"Sleep is the best meditation." ~ Dalai Lama
Your bedroom is undeniably a very important part of your home, where you spend about a third of each day. It can be a restful sanctuary, a peaceful oasis where your body and mind can recharge, repair, and refresh for another day. Even if it's also your place for passionate intimacy with your partner or your kids gleeful jumping up and down in the morning, it's main purpose is sleep. Whether your bed is in a corner of a high-ceilinged loft, a spacious master suite, or a small, boxy room in your apartment, and even if it has to perform double duty as your home office, it is still primarily your sleep space. But just having a mattress to lie down on somewhere doesn't insure the kind of sleep you need to wake up rested and refreshed.
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Or do you fall asleep and then wake up later, unable to get back to sleep? About 30% of American adults reportedly have symptoms of insomnia, and 10% suffer from chronic insomnia. This can affect your health, mood, productivity, memory, or energy, and cause you to make mistakes or have accidents. You get up tired in the morning. You push yourself through the day powered by caffeine and sugar. You try everything from eye masks to sleep apps, from white noise to pills. But do you try moving your bed? Changing the wall color or artwork? Switching out square nightstands for round ones? You may fill your bedroom with pieces from a furniture store's showroom or mismatched antiques you inherited. You might place your bed wherever it seems to fit or wherever the people who lived in your home before you did. And you probably assume that none of that has anything to do with the quality of your sleep.
Feng Shui has a lot to say about our sleep spaces. And since sleep is such an important part of human life, it's worth paying attention to the many clear guidelines Feng Shui offers for this part of your home. Begin with the belief that everything in your bedroom or sleep area matters. There is nothing that does not matter. The colors on your walls, ceilings, floors, curtains, and bed linens, as well as the furniture and artwork. all matter. The shapes in this room or area matter too. Are your nightstands round or square? Is the wall art rectangular and does the content include triangular shapes? Light fixtures and lamps, windows, mirrors, doors, the bed frame and head board, stuff stored under the bed, and your laptop all matter. The quality of the air you breathe while you sleep and the presence of plants matter. The photos on your walls or dressers matter. Everything in your sleep space either supports giving you optimal sleep experiences, waking up feeling great and refreshed, ready for a new day, or it works against the possibility of you achieving that. So, which kinds of things do you want filling your sleep space?
There are quite a few potential Feng Shui issues in your sleep space. I will give your the dos and don'ts straight up, without a lot of explanation or background, because I find that's what people want when they seek a Feng Shui consultation: Tell me what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. Tell me what to change. So, armed with this clear list of sleep space recommendations, you can turn your bedroom into the replenishing haven you want and need it to be.
The obvious place start, your bed offers many ways to enhance its function as the foundation of your sleep space. The bed should be placed in the "command position" in your bedroom. This means it faces the room's door, but is not in a direct line with the door. The head of your bed should be against solid wall opposite the door, in a position where you can see the door to the room when sitting or lying on the bed. You should have a solid headboard, preferably with rounded edges, such as one that is upholstered, tufted, and in a softer color and fabric. Avoid metal bars and sharp edges.
In Over Your Head
The area above your bed is important. You don't want anything large, heavy, or bold up there. For optimal sleeping conditions, make sure your bed is not under shelving, and avoid artwork that is too large, heavy, brightly colored, or depicting a very active or violent scene. Remember the key is peacefulness and a feeling of complete safety, so you don't want anything crashing over your head. This goes for ceiling beams in the room, too, which are considered very unfavorable Feng Shui. Also avoid sloping and slanted ceilings over your bed. Ceiling fans are not recommended, as well, but can sometimes be remedied by colors that blend in with the ceiling (preferably a light color, like white) or by changing or covering the fan blades with softer shapes (like palm fronds) and colors. Avoid light fixtures that hang over the bed, like chandeliers.
Light and Air
While the energy that enters your home primarily comes in through the Mouth of Chi, or your front door, windows also allow for circulation of natural light and air, both inflowing and outflowing. You want balance in the windows in your sleep space, letting in light and air, but not too much. You don't want your personal energy flying out the window, either. Avoid floor-to-ceiling windows, and do not place your headboard under or in front of a window. Since you will likely be sleeping at night, you can energize the room with natural light and fresh air during the day, and then close the curtains or blinds at night to create a restful retreat. Amber (low blue light) light bulbs can help you transition from alertness to sleep-readiness and infuse the room with a pleasant, restful hue. Keep the air clean with an air purifier, and use a diffuser to disperse the aroma of essential oils. Plants are generally not recommended for bedrooms in Feng Shui, but not everyone has a problem with plants in their sleep space. If you have sleep issues, you can try removing the plants, replacing them with smaller ones, or moving them farther away from your bed. If you're healthy and sleeping well, and have some plants you love in your bedroom, then you can keep them there.
Keep the bedroom door closed when you are sleeping and also close closet doors, bathroom doors and any other door in the sleep space.
There should be enough room to walk on both sides of the bed. Do not place the bed with one side up against a wall. Avoid placing anything, such as a bench, table, trunk, or footboard at the foot of the bed. The energy flow in the entire room should also be open and unobstructed. The whole area should be decluttered, and the space under the bed not used for storing anything.
Have nightstands (preferably round, or al least without sharp edges) on both sides of the bed. Lamps on both nightstands or light fixtures that hang from the walls or ceiling should also be in balance, at the same height, on both sides of the bed. Follow this rule even if you sleep alone.
Avoid having any mirrors in the bedroom, especially any that might reflect over the bed.
