I’m excited to share today’s post, which is written by Samantha from Sleep Help. Take it away!
Guest lists, vendor changes, honeymoon arrangements, dress fittings—the list of details and tasks it takes to make a wedding successful can be overwhelming. As the stress starts to build, you might find yourself getting less and less sleep. Without adequate sleep, the side effects of sleep deprivation will begin to take their toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. However, by making sleep a priority and focusing on stress management, you can reduce your wedding-related stress so you can enjoy this unique time in your life.
Stress and Sleep Deprivation
Stress and sleep deprivation create a cyclical relationship that can be hard to stop. Stress, like that experienced when you’re planning the most important day of your life, often leads to difficulty falling and staying asleep. Without sleep, the body changes the way it functions.
During sleep deprivation, the part of the brain that processes emotions become more sensitive to negative stimuli like dealing with seating arrangements and fighting family members. At the same time, the part of the brain responsible for executive functions that applies logic and reason to your emotions becomes less active. All the small annoyances and unexpected problems you’d normally be able to handle become overwhelming, leaving you more susceptible to a few bridezilla moments. As you can imagine, as you continue to get less sleep, stress rises, and sleep deprivation continues.
Make Time for Relaxation and Sleep
You don’t have to fall victim to wedding-related stress. While you might not be able to eliminate stress, you can learn to handle it in healthy ways so that it won’t interfere with your wedding plans or the rest of your life. A few ways you can reduce stress and get better sleep include:
Bedtime Routines: Many people who struggle to fall asleep benefit from a regular bedtime routine. Routines help trigger the brain to start the release of sleep hormones, but they also give you a chance to relieve stress before bed. Include activities that help calm and relax you physically and mentally. Be sure to start your routine at the same time each day and perform the actions in the same order.
Meditation: Meditation has been used for centuries to bring the mind away from stressful thoughts and back into the present. As thoughts stay in the present, the relaxation response, which lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, starts to take place. A simple mindfulness meditation routine can be done in 10 to 15 minutes and makes a simple addition to your bedtime routine.
Yoga: Many yoga methods incorporate aspects of meditation to bring mind and body together in the present. Yoga helps reduce stress-related inflammation, improve mood, and remove tension from muscles. Like meditation, yoga can be added to a bedtime routine to help you relax and relieve stress before bed.
Keep in mind that if your sleep problems started long before wedding stress entered your life, it might be a good idea to see your physician to determine if there might be an underlying sleep disorder. Sometimes sleep aids like an anti-snoring mouthguard or medications might be needed.
Good stress management will allow you to enjoy wedding planning rather than letting it run your life. This is a special time that can be fun and fulfilling as long as you keep stress in check and get the sleep you need.
About the author: Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.