The top eight tips to get a good night’s sleep the night before your big day.

Sleep expert shares 8 tips to get a good night’s sleep the night before your big day

High quality sleep should be a priority every night, and it's even more important on the night before your wedding. However, there’s no denying that pre-wedding jitters, a possible to-do list and the anticipation of what’s to come can make it hard to drift off.

So, with wedding season in full swing, the sleep experts at MattressNextDay have shared their top eight tips to get a good night’s sleep the night before your big day.

Stop drinking champagne at least four hours before your bedtime

Whilst popping open a bottle of champagne is customary for most on the night before their big day, make sure to not drink an excessive amount, especially if you’re nervous. Whilst it’s common knowledge that alcohol can make you feel sleepy due to its sedative properties and, therefore, allow you to fall asleep more quickly, what’s not known that is your quality of sleep will considerably lower and you’ll suffer from excessive sleepiness the following day. So, if you do decide to drink (which is fair!), make sure to stop drinking at least four hours before your bedtime so it’s mostly worn off by the time you drift off. 

If you’re staying in a hotel, ask for this type of room

When booking your room, make sure to ask for a room that’s on a higher level as that way you’re less likely to be disturbed by street-level noise, or noises coming from the hotel’s lobby or bar. You should also make sure to request a room that’s away from the lift, as this is also prone to making noise that can keep you awake in the middle of the night.

Prevent neck pain by taking a selfie

If there’s one thing you don’t want on your wedding day, it’s a stiff neck from a bad night’s sleep. However, the good news is that this is easily preventable and simply relies on you taking a selfie. When you’re in bed the night before, take a selfie of your face and torso whilst lying in your sleeping position. With the photo in front, draw a vertical line down the middle of your face, and then down the middle of your torso. If these don’t line up, you need to move your head until you get a straight line. This is the prime spot on your pillow and should prevent any neck ache.

Keep your room clutter-free of wedding favours and more 

Many studies show that a messy room can lead to a poor night’s sleep and increased anxiety, as each unorganised item reminds your brain of an uncompleted job, therefore, making it harder to switch off. With this in mind, never keep your wedding favours, bridesmaid dresses or even wedding-related items in your room the night before. Instead, you should ask your bridesmaid to keep them in their room, or even leave them in someone’s car boot if there’s no space.  

Stay off your phone for at least three hours before your bedtime

Although your phone may be positively flooded with good wishes from people the night before your wedding, it’s still important to stay off your phone for at least three hours before you plan on sleeping. This is because light, including the blue light emitted on your phone, plays the biggest role in your sleep-wake cycle. It tells your internal body clock when it should be alert (during the day) and when it should be resting (during the night). When you go on your phone in the lead-up to bedtime, the blue light tricks your mind into thinking that it’s daytime, therefore, making it harder for you to fall asleep.

However, it’s not just the light that impacts your sleep but the constant monitoring of social media, emails and even your ‘wedmin’ to-do list will keep your brain overly stimulated at a time when you should be trying to slow down, and paving the way to sleep.

Take a hot bath to reduce the production of your stress hormones

When you’re stressed, your body produces more of its stress hormone, otherwise known as cortisol. Annoyingly, the higher the cortisol levels get, the more awake you feel. So, if you’re struggling to switch off on the night before your bed, consider having a hot bath. You can make the environment extra peaceful by playing relaxing music, lighting a scented candle and using some Epsom bath salts to soothe your stressed-out muscles. You could even take it one step further and try out a breathing exercise to make your time in the bathtub even more relaxing.

Place your legs against the wall to stop yourself from feeling overwhelmed

Another mindful activity you should consider is practising yoga. If you’re new to this practice, simply lie on your back and place your legs against the wall. Known as ‘viparita karani’, this simple technique is great for those that are feeling overwhelmed. This is because it allows the blood to flow from your legs back to your heart, and helps relieve any tension in your lower back.

Struggling to sleep? Don’t count sheep

If you’ve tried all of the above and are still struggling to sleep, you may think that counting sheep is the answer. However, you’re wrong. University of Oxford researchers found that it’s too mundane to keep your anxieties away so instead, they suggest thinking of a more relaxing image – such as a sandy beach or a waterfall whilst listening to relaxing rainfall noises. These noises help lure the brain into falling asleep as they are predictable, calming, stable, non-threatening and can block outside noises – making them the perfect sound to fall asleep to.

What should you do if you wake up in the middle of the night?

If you do accidentally wake up in the middle of the night, it’s important to avoid stimulating your brain. Whatever you do, do not start reheating your morning routine, worrying about certain aspects of your day that or out of your control, or consider getting up to start the day hours before you planned to.

Instead, stay in bed and perform this meditative technique, otherwise known as a full-body scan. Simply close your eyes and breathe slowly. Next, focus on your face and think about relaxing each of the muscles in your face. After thirty seconds to a minute, move onto your neck and do the same thing for thirty seconds. Then your shoulders, and then your arms. Essentially, you want to relax every muscle until you make your way down to your feet.

Whatever you do, you must stay off your phone. As you’ll now know, bright lights can interfere with your body's production of melatonin and can stimulate wakefulness, which is not what you want in the middle of the night. What’s more, seeing the time on your phone will lead to you subconsciously working out how many hours until you need to wake up, which will make you more anxious and keep you awake for longer.

Four ways to energise yourself on your wedding day

As soon as you wake up, open your curtains so you stop producing the sleep hormone

Whilst keeping away from light at night is important, bringing light into your morning is just as important. So as soon as you wake up, make sure to open your curtains. Being exposed to this light helps signal to your brain that you’re awake and that it should stop producing the sleep hormone, melatonin, which makes you feel drowsy. Also, if you had a bad night’s sleep, this makes it easier for you to get out of bed.

Get yourself outside for at least 10 minutes for a happy hormone boost

Whilst you may be tempted to start getting ready as soon as you wake up, instead you should consider spending at least 10 minutes outside. This is all it takes to be exposed to the sun which helps you produce the happy hormone, serotonin, which boosts your mood. If you can, try and go for a 10-minute walk, however, if this is not possible for fear of bumping into your soon-to-be husband, try and drink your coffee or breakfast outside.

Do not skip breakfast

Speaking of breakfast, research has repeatedly shown that your diet and sleep quality are linked, meaning that a poor diet can cause a sleep debt. First and foremost, you should never skip breakfast on your wedding day, as it plays an important role in wakefulness. Secondly, you should try to stick to a balanced breakfast that is adequate in protein and healthy fats for an energy boost. i.e. eggs, plain, lean meat, avocado. These are also energy boosters.

Keep drinking water for an energy boost throughout the day

Whilst your wedding day will no doubt be one of the busiest days of your life, with the amount of socialisation and celebrating that you’re about to do, it’s still important to find the time to drink water. Ideally, you should drink 2 litres however any is better than none as mild dehydration can leave you feeling sleepy and tired, whilst negatively disrupting your mood.

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