Why You and Your Partner Need Sleep as You Plan Your WeddingGuest blog by Samantha Kent from Sleep Help
Planning a wedding can be stressful. And yet, you're planning the start of a new life with your fiancé/fiancée. You may not realise it but good sleep can be an invaluable partner as your wedding plans come to fruition. Sleep keeps away any bride or groomzilla moments while you stay stable, clear-headed, and healthy for your big day.
Emotional stability: avoid bridezilla
Any time you get less than seven hours of sleep the brain changes how it processes emotions. It becomes highly sensitive to negative thoughts and situations, which increases irritability, aggression, sadness, and anxiety. Normally, the brain's logic centre keeps these emotions under control, but when you're running low on sleep, activity in this part of the brain goes down significantly. You're left to wrangle a high-stress situation with emotions on the loose.
Many a bride or groomzilla moment could be avoided with a few more hours of sleep. You can also think of adequate sleep as a way to keep your relationship with your partner healthy because let's face it, you're more likely to lash out at the person to whom you are closest.
Looking your best: sleep keeps your appetite in check
Are you looking to lose a few pounds before the big day? Or simply maintain your weight? Sleep helps in that department too. Without enough sleep, hunger hormones get released in larger doses while the hormones that give the stop signal go way down. Lack of sleep also causes the brain's reward centre to go crazy over foods loaded with sugar and fat, making you more likely to binge eat unhealthy foods. If you want to look svelte on your big day, sleep can be a big help.
Stay healthy: give yourself a pre-wedding immune boost
If you sniffle down the aisle, you don't want it to be because of a cold. While you sleep, your immune system loads up the lymph nodes so your body is fully prepared to fight off bacteria and other infections. Sleep also helps you heal faster from sickness and injury.
How to get more sleep despite wedding stress
Wedding stress can interfere with your ability to get the seven to nine hours of sleep you need. Here are a few tips you both can use to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
- Address stress. You can't ignore stress when bedtime rolls around. If you're looking for a simple solution, try meditation or yoga. Meditation has been shown to strengthen the connection between the brain's logic and emotion centres, giving you better control over your emotions. Gentle yoga can reduce stress-related inflammation. The regularity with which you do them is more important than where or when so try to be consistent.
- Keep a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. A predictable schedule trains your brain when to release sleep hormones.
- Build a bedtime routine. A bedtime routine prepares the mind and body for sleep. It's a great time to relieve stress (meditation and yoga) and do activities like reading or taking a warm bath to relax. For the best results, be consistent in the timing and order of activities.
- Get sleep help if you need it. There can be a lot of sleep obstacles that are unique to you. Things like bright light therapy for suppressing sleep hormones in the morning, a white noise machine for blocking out sound, or melatonin supplements could help you depending on your sleep struggles.
Conclusion on why you and your partner need sleep as you plan your wedding
The time before your wedding is one that should bring you and your partner closer together. A commitment to better sleep on both of your parts can give you the emotional stability and health you need to come through the planning process happy and prepared. It might take time for new habits to form, but they'll be worth it once you're walking down the aisle.
Samantha Kent is a researcher for Sleep Help. Her favourite 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.