BRIDES' 30 Day Wedding Shape-Up Challenge: Day 13, How to Get 7 Hours of Sleep a Night

How to Get More Sleep

Photo: Getty Images

This is it... The final countdown to your big day. And along with settling those last few details — figuring out where to seat your eccentric Uncle Carl, firming up the flowers, deciding on your first dance song — you're likely also making one last push to make sure the body that will be wearing that gorgeous white gown looks as good as it possibly can. You and nearly every other woman with an engagement ring on her finger. In fact, research shows that an overwhelming 91 percent of brides-to-be are anxious about their weight. But from here on out, you won't have to be!

Whether you want to drop those last few pounds or look more toned — or both — we've got a month's worth of daily tips (none of which require starving yourself or working out nonstop!) that will help you feel stunning and confident when you walk down that aisle. You know where to send the thank-you card. Let's get started!

Day 13: Aim to Get Seven Hours of Sleep a Night

Easier said than done, we know, when you have 500 wedding tasks swimming through your head all night. But getting a good night's rest — and for most people, that means seven hours of shut-eye — can actually make a big impact on your weight. Lack of sleep alters levels of two hunger-related hormones, which will not only make you crave fatty, salty, and simple carb-y foods, but also dampen your body's "I'm full" response, causing you to overeat. A study at the University of Colorado found that people who didn't get adequate sleep for just five nights gained an average of two pounds. But other research has shown that the flip side is also true: Get a good night's sleep and your odds of losing weight jump by 33 percent.

See More: Quick 30 Minute Workouts for Busy Brides-To-Be

Here are some tips for making sure those seven hours of rest are actually restful:

  • Try to wake up and go to bed at around the same time each day. It helps set your body's internal clock so you sleep more soundly.

  • Make sure your room is cool, dark and quiet. If your guy's a snorer, wear earplugs.

  • Get off screens — your smartphone, laptop... — an hour before you hit the sack. The blue light they emit can suppress melatonin and stimulate your brain to stay awake.

  • Skip the nightcap. Yes, alcohol might help you nod off faster, but as it wears off, it has a rebound effect that will disrupt your sleep so try to avoid it for several hours before bedtime.

  • Set the sleep timer if you need TV to nod off. It doesn't mess with your sleep the way your iPhone does, but you don't want to wake up at 2 A.M. and get sucked into an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
  • Just getting started on our 30 Day Wedding Shape-Up? Kick off your journey from Day One, here.

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