Shapes and Colors
While you will always want to balance the Five Elements, and Yin and Yang energies in every room of your home, remember that the primary purpose of the sleep space is rest, so the energy here should be calm, soft, quiet, and peaceful. Colors should be muted, shapes rounded or softened. Avoid too much yang energy in bold colors and artwork or photos depicting active or violent scenes.
The primary purpose of the bedroom is rest and sleep, not watching television, cruising the internet, working, or texting. Do not place a TV in the bedroom or you will be too tempted to watch it in bed. Don't. Leave your laptop and other screens outside the bedroom door. If you need your phone for your morning wake-up alarm, or want it near you in case of emergency, drop it the nightstand drawer and leave it there until morning. If you enjoy reading at bedtime, use a book or magazine, not a screen. TVs, laptops, cell phones, and other screen devices emit electro-magnetic fields of energy (EMFs), and you don't want those in your bedroom at night. If you need to have a baby monitor in your bedroom, by all means, do so.
I have already mentioned not having artwork in your bedroom that is too bright or active (yang), or even violent (you shouldn't have images of violence anywhere in your home). In the bedroom, you also want to avoid family photos (do you want them looking over you in bed?), water images, and sad or unhappy pictures. They may be beautiful art, but they don't belong in your bedroom. Only joyful photos of you and your mate, and other pictures that make you feel happy, relaxed, and safe should be in your bedroom.
The bedroom, as I have repeatedly mentioned, is the place for rest, respite, repair, rejuvenation, relaxation, privacy, and peacefulness. It should not be the place you run your home business out of, or where you work on handicrafts. If you simply have no other place in your home for these kinds of activities, at least create a designated space for them, somehow divided from your sleep space. You could use a free-standing screen, put up a curtain, or place bookcases to create a wall.
The ideal place for bedrooms is at the back of the house or apartment, away from the front wall of the home. Use this information when looking for a new home or designing a home to build. You may also be able to change the use of your existing bedrooms, for example, swapping purposes with a den or play room.
Where Are You?
Your bagua is placed with the Knowledge/Wisdom, Career, and Helpful Friends/Travel areas along the wall with your front door on it. So, chances are your sleeping space will fall in your Wealth, Fame/Reputation, or Love/Relationships area. Your bedroom's primary purpose should always be a top consideration for arranging this space, but you can also give attention to the energetic area as determined by your home's bagua. For example, if your bedroom happens to be in your home's Love/Relationships area, you can include some soft reds, whites, and pinks in your decor, some items in pairs, Earth colors, and a bit of the Fire element in candles. If your bedroom falls in the Wealth area, you can use shades of purple in your decor, and add touches of gold, in such items as lamps, picture frames, and bed linens. If your bedroom falls in another energetic area of your home, you can add enhancements appropriate for that area, while remembering that the primary purpose is restful sleep.
Sleep Spaces for Little Ones
Bedrooms for kids should follow the same guidelines as those for adults, with a few exceptions and additional issues. For instance, beginning with the baby's nursery and going through the childhood years, having a bed against a wall may create a feeling of safety that helps little ones sleep. Bunk beds are generally frowned upon in Feng Shui, but depending on many factors, some children can sleep quite well in them, with no problems. The lower bunk may feel like a safe cave to some, and some older children may enjoy the seeming privacy of the top. The true rule is if it works for your kids, they're happy, healthy, and sleep well, then it's fine. And if the top bunk is not liked for sleeping, it can be used for playtime only. Which leads us to one big issue children's bedrooms present in many family homes. The bedroom often has to perform double duty as a playroom. If this is your situation, just remember to keep the room as clutter-free as possible, especially at night. The kids can put their toys away as part of their bedtime ritual, and you can choose to rotate the toys in the room if there are too many to have in there at once. Transition from playtime to sleep time by lowered lights (using amber bedtime lights and tiny nightlights), soft music, calm sounds, and quiet talking or reading aloud. Kids need time to settle down, and the room's surroundings can help the process.
Getting a good night's sleep is an essential part of a truly healthy, happy life. Maybe if we were more like cats, we could easily sleep anywhere, anytime. But we often have all kinds of problems with this third of our lives. Everything in our sleep space enters our mind and our energy, even if we are unaware of it. Feng Shui offers optimal conditions for a great night's sleep, feeing calm, peaceful, relaxed, and safe.
Where you sleep at night matters. Everything about your bed and your bedroom affects how well you sleep, and that affects the rest of your day. To improve your chances of getting a great night's sleep -- every night -- give your sleep space a Feng Shui makeover.
• Start by looking at the basic color scheme of the room. Is it restful or stimulating? Even the bold colors of some areas of the bagua can be toned down, but still present. For example, purples include lilacs and lavenders, while reds include pinks and salmon shades.
• Notice the position of the bed in relation to the room's door. It should be against the opposite wall from the door, where you can easily see the door from the bed, but the bed should not be directly in line with the door.
• Make sure the headboard is solid, not metal bars, spindles, or shelving. Pay attention to anything over the bed, such as beams or hanging fans or chandeliers. They can interfere with your sleep. Look at the wall directly over the headboard. It should not have a window, shelving, or any kind of large, heavy, or dark artwork.
• Remove mirrors and electronics from the room, at least every night before bed. Block off any work areas from the sleeping area. Make sure to turn on your air purifier or essential oil diffuser before bed.
• Make space all around the bottom and sides of the bed. Remove any benches, tables, or footlockers at the end of the bed. Balance the sides of the bed with similar nightstands and lighting.
• Invest in very comfortable mattresses, bed pillows, and linens.
• Keep your sleep space clutter free, including under the bed. Make your bed every morning and wash your sheets regularly.