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Ah, the elusive good night’s sleep. I’m not familiar with it. No, my brand of sleep is more “toss-and-turn until it’s upsettingly early morning and finally turn on that same episode of The Office to try and get some rest.” I wake up groggy, grumpy, and growing new pockets of skin around my eyeballs. (The no-sleep swollen eyes are real.) Ideally, I would not look this way the morning of my wedding. So how do you get the best night’s sleep before your wedding day?

There are nerves. There are logistics. There is love. There is forever. Ugh. I can’t fall asleep smoothly before a normal Tuesday, let alone before the most exciting — and most photographed — day of my life. (Hypothetically speaking, of course, as there’s no ring on this finger yet.)

To ensure that I might actually catch some sleep tonight, instead of worrying about a wedding I am not a part of, I spoke to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a sleep, diet, and nutrition expert with over 25 years experience. She’s also on the Medical Advisory Board for the Nutritional Magnesium Association, which I must admit was exciting to me, as I’ve been taking a Magnesium supplement to help with my restlessness.

“It's hard to get a good night's sleep without enough of the mineral Magnesium, because Magnesium facilitates sleep regulating melatonin (sleep hormone) production,” Dr. Dean explains. “Studies have shown that magnesium helps you get a deep and restful sleep.” Dr. Dean also added that most women do not get their required daily amount of this mineral through diet along, and that taking Magnesium can help.

“It's important to note that not all forms of magnesium are easily absorbed by the body,” she adds. “Magnesium citrate powder is a highly absorbable form that can be mixed with hot or cold water and sipped in the evening and throughout the day for deep restful sleep.”

She recommends "Natural Calm" made by Natural Vitality. You can get it at your local Whole Foods or other health foods store This is the one that I have taken before bed, and it’s really helped. A word of wisdom: try it out before your wedding day. The effect is very subtle, but Magnesium can have other effects on your digestion you’d want to check out in advance.

But aside from Magnesium, what else can help you get a great night’s sleep pre-wedding? I also spoke to Afton Strate, Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist at Anchoring Peace Therapy. She shared three excellent tips with me.

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First, “be aware of your environment. It is important that you think about what people, places, and things will help you get the best night's rest,” she explains. If you can sleep well in a hotel room, do that, Strate explains. “Surround yourself with people and things that you find soothing,” she adds.

Then, make sure that you stick to your routine. (Uh, so, don’t take the Magnesium I like to take if it’s the very first time you’re taking it.) “If you have a typical routine that you do prior to going to bed, try to maintain those rituals the night before your wedding,” says Strate.

And finally, “get out your worries,” she adds. “You may want to schedule in a workout the day before your wedding, have a way to write down any last minute to do's if they pop up while you're starting to go to sleep, [or] utilize a deep breathing or meditation app as you lay down for the night,” recommends Strate.

Also, remember that it’s OK to have trouble sleeping the night before your wedding. The jitters and nerves are all because this truly is a very special day in your life, and it will remain special even if you wake up feeling a little tired. (Remember, there will be coffee, and there will be makeup artistry.) Try to focus on what’s working, and remember to enjoy the day.

You know how when you finally do fall asleep, the night seems to pass in the blink of an eye? Your wedding will go by faster than that. Savor it.

Written by: Kimmy Foskett

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