In the midst of wedding planning I know that sleep can fall by the wayside. Sleep is easily in the top five – for important ‘must do’s’ to maintain a healthy lifestyle while preparing for your wedding. Yet it is so easy to stay up late working on your programs or researching inspiration for your big day.
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:
- Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
- Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
- Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
- Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
- Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
- Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.
Make time to sleep! Close your wedding binder, turn off the TV and REST! Find time to do activities unrelated to your wedding that you enjoy. Start shutting down all electronics about 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep and get in a routine. Find an activity such as reading, or simply talking 30 minutes prior and just calm down. Don’t sit and talk about the wedding or your day that might stress you out, but spend some time winding down! It may sound crazy, but remember when you were 8 years old and you had a bedtime? Don’t underestimate the power of a bedtime! Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it for two weeks. You will be surprised how quickly that bed time will become habit and you will quickly increase on your overall hours of sleep a night!
Source: Harvard Health Publications