Along with proper nutrition, air and water, restorative sleep is essential to health and well-being. Without a good night's sleep, we function below our capacity to handle the demands of life, with varying confiscences.
The effects of prolonged sleep deprivation can not be underestimated, and leads to premature aging, hormone imbalances, an increased risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. According to Mark Mahowald, a professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, any amount of sleep deprivation decreases mental performance, and “one complete night of sleep deprivation is as impairing in simulated driving tests as a legally incoxicating blood-alcohol level. ”
Can you harness the power of Feng Shui to improve your sleep? The answer is a resounding “yes”. If you're tired of not getting your zzz's, Feng Shui expert Yvonne Phillips can tell you how simple adjustments to your bedroom will make a major difference. With over 20 years of experience in the ancient art of Feng Shui and the author of “Feng Shui ABC: Project for a Weekend”, Yvonne understands how the energy or “chi” that flows around us impacts the quality of our well-being. If energy is blocked in our environment, this imbalance and disharmony will inevitably lead to discomfort, irritability, and prevent restful sleep.
This ancient Chinese practice is increasingly in demand here in the west for all areas of life, and Yvonne offers practical Feng Shui tips that anyone can immediately apply to their bedrooms to promote deep sleep that is so needed.
Q. How can “good” or “bad” Feng Shui affect my sleep?
A. The relationship between your environment and sleep quality is closely linked. Feng Shui is about working with energy, and the intentional clearing and arrangement of objects to allow the healthy flow of positive energy, and the dissipation of the negative. For better sleep, it focuses on purposefully working with the proper energy flow in your bedroom, which although invisible to the naked eye, directly impacts your own energy field, the quality of your sleep and overall health.
Q. What are the items in a bedroom that disrupt sleep the most?
A. Any electrical appliance or tech gadget that emits electromagnetic fields (EMFs), such as a plugged-in or wireless device. I recommend moving your alarm clock as far away from your bed as possible, if not out of the room entirely, along with removing your cell phone, computer, electric blanket, and TV. Studies show that EMFs affect the cells in your body, and deplete normal melatonin levels, with low melatonin being a major factor in poor sleep and other health problems. Excessive exposure to EMFs can disrupt normal circadian rhythms, and simply clearing out these devices from your bedroom may be the most important factor to achieve proper sleep.
Q. Once I remove EMFs, then what?
A. The next step would be to clear out any clutter and excess furniture and items which not only gather dust, but block the flow of positive chi. A bedroom filled with clutter causes energy to stagnant and creates a busy and distracting environment. Be sure to clear items from under the bed, the corners and the closet. Healthy energy flow does not follow the motto, “out of sight, out of mind”, and useless clutter piled up anywhere will throw off the energy of the entire room. Achieving a clear “Zen” space is ideal for peaceful sleep.
After the clutter and dust is clear, consider the lighting in your bedroom. Are your window covers keeping it dark enough at night? Melatonin production, which is essential to sleep, naturally rises in the dark and is affected by your exposure to light. To ensure proper melatonin levels which make you sleepy, block out any outside light and keep the room as dark as possible.
Q. Does the color of my bedroom matter for getting better sleep?
A. Absolutely; the proper use of color is a major factor in Feng Shui, and will dramatically impact the energy of your room and your ability to sleep. Avoid painting your bedroom red or bright orange, as it is too energizing a color to allow adequate rest. Instead, opt for soothing pastel colors such as green or blue which promotes healing and calmness, or soft cream or beige.
Q. Do you have any advice about my bedroom furniture?
A. Keep the space around your bed clear, with no objects or furniture with sharp corners jutting in. To best support your personal energy, position your bed so you can see the door while in bed, but far enough away so you're not in alignment with it. Solid headboards made from wood are good Feng Shui, to support the chi around the head, and have a bed with a mattress raised off the floor to allow the flow of chi.
If possible, avoid sleeping under heavy ceiling beams or a slanted roof, which press down on the energy in the room. Remove any sad or depressing art or busy pictures with a lot of people, pulling on your attention. The aim is to keep the energy of the room as clear and relaxing as possible.
Q. Any final thoughts on how to sleep better?
A. Along with cool, fresh air, aromatherapy diffusers are a wonderful Feng Shui tool for improved air quality and clear breathing, such as eucalyptus, pine or tea tree oil. Soft lighting such as salt lamps is also recommended. Keep all the doors closed at night, including the bedroom door, closet, and the en-suite bathroom door.
Your bedroom should be treated as your sanctuary where you are at your most vulnerable while recharging your energies. Feng Shui for better sleep is about balance, and creating a calm and peaceful bedroom without distraction, while also promoting a good circulation of chi.