We’ve all found a million reasons to burn the midnight oil over the course of our lives: essays to write in school, a dance marathon, or just hanging out and talking with best friends until the sun comes up. However, the temptation to stay up too late (and still wake up early or on time) can be especially seductive for a bride-to-be. There are vendors to email, details to review, and so many decorations to make in your DIY fervor. All of these things are great on their own, but they present a problem eventually: how do you choose when to stop working and when to start sleeping? It can seem like there is no loss if you cut an hour here or drop some sleep there, but what I think most brides need to hear is actually the opposite. The next papier-mache flower or the next workout at the gym actually can wait: that shut-eye is essential!
Getting Enough Sleep Helps You Make Healthy Choices
Much of our ability to react with resilience in the face of bacteria and viruses is connected to getting enough sleep. Our immune systems grow and improve when they get an optimum amount of sleep; for most adults, this is between seven and eight hours, though it can be slightly more for some people and at various times of life. If you notice a connection between your new sleepless habits and getting more of the colds going around the office, you are witnessing this phenomenon at work. Sleeping enough helps you make sure you don’t have a cough and tons of sneezing the day you plan to say “I Do!”
Many people also notice that their willpower changes when they are sleep deprived. If you haven’t had any sleep, take a look at your food choices: are you picking the most sugary, salty, or otherwise delicious treat possible, or aiming for those excellent vitamins and nutrients in veggies, fruits, and whole grains? Often, people find that they reach for junk food out of habit and out of exhaustion. If you are trying to stay healthy and strong throughout your wedding prep, you probably want to get enough sleep to feel fueled in your decision to eat nutritious food.
Getting Enough Sleep Will Help Your Skin Glow
Many people notice that when they haven’t had enough sleep, they get those characteristic “bags” under their eyes. These dark circles are associated with a sad and tired look, which isn’t the goal for any bride! Some amount of darker skin around the eyes may not be avoidable (sometimes it’s genetic), but you’ll notice less dark circles, fewer fine lines, and a generally more “glowing” facial complexion when you take the time to get that sleep. While skincare products and drinking a lot of water can help, your skin does lose some of its natural glow when you aren’t sleeping enough. Your body needs that time to regenerate and perform necessary processes, so skimping on sleep gives your body less time to improve and recover from the ins and outs of daily life.
Getting Enough Sleep Keeps You on Your Best Behavior
We’ve all had that moment where we accidentally snap at someone and then offer in a weak voice, “I’m sorry. I’m just so tired…” Add the occasional, but substantial, stresses of wedding planning, and you’re unlikely to be able to keep saying you are just tired! You want to be at your peak performance for placating in-laws, greeting people with love and excitement, and sharing the joys of the wedding with your guests.
Being sleep deprived tends to make your emotions sharper: maybe your happy feeling verges on giddy, but your sadness or frustration can quickly turn to tears in a way that a rested person’s simply won’t. Trust that your mood is not inherent, but rather influenced by the environment around you. By surrounding your mind with calm, peace, and plenty of time for sleep, you are less likely to find yourself in a negative headspace when preparing for your wedding.
As you can see, getting a good night’s sleep is about so much more than just feeling alert the next day…but that’s a good thing, too! When you got enough sleep and you feel wide awake and alert, your brain is taking memory snapshots to play back for you later. The more sleep deprived you are, the less regularly the snapshots are taken; we all have a vague, blurry memory of a time in our history when we weren’t sleeping enough. When you’re making some incredibly important memories around your wedding, it would be a shame to find them all melding together into one. Get that great sleep, even when you think you have to rearrange the seating chart one more time.