All living things rest at some point during the course of each 24 hour cycle – sleeping should be as natural as breathing yet nowadays insomnia has reached epidemic proportions with, for example, one large UK study showing that about three-quarters of patients reported sleep disturbance symptoms lasting a year or more¹.
We all sense instinctively whether a space feels tranquil, nurturing or energising but there are many contributory factors that we do not register consciously, which have a profound impact.
Ensure a sound night’s sleep – avoid artificial light
Light: Daylight sends a signal to the part of the brain that controls our circadian (‘sleep/wake’) cycle, telling it that it is time to be active. Artificial lighting and other things that have subsequently been invented over the last 100 years have forced our bodies away from being in tune with this natural rhythm. As a result, production of melatonin, the hormone secreted by the pineal gland that enables us to sleep, is suppressed.
- Fit blackout blinds to bedroom windows if the curtains do not cut out light sufficiently. These may be needed in an en-suite bathroom, too.
- Use only soft lights in the evening. Natural spectrum lights are best, the KenkoLight™ can help towards reducing eyestrain and headaches, and increasing productivity and focus.
- Night lights should be movement activated, not on permanently (except for young children).
- If necessary, wear an eye mask at night such as the Kenko PowerSleep™ Mask.
Feng shui your bedroom – focus on temperature, colour, texture, clutter and environment
Comfort/temperature: Our body temperature naturally fluctuates during the course of the night and two people sleeping under the same quilt may not be at the same temperature at the same time!
Choose a quilt that incorporates natural fibres and technologies specifically to enable you to maintain a constant temperature. The KenkoDream® Quilt, which provides Far-Infrared temperature regulation, increases the sensation of wellbeing by releasing negative ions.
Mirrors: Contrary to popular belief, a mirror can be placed in your bedroom, as long as you cannot see your reflection from the bed, which in classical feng shui is traditionally said to attract ghosts; my personal view is that this belief may have arisen as a result of people interpreting an unexpected glimpse of their own reflection in the night as being a shadowy person in the room. Nevertheless, best not to have a run of mirrored wardrobes opposite the bed.
Colour: Soft, soothing colours are most conducive to restful sleep and relaxation. These can be neutral or include the warmth of soft pinks or peach colours, which are said to enhance relationships.
Texture: Luxurious textures and softness help us to feel more pampered. Make your bedroom feel like a hotel room if you associate holidays with sleeping well.
Clutter: What we can see around us: If your bedroom is disorganised and you are surrounded by distractions or piles of washing, you won’t be able to relax fully.
- We tend to think that ‘out of sight is out of mind’ but papers etc. stashed under the bed do affect us on an unconscious level. Drawers below the bed should only be used for bed linen and towels.
- Get rid of anything that reminds you of troublesome times, people with whom you’ve had a difficult history.
- Similarly, we probably don’t wish to sleep with the rest of our families, so family photos are best placed elsewhere.
- Banish anything to do with work from the bedroom.
- Place artwork which is inspiring or symbolises something we find nurturing where you can see it when you wake up.
- Do not place heavy items such as mirrors, pictures or cupboards above the bed.
Environment: What we can’t see also affects our quality of sleep, for example electromagnetic pollution (EMF), which is generated by most electrical appliances. At night, don’t take your mobile phone into the bedroom, switch off your Wi-Fi and use a battery powered clock.
As well as EMF, Geopathic stress, which occurs when the earth’s electromagnetic fields are distorted and has a negative impact on the human body, can affect sleep quality. To help overcome both of these problems consider using a Helios3 – Geopathic Stress & EMF Home and Office Harmoniser. Once plugged in it will start to rebalance your energy and the energy of your home.
How your bed affects your sleep – Feng shui your bed!
Consider the position and suitability of your bed when you’re looking to improve the feng shui of your bedroom –
- Unconsciously, we feel more secure when we sleep with our heads supported by a solid headboard behind us.
- According to feng shui principles, ideally the bed should be positioned so that we able to see anyone coming into the room, though this may not always be possible. Seek the advice of a feng shui consultant to be sure of the best position for your bed, as there are many factors to be taken into account.
- Metal springs in mattresses or bed frames and headboards act as conductors for electro-magnetic fields, which are around us whether we are aware of them or not.
- Invest in the largest and most comfortable mattress you can afford – you’ll be spending a third of your life lying on it! Replace a sprung base with a slatted wood one with a solid wood or upholstered headboard.
- Bedside tables and side lights should be matching; this symmetry is more conducive to good relationships.
It’s incredibly important for your health and well-being to maximise your quality of sleep. Follow the advice above to help make sure you get a good night’s sleep, remember your bedroom should be exactly that, a bedroom!
¹(Morphy et al, 2007),The Times, Saturday January 10, 2015.