1. Maintain control of your stress by dealing with it far in advance of bedtime.
If there were ever a vicious cycle, sleep-stress-sleep-stress would be it. Sleep deprivation = stress & stress = sleep deprivation. It’s a match made in heaven. =( If stress is the cause of your lack of sleep during the wedding planning process, the first rule is to deal with pressing issues and t -do’s at least two hours before bed. This is sometimes easier said than done, as stress can hit us at any time. Putting niggling issues to the back of your mind is not a good idea, since it is only going to crop up later when your day has finished (i.e. once you get into bed). Being the captain of your emotions is key — try to stay in control and deal with your worries head on!
2. Catch the window of opportunity when it comes.
Go to bed only when you feel sleepy, and not before or after. Be proactive about winding down in order to encourage this “sleepiness” — Internet, TV & lively phone chats will certainly discourage it, so avoid them within an hour or two of lights off. If you wake up in the middle of the night, avoid checking the Internet or watching TV at all costs! Have a glass of milk, or soy milk instead, and try to do something relaxing.
3. Keep a regular sleep routine.
6-8 hours per night is good for most, and avoid sleeping in (sorry girl!) even on the weekends. If you feel sleepy during the day, a 20 minute nap is the best refresher. Avoid caffeine hits in the afternoon or long sleeps (30 minutes plus).
4. Be proactive in setting up a good night’s sleep!
The following can aid you in snoozy slumber:
+ An optimal environment — lighting, noise, temperature, ambiance, comfort
+ Herbal tea
+ A bath
+ Warm socks
5. Avoid the following sleep disturbers:
- Caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate)
- Overeating (especially heavy carbs late at night)
- Going hungry (focus on protein rich foods if you have to eat late)
- Aerobic exercise late at night
- Sugar (even in your drinks)
- Nicotine — it’s a stimulant, so don’t smoke within 4 hours before bed.
And remember not to lie awake panicking if you can’t sleep. Don’t worry about the next day. Your world won’t fall apart after one terrible night’s sleep. Giving yourself permission not to worry about it can help you to avoid the sleep-stress cycle. Accept that this happens to all brides-to-be and will pass. If you find yourself lying awake in bed, follow the 15 minute rule. If sleep isn’t happening after 15 minutes, get up and read or relax on the sofa. When the sleepy feeling overwhelms you, get back into bed and go get some Zzzz’s. Good night, ladies!