And if there’s one thing you don't want, it’s to be the sleepy, cranky bride with simply no energy to enjoy your big day. Here are foolproof ways to get the most relaxing sleep in the run up to your wedding.
In putting together your dream wedding, your sleep can go for a complete toss. From stressing about your clothes to coordinating with vendors, it’s no surprise that the star of the show (you!) ends up tossing and turning through restless nights. And if there’s one thing you don't want, it’s to be the sleepy, cranky bride with simply no energy to enjoy your big day. Here are foolproof ways to get the most relaxing sleep in the run up to your wedding.
EAST TO SLEEP
“Amidst all the wedding prep, brides tend to put self-care last.” says Dr. Taruna Yadav, Senior Ayurveda Doctor at Forest Essentials. “The anxiety, nerves, and excitement can cause havoc with a bride’s sleep in the run-up to her wedding,” she adds.One of the quickest ways to relax your body is by drinking a glass of warm milk with a hint of nutmeg, before tucking in. As Dr. Yadav explains, “In Ayurveda, warm milk is considered healing and soothing. Milk contains L- Tryptophan, an amino acid that the body turns into serotonin and melatonin, which induce sleep. Nutmeg gives the comforting drink a sweet taste and acts as another natural sleep aid.”Eating a ripe banana as an evening snack also helps, according to Dr. Naresh Perumbuduri, Ayurvedic Doctor, Ananda in the Himalayas. “This is because the potassium in the fruit helps the body to relax and regulate sleep,” he says. Keep your food alkaline, because acidic food can put a strain on your liver and kidneys, often leading to disturbed sleep. And stick to a healthy diet, because you’ll sleep peacefully if your digestion is in order.
RUB IT IN
A gentle oil massage, especially on the soles of your feet and the scalp, can do wonders to calm the body. “There are over 7,000 nerve endings on each foot, so giving them a massage helps loosen the entire body,” says Dr. Yadav. “Massaging the scalp, where the nerves start, has a similar effect.” "Do this a couple of hours before you go to sleep to get the benefits,” says Dr. Perumbuduri. Coconut, almond, and sesame oil are ideal options to consider, and you can even apply gentle but firm pressure to key pressure points to relieve insomnia. Lightly press the points behind the earlobes, as it is also said to reduce anxiety. Another point that helps include the quality and length of sleep is at the bottom of the hand—bend your hand towards you, and press the outermost part of the crease that is closest to your pinky finger.
Make your massage extra special by mixing 2-3 drops of your favourite essential oil to the base oil. “Using the right fragrance is very important for a bride and it is best to use natural essential oils,” states Dr. Blossom Kochhar, chairperson and founder, Blossom Kochhar Group of Companies.To reduce anxiety, counter insomnia, and uplift your mood, the aromatherapy expert recommends neroli essential oil, which is extracted from orange blossom petals. Lavender oil, considered a ‘Universal Oil’, calms the nerves by controlling high blood pressure and soothing you of stress. Similarly, you can consider jasmine, rose, sandalwood, or yang ylang essential oils, all of which help get rid of nervous tension. Just put 4-5 drops of them in your bathtub, 3-4 drops in your bucket, or 4-5 drops in a diffuser bowl with three-quarter of water and enjoy the benefits.
When you’re tense, you’ll notice that your breath becomes quicker. To soothe the body, focus on your breathing for instant results. As Dr. Perumbuduri explains, “Shallow or rapid breathing builds up stagnant air in the lower regions of the lungs. According to yoga, Nadi shodhana pranayama induces calmness and tranquillity, clears all the pranic passages of any blockages, and purifies the blood systems of all toxins. This balanced flow helps in managing the chronic, ongoing stress.” Practicing it is simple—sit in a quiet room, dim your lights, and gently breathe through alternate nostrils.Another technique he recommends his Brahmari, or the ‘bee breathing’ technique. “It is very useful for removing mental and emotional tension, anxiety, and hysteria,” he states. Sit up straight, close your ears by placing your thumb on the cartilage, and cover your eyes with the remaining fingers. Take a deep breath in, and on exhaling, make a low humming sound. You can repeat this 3-4 times.
“It is important to focus on the quality of sleep to keep up immunity levels and reduce stress hormones,” says Dr. Perumbuduri. But sometimes, the more you want to doze off, the harder it gets. That’s because your mind gets anxious, and one of the most effective ways to calm it is with meditation.Dr. Perumbuduri recommends the yoga nidra, which he describes as “psychic sleep”. “It helps the mind release suppressed and negative emotions from the subconscious, making daily existence smoother and calmer. It is considered to create deep yogic relaxation,” he adds. You can find a soothing meditation online or on a sleep app that will guide you through this meditation.
STICK TO A SCHEDULE
According to Dr Yadav, it’s important to build a good bedtime routine. “This helps to train your brain and body to know that it’s bedtime. It is recommended to start unwinding at least an hour before bed by stepping away from blue light and mental stimulants such as e-mails and social media.”Take a warm shower or a bath before going to bed, or include a skincare ritual to your night routine. Dim the lights at around the same time every night, as it encourages the body to start producing melatonin, which is the sleep hormone. And make it a point to wake up at the same time daily, so that you get used to the schedule. Dr Perumbudri suggests sleeping every day from 10 pm to 6 am.
GET A CUPPA
Herbal teas have long been praised for their healing and soothing abilities, and Sanjay Kapur, master tea taster at Sancha Tea recommends certain herbs for great sleep. “Lavender calms the mind, and chamomile induces sleep and rest,” he explains. To really soak in the benefits of this tea, Kapur advises having one cup, half an hour before hitting the sack. And what’s the one kitchen ingredient he considers a must-have? “Turmeric—it lowers anxiety levels and aids a good night’s rest.”
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