At first glance, feng shui, the ancient art of arranging our living spaces, appears to have little to do with alternative medicine. But feng shui is actually based on many of the same principles as acupuncture. Instead of energy or "chi" flow in your body, feng shui is said to improve the flow of chi around you, which is thought to improve health.
Although the principles of feng shui can be applied to any room in the home, one of the most important yet often neglected rooms is our most private space: the bedroom. The layout and decor of your bedroom, according to feng shui, can affect the quality of your sleep. A bedroom with good feng shui is thought to help you sleep better and is even said to strengthen your romantic relationships. Here are some simple tips to improve the feng shui of your bedroom.
- Position Your Bed Correctly
The ideal bed placement allows you to see the bedroom door while laying in bed without being directly in front or in line with it. According to feng shui, having a view of the door without being too close to it gives you a sense of safety while you rest and is conducive to relaxation and sleep. Typically, this ideal bed position is in the corner of the bedroom diagonally opposite the door.
The foot of the bed shouldn't point out the bedroom door. In feng shui, this position is known as the "coffin" position and puts your bed in the main path of traffic, which isn't relaxing. If this position is the only one possible, a footboard, high bench or table at the foot of the bed can buffer the effects. It just shouldn't be so high that it blocks your view of the door.
The head of the bed should be placed against a wall rather than under a window or away from the wall. A bed against a window is thought to cause chi to enter and leave through the window, resulting in restless sleep.
If there are two people sleeping in the bed, there should be equal space on both sides of the bed so each person can get into and out of bed easily.
Finally, a bed shouldn't be positioned under a structural or decorative beam or ceiling fan. According to feng shui, this isn't good for either health or relationships. If moving your bed isn't an option, feng shui practitioners sometimes recommend hanging a bamboo flute (a special feng shui device) from the beam to offset the effects.
- Use Your Bedroom Only as a Bedroom
Television, computers, exercise gear or a workspace in your bedroom are thought to distract you from rest, symbolize wakefulness and take up energy. If you have a TV and aren't willing to move it, consider putting it in an armoire and keeping the doors closed while you sleep. A piece of fabric covering the TV at night will also do the trick as long as it's not sloppy. If there's no other place for your exercise gear or workspace, consider getting a screen to block them from view when not in use.
- Keep Your Bedroom Clutter-Free
No one wants a cluttered bedroom, but according to feng shui, clutter can block the flow of chi, lead to stagnation, disturb sleep and generally prevent things in your life from moving forward.
The area under your bed shouldn't be used as a storage area and should be as clear as possible. Your closet should also be tidy and the door should be closed at night, or it's thought to be depleting. Periodically weed out clothes that are no longer worn and consider getting organizers to hold accessories.
Finally, nightstand drawers and dressers should be organized. Avoid piling books on top of them.
- Use Mirrors Carefully Or Not At All
According to feng shui, if you aren't sleeping well, a mirror in your bedroom may be the culprit. Mirrors are thought to bounce energy around the bedroom, which may result in poor sleep and restlessness. They're also said to amplify worries.
Mirrors should be avoided next to a bed or on the wall above the bed. You shouldn't be able to see yourself reflected in a mirror while laying in bed.
Feng shui consultants also say to avoid hanging a mirror on the wall opposite your bed because it's thought to promote the intrusion of a third party into the relationship and possibly encourage infidelity. If in doubt, remove large mirrors from the room or cover them with a piece of fabric when you go to sleep.
- Accessorize in Pairs and Use Relaxing Themes and Rounded Corners
When selecting art for your bedroom, avoid sad or upsetting images and avoid images with only one person, which symbolize solitude. Another type of image to be cautious about is one that has a waterfall, lake or river as the dominant theme. Although water generally symbolizes money in feng shui and is thought to be beneficial in other areas of the home, water in the bedroom may promote financial or relationship losses. If you do have an inspiring, relaxing or uplifting piece of art, one of the best places for it is on the wall opposite your bed. It's the first thing you'll see when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you'll see when you go to bed at night.
In general, try to choose pairs of accessories. Adults should have two nightstands rather than one. Ovals and circles, whether it's the shape of your nightstand or the type of accessories you select, are better than shapes with sharp corners.
- Select Relaxing, Balanced Colors
According to feng shui, warm colors reminiscent of skin tones are thought to be soothing, such as cream, peach, beige, yellow, coral, tan or cocoa.
Light blues, greens and lavenders are considered to be restful and conducive to sleep. But too many cool colors, such as grays, blues or stark whites are believed to interfere with relaxation. A balance of 50% warm skin tones and 50% cool blues, greens or lavenders is often suggested.
Don't feel overwhelmed if your bedroom has many of the feng shui don'ts. It's almost impossible, unless you're designing your home from the ground up, to have your rooms adhere to all feng shui guidelines. Just try to change what you can.
Although these principles of feng shui for the bedroom haven't been proven scientifically to improve sleep, if you aren't sleeping well and it's not due to an underlying medical cause, these tips may help to make your bedroom a more comfortable and restful place and that may improve your sleep.