By Guest Writer Lynda Abdo
There is almost nothing more important than getting a good night’s sleep. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary where your body can rest and repair. When you sleep, it is a passive state, and one easily absorbs the surrounding energy. There are many things that can affect sleep quality; so if you are having trouble getting a good night’s rest– let’s review any possible factors that might be interfering…
The mind is an active organ, and has evolved to help us survive. Our ancestors– keen to danger– slept lightly as there were many things that might spell trouble…
Noises will keep you up. We tend to think of noise as “sounds we don’t control,” so any strange disturbance such as howling dogs, traffic, partying neighbors, or children crying can wake us up at night. The best solution for noise problems is to live in a quiet neighborhood if possible, or create sound baffles such as home fences, bushes, and/or trees that slow down sound vibrations. If this is not possible, make sure your windows are solid with heavy curtains. Bedrooms located in the back of the house tend to be quieter. I never realized how silent my house could really be until we had a major power outage. Appliances and electronics also make low-level noise, so turn off any unnecessary electrical appliances or fans at night. As an alternative use “white noise” (i.e. the repetitive sound of an ocean surf) to drown out other noises you can’t control. If this is not possible — you may have to resort to ear plugs.
Humans have evolved to need approximately 2 hrs. of low light before our bodies can switch serotonin to sleep-enhancing melatonin. If we are on computers or cell phones late at night, it interferes with this natural process and will be harder for us to fall asleep. The blue light-wave is especially problematic, and some computer night owls have switched to wearing orange goggles, or use light adjustment software programs to help with this issue. To sleep deeply, it also has to be reasonably dark. If there are street lights peeping into your room – sleep may be intermittent. In general, use dim lighting in the bedroom, and have heavy curtains that block out light from the streets or neighbors. Mirrors in the bedroom (especially if they reflect the bed) are also considered a no-no since they reflect light and movement, and do affect our awareness, even if at a subconscious level.
Color is light-energy and some colors amp us up, while others are calming. Reds especially will raise blood pressure, since red is the color of blood. We have evolved to recognize that when we see red, it could be a life or death situation- so our bodies respond automatically. Red is often used in Feng Shui for newlyweds to help stimulate their sex lives. Blue, on the other hand, is a favorite color for meditation since it releases neurotransmitters in the body that are calming. Using browns in the bedroom can also be very calming, as earth tones give us a sense of security like terra firma under our feet. Orange Himalayan salt lamps are soothing and produce a small amount of negative ions that are relaxing. Taking a warm shower before bed can also immerse us in negative ions, and calm our bodies.
Many people have nervous energy that if not expelled during the day, keeps them up at the night. Energetic children need regular exercise to allow their bodies to fully relax when napping/ sleeping. Adults are similar, and with so many sedentary jobs, (leaving exercise as a sporadic activity) many suffer from insomnia. Daily anxiety can be released through activity such as sports, or sex (especially for men). Even when learning meditative practice, one learns to tense the body in order to know how it feels to be fully relaxed. Many people have not experienced what it means to have a fully relaxed body. Massage, meditation, and learning how to breathe deeply are very effective tools to accomplish total relaxation.
Temperature should be moderate for optimal sleep. If it is too cold, we tense up (i.e. the body wants to stay active to generate more heat- so we don’t freeze); or if it is too hot, we toss and turn. Comfort is important, along with a supportive pillow and mattress, and helps us sink into relaxation and release daily worry
Beds ideally have the headboard flush with a wall for best support, as this helps “ground” us. Too much moving air around the head interferes with deep sleep. If a bed is placed under a window, drafts can be disturbing. Beds in the center of the room, (especially a large room) do not allow the sleeper to feel fully secure. Beds aligned with a bathroom can also have problems– especially if plumbing goes through a shared wall. A very thick headboard can help buffer this problem. Having a bathroom that opens to a master bedroom is also considered problematic as it is said to drain energy while one is sleeping. Feng Shui consultants routinely advise closing bathroom doors that open to a bedroom. Sharp points aimed at the bed from surrounding furniture, heavy beams, or even ceiling fans overhead (that could fall) can disturb the brain’s amygdala– as it senses potential danger, and create subconscious stress. “Yin” lines underneath a home (such as underground water or sewage lines) can also interfere with sleep and health, but need to be assessed by a competent Feng Shui consultant. Certain Feng Shui schools will recommend an optimal direction for a person to sleep in depending on their time of birth.
The bedroom is meant for relaxation, sleep, and/or sex. If you have exercise equipment, computers, or other work related furniture near the bed, you are conditioning yourself to be ALERT in the bedroom. This increases beta brain waves and not the calming alpha waves you require for rest. You need to keep your business out of the bedroom if possible. Televisions are OK if used for relaxation purposes, but avoid emotionally agitating shows before bedtime.
Many of us have cell phones, digital clocks, and other electronics in our bedroom. Little lights or buzzers that flicker can be distracting and interfere with our ability to rest. Ideally there should not be any electronic devices near the bed as they emit electromagnetic fields that can interfere with our body’s own natural energy field.
Many people favor plants in the bedroom, but don’t realize they reverse their oxygen production during the day, and make carbon dioxide at night. This is not ideal for sleep, and in fact there are only a few plants recommended for bedrooms that will produce oxygen at night.
Odd Items or Artwork
Feng Shui guidelines don’t recommend having things or images in the bedroom that seem threatening, (such as predatory animals). This can include objects that have negative associations (such as the ashes of a deceased person) that may bring a heavy feeling of loss or sadness. If you are fond of such things, at least don’t keep them in the bedroom where you sleep.
Having clutter near your bed is visually and emotionally stimulating, and not conducive to sleep. Clutter slows down chi, which cannot circulate properly in the bedroom to nourish the body. Beds are recommended to be elevated from the floor, with at least 6-8” underneath so air can circulate freely around the bed. For best results, don’t store a lot of things under your bed!
As a post note — it is not recommended to drink caffeine after 6:00 pm, and this includes coffee, energy/diet drinks, tea, cocoa, or chocolate. Instead, try chamomile tea as a sedative and take magnesium supplements, a natural muscle relaxant. Epsom salt baths (high in magnesium) are also very soothing to jittery nerves, especially with a few added drops of lavender essential oil. Most people are deficient in magnesium and don’t realize how much this deficiency can interfere with our ability to relax.
Wishing you a great night’s sleep and pleasant dreams!
For more information on Feng Shui and metaphysics, please visit my website at: www.fengshui2bliss.com
© 2017 Lynda lee Abdo