8 Ways To Get More Sleep before Your Wedding
Good, repairing, healthy sleep is not just for Disney princesses, you know. Here are eight ways for you to get more sleep in the lead up to your wedding day! Words: Rachel Southwood
We all know that sleep helps you to look young, and that a lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on you, your health and your life. With help from sleep guru Dr Guy Meadows, we have come up with these tips to help you look your beautiful best for your big day by getting a great night’s sleep, every night.
Give your skin a break! Ditch the flannel and get into a cleansing routine in the evening that gives your face a rest, too. Use good quality skin wipes (you’re worth it!) or a cleansing programme like Clinique’s 3-Step system. Drink water (and only water) before bed to make sure that the last thing you feel is thirsty. Dehydration affects everything including your sleep. Don’t drink too much, though – you don’t want to have your sleep broken by multiple trips to the bathroom either! Do use a night repair cream like Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair, which will help you to wake up fresh and blemish free.
There has been much talk about how pillows affect sleep lately – current advice is to go for one or no pillows at all, to keep your spine as straight as possible, and your airways as clear as possible. Sleeping without pillows takes some getting used to, but is definitely worth a try. Others extol the virtues of a silk pillow, but the jury’s out as to whether they actually help prevent wrinkles or aid good sleep. You should also wash your pillow case frequently – bacteria build-up does not aid beauty sleep!
FOCUS ON SLEEP
Many sleep experts will talk about mindfulness, where you think about yourself, your body and how to focus on relaxation. You simply can’t do any of that if your phone is sending you alerts every 20 seconds. There is almost nothing that can’t wait until morning, and you will be much better able to deal with everything after a good night’s sleep… We’re not suggesting that you leave your phone out of sight, but at least switch it to silent and turn it face down for the night. Give it a break, too!
Experts recommend starting to prepare for sleep around 90 minutes before you actually go to bed. No eating, excitement or strenuous exercise in this time, please! By all means go for a gentle stroll, listen to some music, or even read a book, but absolutely no jumping around or stressing, OK?
Much has been made about how the position you sleep in affects your ability to get to sleep and to sleep well. Lying on your back is most likely to cause snoring, (which affects your sleep as much as anyone elses!) and sleeping on your non-dominant side is best. That means that if you’re right handed, you sleep on your left, and you should bend your legs slightly, again in the interests of good spine alignment.
If you have long hair, try wearing it up at night, but not in a super-tight bun. This will keep your hair out of your face (the oils and products can affect your skin) and keep your latest blowdry intact, too!
We all know that lavender is a brilliant aroma to help with sleep, but other essential oil blends can be just as useful. For example, eucalyptus will help good breathing by opening the nasal passages. This is especially important in dry heats – when the heating is on during the winter, for example – and when you live in an area of high pollution. Good breathing is one of the key elements of good sleep.
You should take all medication in the morning with your breakfast, never at night. They will have far more of an effect during the day when the body is working hard and your metabolism is fully active.
THE TIME IS RIGHT
While some would argue that quality of sleep is more important than quantity, it seems that eight hours is still the recommended amount of sleep needed to rest and recuperate. Best to be resting and relaxing than furiously clock watching – the key to good sleep is to stop fighting not being able to sleep, and to use the time to rest your brain, emotions and body. Ideally sleep would bring those things, but relaxation can be just as beneficial if sleep is escaping you. Teach yourself how to relax and the rest will surely follow…