Sleep: we all need it but, sometimes, we just can't seem to get enough of it. The night before your wedding, your mind is bound to be buzzing with thoughts, worries, excitement, all preventing you from nodding off. But a lack of sleep can mean dark circles, puffy eyes and dull skin. Not ideal for your wedding day.
Here are the experts' top tips for getting the best night's sleep before your wedding day:
Work out your optimum sleep time
'Work out the right amount of sleep for you,' says Dr Murad, founder of Murad skincare. Not all of us need 8 hours sleep, but we often think we do and punish ourselves for not getting enough. 'Think back over the past month, which days did you feel the most energetic? How many hours of sleep did you get the night before?', he says. Stick to those hours in the month leading up to your wedding to trigger a routine.
Create a bedtime ritual
In the lead-up to the big day, start doing exactly the same thing before bed every night, like removing your eye make-up before you clean your teeth. Or perhaps try drinking a soothing cup of tea (we love Clipper's Super Green Organic Sleepy Decaf's blend of chamomile, lavender and lemon balm, £1.99 for a box of 20, sainsburys.com) after slipping into your pyjamas.
Eat a light evening meal
'Eat easily digestible food', says Damien Breitner, sleep expert at Hӓstens. A high protein, low carb meal is perfect. Oily fish might also be a good option as it's high in Omega-3, which, Dr Murad explains, 'can help regulate neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, brain chemicals that are directly involved in sleep regulation'.
Try a supplement
Take a supplement in the weeks before the wedding, like Lumity (£90, lumitylife.co.uk). A four-week supply of morning and night time capsules, rich in flaxseed oil, with a whole host of health benefits including a high toxicity of Omega-3, promoting healthy hair, skin and nails. Vogue Engagement Editor, Alyson Lowe, found it really helped her quality of sleep: 'I woke up in the morning feeling more rested than usual. I sometimes suffer from spurts of bad sleep, and this hasn't happened since I started taking Lumity'.
Put away your phone. It may be tricky to control those last-minute texts to your 'maids or florist, but Damien Breitner advises switching off any screen forty-five minutes before you want to fall asleep to allow yourself to wind down from the stimulant of its blue light.
Have a bath
Set an hour aside for a soak. A warm bath filled with aromatherapy crystals, such as Aromatherapy Associates' Deep Relax Himalayan Bath Salts (£42, aromatherapyassociates.com) will help ease pre-wedding anxieties. Infused with natural calming scents of vetivert, chamomile and sandalwood, it's perfect for a soothing pre-bedtime treat. Follow with Deep Relax Balm (£19.50, aromatherapyassociates.com) massaged into your temples and the pulse points on your wrists.
Control your room temperature
If you're staying in a hotel room the night before your wedding, make sure that the room temperature is just right, so don't go mad with the air conditioning. Experts like Damien suggest the best sleep is achieved in a room with a temperature between 18-20C.
Scent the bedroom
Prepare your bed with natural cotton bedlinen and soothing fragrances. 'Avoid synthetic materials,' says Damien, 'they trap heat and moisture.' This Works' sleep range is ideal for scenting the room to help trigger your brain to relax. The Deep Sleep Scent Well diffuser (£55, thisworks.com) is powered by USB to pump out the soothing lavender, vetiver and chamomile scent (it switches itself off after an hour). Or you can customise your room's scent with the Super Sleep duo (£15, thisworks.com), featuring Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (to improve quality of sleep) and Sleep Plus Pillow Spray (to calm sleep restlessness).
Set a deadline
Allow yourself fifteen minutes to get to sleep and, if you haven't nodded off yet, then get up and do something. Mindless activities like dusting or cleaning the windows don't require deep thinking and don't produce too much noise, so aren't over-stimulating for the brain. It might be tempting to add finishing touches to favours, but anything to do with your wedding will likely trigger those pre-wedding nerves.
Ultimately, it's all about relaxation. Learn how you best relax and, chances are, you'll have a much more restful night and become a pro at falling asleep.