Last Updated on February 12, 2024 by Louise Carter
The week before your wedding is an exciting but stressful time. Your mind will be racing with decisions that must be made, worries about what could go wrong, and jitters about your commitment.
This is natural and entirely understandable, but you’ll feel better following a sleep schedule in the 4 weeks before your wedding to feel refreshed when the big day arrives.
Enter a sleep routine long before the wedding, practicing sleep hygiene so the body is trained to rest.
This means no screens at least 1 hour before bedtime, no late-night eating or stimulants, lowering the temperature in your bedroom before sleep, and following a consistent sleep-wake schedule.
Planning a wedding is stressful, so keep a worry journal and write down your concerns so they don’t keep you up at night. If you also devise solutions to these issues, so much the better.
What Causes Pre-Wedding Insomnia?
Insomnia is when you have difficulty falling or remaining asleep 3+ times a week. Ordinarily, this is measured over a month. Given the intensity of emotions before a wedding, 7 days can feel like 30 days.
Many people experience insomnia before a wedding due to heightened stress and anxiety.
The Journal of Psychiatric Research explains that anxiety and insomnia are intrinsically linked, so it’s understandable that you’ll be nervous ahead of such a big occasion.
As the big day approaches, it becomes ever more vital that you get sufficient rest.
Train the body and mind to sleep better around a month before the wedding to increase your chances of sleeping peacefully before walking down the aisle.
How Much Sleep Do I Need Before a Wedding?
Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep to thrive, but that’s not always the case.
Science explains that some people are at their most efficient with just 6 hours of sleep, while others need 9+ hours to function. You’ll know how much sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed.
You’ll spend the day meeting and greeting countless friends and family members, some of whom will be in your everyday life and others whom you’ll need to rack your brain to recall.
All eyes will be on you, so you’ll need lots of energy to make it through the day. You must also sleep well to look your best in photos that will likely grace your home for the rest of your life.
How To Sleep Before Your Wedding Day
Having established the importance of sleeping well before your wedding day, let’s discuss some techniques to help you get sufficient rest:
Practice Sleep Hygiene
Good sleep hygiene is essential to getting enough rest. This involves establishing a sleep routine that trains the body and mind to get enough rest each night. Examples of sleep hygiene include:
- Going to bed and waking up at a set time each night and day.
- Avoiding screens for 1 hour before bed to allow your mind to relax.
- Reducing your body temperature and the ambient temperature of a bedroom before bed. Open your bedroom window and take a shower or bath to cool off.
- Stretch your muscles and clear your mind before getting into bed. Consider taking an evening walk.
- Use the bathroom last thing to minimize the risk of waking up to pee in the night.
Begin the process about 4 weeks before your wedding to maximize your chances of success.
Go Incommunicado After Dark
We just mentioned how important it is to switch off electrical devices before bed, but this is especially critical in the run-up to a wedding.
You’ll find your notifications go crazy at all hours with questions and demands.
These demands on your time can become a 24/7 concern. Set boundaries for yourself, refusing to address emails, text messages, social media notifications, or phone calls after a set time.
You risk encountering concerns if you check your emails before bed.
An email from a florist saying they couldn’t source enough pink peonies can feel like a disaster at 11 PM. In the morning, you’re likelier to think straight and replace the order with dahlias.
Create a Worry Journal
The idea that something could go wrong can keep you up at night. Telling somebody not to worry about their wedding is unrealistic, so try to prevent fretting from taking over your life.
Designate a set point of the day when you’ll permit yourself to address concerns about your wedding.
Keep a “worry journal” and write down any concerns as and when they enter your head. Once noted, push them to the back of your mind until the time comes to consider them.
Keep a clear mind and consider what you can do to resolve potential problems. You can’t control the weather or the health and behavior of others. Focus on what Plan Bs you can implement.
Exercise During The Day
The more exercise you get during the day, the more tired you’ll be at night.
You may think you’re already tired at night, which doesn’t help you sleep. Being physically tired differs from the mental exhaustion that arises from wedding stress.
The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine stated that moderate-intensity exercise relieves anxiety and reduces the risk of insomnia. The daily recommended amount is 30 minutes of brisk walking.
Meditation and Breathing Exercises
Meditation and breathing exercises can slow the heart and clear the mind before bed.
Give the following breathing exercise a try:
- Lay down and close your eyes.
- Close your mouth and slowly breathe through the nose while counting to 6.
- Hold your breath for a moment or 2.
- Open the mouth and exhale for 6 seconds.
- Close your mouth and breathe in again.
Repeat this process for 10 minutes, and you should feel calmer and able to make clear decisions.
Some people find falling asleep beside a partner easier, while others find sleeping challenging when sharing a bed. If so, sleep in separate rooms for a few days to avoid pre-wedding insomnia.
You’ll likely sleep beside your partner for the rest of your life once you’re married.
If they snore loudly, kick, have a high body temperature, or do anything else that keeps you up at night, consider sleeping alone the week before your wedding.
While cutting out coffee may be unrealistic, limit your intake to the morning and early afternoon.
Caffeine is believed to have a half-life of 6 hours, but Caffeine for the Sustainment of Mental Task Performance explains how it can impact the body for up to 9 hours.
Natural Sleep Aids
Drugs like Xanax will put you to sleep, but you’ll likely wake up groggy and sluggish in the morning.
You’re better off seeking natural sleep aids. Start with organic, over-the-counter sleeping pills from a pharmacy. These aren’t tranquilizers but contain natural ingredients that promote sleep.
Lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, and bergamot are renowned for aiding sleep.
Eat a banana 2-3 hours before bed. Bananas are high in magnesium, which aids melatonin production – “the sleep hormone.” Melatonin reacts to darkness, making you feel sleepy.
Another way to allow your concerns to melt away is a full-body massage. The International Journal of Neuroscience found that massages reduce cortisol and release dopamine and serotonin.
Talk to Friends and Family
Don’t fret alone about your worries and excitement about an impending wedding.
This is a major life event. One purpose of a wedding party is to ensure you have somebody to turn to. Talk to a close friend or family member if you feel tense or worried.
Most people are happy to be a sounding board for your concerns and questions.
I Didn’t Sleep the Night Before My Wedding
If you have limited sleep on your wedding day, there are ways to be wakeful and mentally sharp.
Take 10-minute naps, such as while preparing your hair and make-up. Just ensure you don’t enter deep sleep and restart your sleep cycle, or you may wake up groggy and disoriented.
Never go without a glass of water, even if you’re alternating between water and champagne.
Coffee is a good way to start the day, but don’t get too wired on caffeine, as it’ll make you anxious and jittery. Don’t pair coffee with energy drinks because this can make you sleepier.
Take a cold shower to revitalize your body, and eat a breakfast that steadily releases energy.