Your big day is looming and there's still so much to do, but if you don't switch off soon, you're going to be a wreck. So, stop surfing the net or scribbling on your to-do list and follow these secrets to sweet slumber instead...
1. KEEP IT REGULAR
To ensure decent rest every night, you need to regulate your sleeping patterns and maintain a sleeping schedule. This means going to sleep and waking up at more or less the same time every day. This will help keep your internal clock on track. Remember, quality of sleep is more important than quantity.
2. PICK A ROUTINE
If you're having trouble relaxing and feel restless or anxious, create a calming bedtime routine and stick to it. This will condition your body and mind to wind down and eventually switch off. Have a warm bath, get in to your pajamas and spend an hour doing something you enjoy which is not wedding related. Read a good book, listen to music, watch tv.... this will shift your mind's focus an, in turn, allow your body to relax.
3. GET COMFORTABLE
A sure-fire way to obtain a peaceful mind is to create a peaceful environment. Limit distractions and get comfortable; turn down noise, regulate your bedroom temperature, perhaps even light a few candles.... The idea here is to create soothing surroundings, which will in turn encourage you to put away your planning file, stop surfing bridal blogs and save guests list predicaments for the morning.
4. EXERCISE REGULARLY
Research has shown that those who exercise regularly sleep better. Not only does the physical activity make you feel happier about yourself, it also encourages your body to release hormones that minimise anxiety and stress, thus helping you to relax. But before you go on a treadmill rampage, don't exercise for at least two hours before you go to bed to avoid an increased heart rate and endorphin or adrenaline rush.
5. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
It takes a lot of energy for your body to digest a meal - the fuller your plate, the more work is required to process it all. Sugar and fatty foods can also interfere with sleep so try to make dinnertime earlier to avoid eating anything two hours before going to bed.
6.TAKE TIME OUT
As tempting as it may be - particularly if you're juggling a day job - you need to avoid working on your wedding until late into the night. Recognize that enough is enough. It is pointless trying to work when your brain is tired; thoughts aren't clear and your memory often fails. Rather, switch off and pick up your to-do list again tomorrow morning.
7. DISPLACE IT
When your mind is racing and you're unable to switch off from wedding worries and responsibilities use the displacement technique. Firstly, write down the problem, then decide if you can solve it immediately. If you can fix it, do. If not, set aside the problem by focusing on a completely different activity - one that is enjoyable.
8. CUT DOWN ON CAFFEINE
We all know that caffeine is not a friend to sleep, in fact, it can prevent and disrupt sleep for 10 to 12 hours after drinking it. Become aware of the amount of caffeine you are consuming and adjust levels accordingly. Limit your intake or cut it out completely if you are really struggling to doze off.
9. DO IT THE NATURAL WAY
While a long sleep is lovely, following your own body clock will ultimately produce the best results. Most adults need between seven and seven-and-a-half hours of sleep per night. But there are also short sleepers and long sleepers. Determine what feels best for your body.
10. CREATE GOOD HABITS
If you're constantly browsing bridal blogs, emailing wedding suppliers from your phone or checking the mood board on your iPad, that this one is for you. People who are always on the go tend to have bad technology habits, they've become dependent on devices such as phones and laptops and feel anxious without them. Sound familiar? If so, it is vital that you break the habit. Start switching off all of your devices now. Switch off - literally. get into the habit of avoiding your phone, iPad or laptop at least an hour or two hours before bed and spend that time on yourself instead. Better yet, give your husband-to-be some undivided, cellphone-free attention!