Get a Good Night Sleep with Feng Shui
by Cheryl Grace, copyright © 2005-2012
The National Sleep Foundation is reporting that one-third of Americans are losing sleep over the state of the U.S. Economy. Eight to nine hours of sleep per night is recommended to ward off bad moods, depression, and tension. A good night sleep contributes to the quality and length of life in addition to added health benefits. Before you reach for over-the-counter or prescription sleep medications, you can apply some simply feng shui tips to insure a good night sleep.
Each room in the house is designed to function as either a Yang (active) room or a Yin (passive) room. Since you spend a third of your life in your bedroom just by sleeping, it’s very important to create a Yin environment in your bedroom and design your surroundings to cultivate rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. To begin, avoid “awake” paint colors on the walls, such as bright red or yellow; or cool colors such as green or blue. Warm hues create a soothing environment and set the tone for a restful sleep. The only cool detail in your room should be the room temperature.
It’s ideal to remove any hint of Yang or active energy to convert your bedroom into a Yin experience. Yang items include electronic devices, such as a TV, radio, or an bright alarm clock; office equipment, exercise machines, collections of books, photo s, and clutter of any kind. In addition, mirrors, crystals, and live plants detract from a restful environment. Once you have removed all Yang objects, you’re ready to redecorate your master bedroom into your ultimate retreat.
Your bed and bedding choices are critical for comfort. If you find yourself rolling towards the center of the bed, or wake up tired and achy, it may be time for a new mattress. Contrary to what our parents told us, it’s wise to upgrade your mattress after nine or ten years, in order to keep your body supported. Pillows should be replaced every two years. You can restore your pillow by placing it in the dryer on the fluff cycle with four tennis balls and let it spin for 20 minutes. The action of the tennis balls hitting the pillow re-shapes the pillow. Add soft and silky bed linens and your body will melt in the comfort.
Your pre-bedtime ritual greatly affects your ability to fall asleep quickly. Creating a habit one hour before bedtime, such as reading, taking a hot bath, or quietly reflecting on your day, allows your body to associate specific actions with falling asleep. Dimming the light levels cues your brain that it’s bedtime. The light from your TV, Blackberry, or computer late at night stimulates the wake response and lowers melatonin levels necessary for deep sleep. Avoid drinking caffeine, including caffeinated soda, or taking a long nap after 3pm.
If you want to get to eight hours of sleep per night, figure out what time you need to get up in the morning, then count back, plus one hour of wind-down time, to determine when you need to go to bed. You’ll need to stick to the schedule for at least a month to form a habit. If you feel your missing out on your favorite television shows, record them to view at another time. Your trade off is a better and healthier you. Statistics show that there is a direct correlation between the amount and quality of sleep and heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, viral infections, indigestion, muscular pain, asthma, and chronic insomnia.
Couples will find the pre-bedtime ritual may improve their quality time together. If you’re willing to skip an hour of TV, your tradeoff can be cuddling time, intimate communication and romance. Your relationship will improve and you’ll skip becoming part of the 39% of working Americans who are less productive at work due to becoming drowsy and lethargic during the day. Another 36% have nodded off or fallen asleep while driving.
When you wake up feeling fantastic after your abundant night of sleep, take 15 minutes to go outside and take in the sun. Sunlight has a big influence on your body clock and will help you start your day optimistic and energetic.