health and sleep. Engagement and bachelorette parties, your rehearsal dinner, and the wedding reception are all opportunities to celebrate — and you should. But be careful not to go overboard with food, alcohol, and late nights. While some indulgence is fun, it can go too far, especially if you have several events over the span of your engagement. Practice moderation and balance so you can come out ahead and stay healthy while still enjoying yourself.
Weddings can be stressful, time consuming, and even physically difficult to bear, especially if you’re not sleeping well or practicing healthy habits. Remember you’re in this for the long haul, so it’s important to start your marriage on a healthy note. Focus on healthy habits, including getting good quality sleep, so you can be healthy and enjoy your wedding.
Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.