Getting enough rest is vital to our health and wellbeing, but in the run up to your wedding day it can be all too easy to let stress and worry take its toll. Here’s how to switch off and ensure you get your bridal beauty sleep
Get into a sleep routine
Most experts advise that it is a good idea to get into a regular sleep pattern. This means going to bed at roughly the same time every night. A daytime nap may be better than a lie-in if you have had a late night. Also pay attention to the environment in your bedroom – if it’s too warm you are more likely to wake up or sleep fitfully. A temperature of around 65 degrees helps your body cool down and induces drowsiness, so it’s a good idea to switch off the heating at night and opt for a cosy blanket or even a hot water bottle if you feel the chill. Treat yourself to nightwear in luxurious natural fibres – P.J’s London, Tallulah Lingerie and Violet & Wren all have elegant and beautifully made gowns and pyjamas that are perfect for brides-to-be and honeymooners.
Switch off the media
Light from computer and tablet screens may interfere with the body’s melatonin levels (a natural sedative). Switching off an hour or so before bed makes sense not just to induce drowsiness, but also to avoid the late-night work emails or social media chat. Also pay attention to light sources in your bedroom, for instance from alarm clocks and mobile phones – some sleep experts advise banning all media sources from the bedroom.
You can even try some light therapy. The Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500 from Neal’s Yard is an unobtrusive alarm clock that you can set to sunset mode to help you drift off and then sunrise mode will give you a gentle wake-up call the next morning. The clock includes aromatherapy chambers so you can incorporate your favourite calming and energising room fragrances (£160; nealsyardremedies.com).
Try old tricks
It may be an old-school approach, but a warm bath and hot drink can really help induce drowsiness, especially if you are overtired or stressed out by pre-wedding planning. Milky drinks are said to be soothing, but tisanes and herbal teas are just as comforting and gentle on the system. Try the Newby London tisanes such as chamomile, peppermint or ginger and lemon (£5.85 each; newbyteas.co.uk). Do avoid caffeine close to bedtime, and consider reducing your intake during the day if you’re struggling to get to sleep.
Aromatherapy – either from a lavender pillow or from an in room diffuser – may help to put you in the mood to relax. Molton Brown’s Cedrus Temple Soother is a handy portable balm for the temples – featuring lavender, sweet orange, cedar and evening primrose oil – to assist relaxation. You’ll find a fabulous bath oil and body oil in the same range. (£19-£27; moltonbrown.co.uk).
Adopt a night-time beauty ritual
Even if you are feeling tired, adopting a night-time beauty ritual is essential. Not only will this help with the wind down, but you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re investing in maintaining your skin while you sleep. Luxurious products, such as Trilogy’s Rosehip range, feel and smell great and give your face an overnight treat. (£28.50 for 45ml; trilogyproducts.com)
Workout to wind down
We all know that we sleep better after fresh air and exercise. But personal trainer and U-Shape founder Nadya Fairweather – who lists sleep as the number one priority for brides-to-be – suggests taking it further by using a sleep app to monitor your night-time slumber patterns.
Nadya says it helps her brides check if their routine is working, and invariably convinces them that even a short ten-minute bout of exercise every day is one of the best ways to ensure a proper night’s rest. Read more of Nadya Fairweather’s health and fitness tips for brides.