Don't you just love when wedding advice includes a line about getting some sleep the night before your wedding. Let's be real: sleep can be a rare commodity WITHOUT wedding day jitters and last minute details so a simple warning to get eight restful hours can seem downright condescending. As someone who struggles to get some sleep because eh, it's Tuesday, I know those feels, so I thought I'd impart 10 of my favorite ways to achieve quality shut-eye in those days (or weeks) before the wedding so you can wake up fresh-faced and ready to shine!
1. Pass off some responsibilities
One of the things we recommend for Day-of Coordination clients is that the couple relinquish their phones after the rehearsal dinner. If you're an Instagram addict or plan on live-Tweeting your wedding day hair appointment, it might make you feel a little naked to go without your number one lifeline, but it's a good idea to pass off answering questions to someone you can trust. Whether it's a last minute check in from a vendor or a few well-meaning friends and relatives asking you how you're feeling, those last minute phone calls can cut into your relaxation time and leave you in knots before it's time to hit the hay. Providing a list of contacts to redirect those calls from the bride (or groom!) can do wonders for keeping those outside stress factors to a minimum.
2. Have a drink, but not too many!
It's not only about hangovers which everyone knows can ruin a good time; studies have shown that too much alcohol can seriously reduce the amount of time you spend in REM sleep. Since that deep sleep is essential in allowing you to wake up feeling well-rested, consider having a couple drinks to kick back and relax, but call it quits before you're feeling too buzzed.
3. Find a favorite pillow and make sure it goes with you.
If you're staying the night at a hotel or anyplace that isn't your own, bringing along your favorite pillows can help give you that nice, comfortable, homey feel. Personally, I can't sleep without a body pillow and this big, soft, squishy beauty is designed to help keep your body cool which has also been shown to improve sleep quality.
4. Run hot and cold.
If you've been running around tying up those last-minute loose ends, chances are you have a little bit (or maybe a lot) of tension. This reusable hot/cold pad is portable and it's both non-toxic and biodegradable. Throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds and use it to relax stiff muscles in your back and shoulders before bed, then refrigerate it overnight to give puffy eyes a refreshing cool down in the morning. It retains its temperature far longer than similar gel-based packs and the clay molds perfectly to any area you have aches and pains.
5. It's a no-brainer, but watch out for caffeine.
That shot of you holding your Starbucks cup with your Future Name on it is totes adorbs, but aim to finish your coffee run by early afternoon if you're sensitive to caffeine. Since it's a diuretic, too much can make you dehydrated which isn't anyone's best look!
6. While we're at it, drink plenty of water!
Not just the day before, but in general. Most people feel better in general, including getting better quality sleep when they're guzzling 64 ounces or more of water per day. When your body is getting enough water to keep functioning properly, your skin tends to look brighter and you have more energy. You've got lots of hugs and high fives to dish out, so feeling top-notch is never a bad idea!
7. Enjoy night time tea time.
I was a complete skeptic when my former roommate brought this home. I mean, it seems a little magic potion-y to me, but the ingredients make sense. Camomile has long been used for it's relaxing properties and Valerien Root is the active ingredient in many sleep aids. I'm the type whose random thoughts about the aye-aye's crazy-long middle finger can keep me awake well into the night, but sipping on this tea while I'm winding down for bed generally gets me to sleep much faster.
8. Not into tea? Try a pill.
Prescription sleep aids can come with a slew of nasty side effects and obvs. need to come from your doctor, but drug-free melatonin is a personal go-to when I'm traveling or any time I'm sleeping in a strange bed. While it's an effective herbal supplement for many people, be sure to read all information labels before purchasing your own bottle. Most doctors don't recommend it if you have diabetes or blood pressure disorders.
9. Black out safely
When you're already full of nerves, any little distraction can keep you awake. Light, in particular, can be a culprit and this fancy sleep mask from Brookstone not only keeps things nice and dark, it has cooling properties than can help the muscles around your eyes relax. It's also infused with essential oils to help you relaxed and feel far more pampered than burying your head under a pillow!
10. Appeal to your scent sense.
Giving your sheets a quick spray with an aromatherapeutic scent like lavender can help you relax and get that deep sleep you need. This is another one of those things that is great to have in a strange hotel room. Even the swankiest five star resort can have a sterile smell that keeps you from feeling at home. Try using a linen spray in the weeks leading up to your wedding to help trigger that olfactory memory and help you drift off into that much need shut-eye!
A good night's sleep puts you in the best position to have an amazing day looking and, most importantly, feeling your best. Do you have any go-to tips for making the most of your rest! Let everyone know in the comments below!