- Get your affairs in order well ahead of time
If you’re to have any hope of getting a good night’s sleep before your wedding day, then the process of accomplishing that is going to start six months to a year in advance. Much like being prepared for a test or job interview, you’ll sleep easier if all of your wedding preparations are complete well ahead of time. If the day before your wedding is spent stressed out and making last second fixes with vendors and family members, chances are you’ll still be wired when it’s time to go to bed.
- Train your body in advance
Map out the time you’ll need to be up for your wedding day and dedicate yourself to a sleep regimen that follows it. If you plan on being up for your wedding day at 5.00 AM, then you need to start putting yourself to bed at 8.00 PM (counting for an hour of winding down) for at least three weeks before your wedding. This includes weekends, too. It only takes sleeping in a single time to throw off all the work you put in.
- Avoid those electronics
Know someone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer or phone during the evening? By chance do they happen to have trouble keeping a consistent sleep pattern too? There’s a reason for that. Contact with light directly influences the levels of melatonin that are present in the body. Melatonin being the natural chemical that the body produces to let us know it’s time to sleep. When you spend hours in the evening staring at screens, it confuses the body into thinking it’s still daytime. So keep away from those soft luminescent screens the night before your wedding –and yes, just in case you’re wondering, that’s includes social media, too.
- Try some dry reading
Yes, we’re absolutely serious. Have you ever tried reading Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace? How about J.R.R. Tolkien’s detailed history of his fictional Middle Earth in The Silmarillion? Did you know that the novel Les Misérables contains pages upon pages of Victor Hugo digressing into essays that have nothing to do with the plot? Some dry reading can do wonders for someone looking to get some shut eye, even before an important day. Now yes, these novels are classics for good reason. They’re masterfully written and are cultural gems, but for the modern audience that’s used to a more “brevity is the essence of wit” kind of pacing, books from the times when authors were literally paid by the word can quickly outpace counting sheep.
- Avoid sleep aids
Anyone who’s ever taken sleep aids only to feel exhausted the next day knows exactly what we’re talking about. While pills or alcohol may help getting to sleep, the actual quality of sleep is diminished. Even if you regularly take sleep aids, the results can be unpredictable. Is it really worth the risk if there’s a solid chance you’ll basically go about your wedding day as if you in a fugue stepping through molasses?
- Accept that it may not happen
We know that sentence doesn’t inspire confidence, but it simply may not be possible to get a good night’s sleep no matter what lengths you go to make it happen. You’ll simply be too excited and too wired to quiet the mind and body. If that ends up being the case, here’s the best piece of advice: embrace it. Ride the wave of your anticipation. If you’re even half as excited as your think you are, then you’ll do more than hit your second wind –your body will tap into the dep reserves of energy and put in you a state of deep focus. If you’re not sure what that means, ask someone you know that’s worked 70 hours or more in a single week. They’ll attest that the mind and body has some incredible limits.