Feng Shui for sleeping
There is almost nothing more important than for us to get a good night’s sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, there may be some simple things under your nose that could be affecting your ability to deeply rest.
What is Feng Shui?
You are all doing feng shui already, whether you are aware of it or not. The basic principle is to bring into balance whatever is out of balance. You do this when it gets too hot out and you open a window or take off a layer of clothing. You do this when it gets too dark outside and you turn on a light bulb. The only difference between you and a feng shui master is that you are doing everything intuitively via trial and error rather than fully understanding the principles of energy that are affecting you.
Feng Shui is About Energy
The way in which we can understand the “energy” of a space is the initial reaction we have to it the moment we walk into a room or building. I call this our inner stoplight: green light, yellow light and red light. If you walk into someone’s home, your first reaction may be “Ahhhhhh.” It feels good, feels like home. This is green light. It may also be “Nooooooooo.” It feels like you instantly don’t want to be there. This is red light. Or perhaps your reaction is “Meh.” You feel neutral about it. Neither good nor bad. Neither drawn in or wanting to leave. This inner awareness will serve you well.
The Purpose of a Bedroom
When I ask people what the purpose of a bedroom is, 90% of them say sleep (the other 10% say sex, love and intimacy, which is also true but for today, let’s focus on rest). This lets me know that we, as a society, are sleep deprived. There may be things within your space that are affecting your ability to fall (and stay) asleep. So the simplest rule of thumb is to eliminate anything in the bedroom that isn’t serving the purpose of that space.
Set Yourself for a Better Night’s Sleep
Treat your bedroom as a sanctuary. This is your private space (it is for you and about you), so don’t let the worries of the outside world make it in here. There is a time and a place to address these concerns and while you are trying to rest in your bed is not one of them. Create some separation when you cross the threshold to your room.
Remove What Isn’t Serving You
Clutter: This means different things to different people, but if you are feeling claustrophobic, you will have a harder time resting. If your room is disorganized, you will have a harder time relaxing. If your room has lots of distractions, you will not be able to focus on the task at hand: rejuvenation. Go through and do a sweep of your space.
Stuff Under the Bed: Sometimes people think that just because something is out of sight that it doesn’t affect them. This may work for an ostrich, but it doesn’t work for humans. We can feel things even if we don’t see them (remember the stoplight.) If you live in a city, you may not have a lot of closet space. Or any storage. But you should have the space under your bed be free for air to pass through if you want to sleep better. What is your priority? Those old winter sweaters? Or your overall health and wellness?
Remove Work from the Bedroom: If your job matters to you, you will want to do a good job. Many people feel like their work will never end. They bring work into the bedroom with the intention of being a good employee or boss. But most of the time, they are creating a win-lose scenario. It might be a win for the emails you are checking, but a lose for your ability to disconnect from what you are focused on all day long. Please leave the work outside.
Bed Position: When we are children, the safest place for us to sleep is in the corner with a wall protecting us on one side and a solid wall behind us. As we become an adult, we may move our beds away from the wall (so that someone can join us in our bed), but we still want to feel protected and safe so that we can rest fully. There is a feng shui principle called “command position” or “power position, ” which is essentially where the Godfather would sit in a restaurant: The far corner (not the front of the room or in the path of the doorway) and with your back to a solid wall (no window or door behind your head). For our purposes, this is like creating our very own safe spot and it will allow us to turn off the part of our brain that relates to fight or flight.
Mirrors: There are two types of energy in feng shui: Active (Yang) and relaxing (Yin). Mirrors are very activating for our energy. Nothing good can come from a mirror being in your bedroom while you are trying to rest. Mirrors are for awake-time activities only. Remove them, turn around those closeted doors or cover them: by draping a scarf over it or hanging a curtain in front of them. You can see yourself again in the morning.
Wi-Fi: Thank goodness we can all stay connected. There are so many benefits to having this technology in our lives. But Wi-Fi (hubs and base stations) put forth an energy that is stimulating and not restful. Get it out from under or near the bed, and ideally out of the bedroom.
What to Bring Into the Bedroom to Support Sleep