The days and weeks leading up to your wedding can be among the most stressful of your life. Many couples find that weddings come with a lot of expectations, both their own and other peoples’. Figuring out all the details for the big day can make it feel like your head might explode.
Whether you’re at that point or you feel yourself getting there, counteract that stress by getting more sleep. Not sure how to help yourself fall asleep when life feels like too much? Here are some tips that have helped other couples rest up so they can enjoy their big day.
You may be familiar with mindfulness meditation. If not, it’s a type of meditation that involves focusing on the present, often by focusing on the breath, and redirecting your thoughts there whenever they wander. It works to manage insomnia because people who practice it regularly tend to sleep better. They also experience less daytime fatigue and depression (which can make sleep problems worse).
If you don’t already practice meditation, start with a short period every day. Five to ten minutes offers beginners the chance to experience meditation without getting too frustrated. Find a quiet place. Sit with your legs crossed in front of you or with your feet flat on the floor and your hands still. Begin to focus on what your breath feels like as it goes in and out, in and out. If your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath. When your time is up, go back to your daily life.
Mix Your Meditation With Yoga
Yoga offers another opportunity to relax, with similar effects to those that accompany meditation. Researchers aren’t sure why this occurs. It may be because yoga practitioners also focus on their breath, or because yoga requires concentrating entirely on the body which takes the mind away from dwelling on stressors. Either way, it can also help you sleep better because it reduces the stress that can keep you awake at night.
You may want to practice yoga and mindfulness together, or to focus on one at a time but incorporate them both into your daily routine. Because they seem to reinforce the same neural pathways — those that lead to relaxation — together they can lead to improved stress reduction and even better sleep.
Manage Your Anxiety
Both mindfulness meditation and yoga seem to combat one of the causes of stress and sleepless nights: anxiety. Anxiety before a wedding is common, both because you want everything to go well and because you are beginning an entirely new chapter of your life.
While meditation and yoga work for some people, they don’t work for everyone. If you try them both and don’t feel less anxious, or if you’re still struggling to sleep, it’s important to find another way to deal with any anxiety you’re experiencing. You may want to talk to your doctor about other options for working through these difficult emotions.
Don’t let stress negatively affect your wedding day by keeping you awake at night! Practice meditation alongside yoga, breathe through your anxiety and do what is necessary to feel good about the wedding you’re planning. Give yourself the gift of rest so you can be fully present at your wedding.
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.