No matter how well you plan, a wedding is a stressful event. From the hours spent organizing the seating arrangements to picking out place settings and flowers, there are a lot of details that can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, all that stress can interfere with getting the sleep you need.
While you might be tempted to let sleep fall by the wayside, sleep deprivation can take a big toll on your physical and emotional well-being. Making rest a priority enables you to stay mentally clear and look and feel your best.
Stress-Related Sleep Deprivation
Stress triggers the body's fight or flight response, flooding your system with hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Short-term, these hormones protect you from danger, but the body was never meant to be exposed to them long-term. Chronic stress, say from a wedding, can lead to headaches, fatigue, and sleep deprivation.
Lack of sleep changes everything from your decision-making skills to appetite control. When you're tired, the emotional center of your brain becomes more sensitive to negative stimuli while the reasoning center of the brain becomes less active. You’re more likely to make emotional decisions or find yourself overwhelmed with negative emotions.
You also experience appetite changes. During sleep deprivation, you tend to feel more hungry and less easily sated. You may crave unhealthy foods because your brain is more rewarded by high fat and high sugar foods than when you’re well-rested. The ability to make good food choices and stay on track for looking your best relies on getting enough sleep.
How to Reduce Stress for Better Sleep
While you can't rid yourself of all stress, you can do things to help yourself relax to get the restful sleep you need. It's vital that there isn’t anything in your bedroom getting in the way of high-quality sleep. Check your mattress for any lumps or valleys that could be waking you during the night. The mattress should also support your preferred sleep position. Look at mattress reviews if you’re not sure if your bed is a good fit for you.
There are many stress relief methods available, and it might take some experimentation to find something that works for you. But, bringing stress under control can help you enjoy the days leading up to your wedding and make your wedding day everything you’ve dreamed it would be.
There's a reason meditation has been used for centuries, and one of those reasons is its ability to help manage stress. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, trains the mind to focus on present sensations rather than dwelling on thoughts of the past or future, which often cause stress.
A daily meditation routine can thicken the reasoning portion of your brain while strengthening its connection to your emotional center. These changes counteract the heightened activity that takes place in the emotional center of the brain during sleep deprivation. The emotional and physical changes that take place with regular meditation trigger the body’s relaxation response wherein your heart rate and blood pressure decrease.
Twenty minutes of daily meditation can be enough to reduce your stress levels. However, if that seems like more time than you have available, even 10 to 15 minutes can make a big difference. Mindfulness meditation is easy to incorporate into your bedtime routine. You can meditate in bed right before you fall asleep.
Like meditation, there are many popular yoga methods. Those that incorporate meditative practices such as deep breathing and focused thought have many of the same benefits as meditation.
Studies have shown that yoga reduces inflammation (often caused by stress), improves mood, and increases energy. Regular yoga practitioners experience a reduction in the number of inflammation-causing proteins in the blood brought on my aging and stress.
Yoga can be used as a form of strenuous exercise or as a way to relax both mind and body, depending on the type, method, or series of poses you choose. If you want to use it to reduce stress and tension from your body before bed, consider poses that help you relax. Many can be practiced while you lie in bed and that will let you drift off to sleep when you're ready.
3. Write It Out
A journal provides a way to record and examine the thoughts that cause your stress. Writing often gives you a chance to examine your emotions and see how they are affecting you. If you’re afraid you’ll forget an important detail, try keeping a journal next your bed to record any last minute thoughts that come to you during the night. You’ll be able to sleep easier knowing you won’t forget them in the morning.
This post was written by the staff at The Sleep Help Institute.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by planning your wedding, we are here to help! Read more about what we do on our Welcome and Packages pages. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or want to inquire about getting help with wedding planning. And if you'd like to have future blog posts delivered to your inbox, please join our mailing list on the Welcome page.