Design a Shrine to Sleep Self Help Advice

Written by Lauren Long

Sleep disorders are usually the result of stress or insomnia, not bad d├ęcor. But if you have trouble sleeping deeply, feng shui consultants say it may be time to redesign your bedroom.

Travel and Sleep
Colors used in drapes, bed covers and furniture should be soothing, muted hues.
Avoid bright, stimulating reds. Decorate with pale blue and make the bed with pink sheets.
Don't place the bed directly under a window; you'll lose chi energy while you sleep.
Don't place the mattress directly on the floor. Chi needs to be able to flow around you as you sleep.
Don't store anything under the bed.
Water features are excellent in other rooms, but not the bedroom.
No aquarium as a headboard or goldfish near the nightstand.
No art that depicts the sea, ocean or waterfalls.  
The ancient Chinese art of placement called feng shui has become en voguealong with all things East in the past few years. Practitioners consider it a science, not a superstition, and follow techniques to arrange a living space for balance and harmony with the environment.

Feng shui creates a beneficial flow of chi energy, or life force. By properly arranging furniture, plants, decorations, even rooms and houses, in ways that correspond with chi's natural energy field, you create an atmosphere that will attract happiness, prosperity, health and love.

Chi, a Chinese word that translates variously as "vital energy," "essence of life" and "living force," has two essential qualities: yang (which is active, fiery, moving, bright, energizing) and yin (passive, watery, stationary, dark and calming). Feng shui harmonizes and balances these two energetic patterns.

In the bedroom, you want the energy to be more yin than yang: soothing rather than stimulating, say feng shui experts.

The placement of the bed is crucial, according to Keri Brenner, the co-author of Sleep Disorders. Whether you sleep on a futon or a four-poster with full canopy, the bed should be placed diagonally across from the door to allow for a direct view of anyone entering the room.

The bed you sleep in should not have previously been owned by anyone else. If you divorce, buy a new bed. Don't pack the old one, no matter how much it cost or how attached to it you are.

"When you think about it, one-third of your life is spent sleeping, and all that energy remains in the mattress," says Marion Stasney, a feng shui consultant in Portland, Ore.

To keep things cozy between couples, feng shui experts advise:
Keep flowers and plants out of the bedroom. They are symbols of yang energy and are said to spoil romance.

Don't sleep in a bedroom that is located directly below a toilet on the upper floor. It brings unhappy chi down from above, causing problems between partners.

A king-size bed is not good for a couple. It's worse than sleeping in separate beds, according to feng shui principles, because it prevents the couple from sharing the same energy.

Mirrors that reflect the couple in bed can cause the relationship to fail through infidelity or third-party interference. If you have a mirror in the bedroom, cover it with a favorite tapestry or silk wall hanging

A television is almost as bad as a mirror because it also reflects images and could cause separation of the couple. If you must have a television in the bedroom, cover it with cloth when not in use.

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