DIY: How to Feng Shui Your Bedroom
Clothes that need to be put away. Books you haven’t read. Work papers piled up. Clutter and chores you haven’t dealt with. Are these things interfering with your ability to feel calm and rested in your sleep space?
Feng Shui might help.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice of creating harmonious surroundings to enhance the balance of yin and yang.
Yang energy promotes alertness, loudness, and brightness. Yin energy is soft, diminishing, nurturing and dark, says Feng Shui expert Ariel Joseph Towne. Sleep deprivation means either your bedroom, or perhaps you, are too yang. This could include stress or health issues. “Whatever those things are, our inner Feng Shui is affected by our outer environment,” says Towne.
Here are some common clutter issues that might interfere with your sleep, and some ways to fix it, according to Towne.
Limit Technology and Electronics
Many Feng Shui books will tell you to take your TV out of the bedroom, but there are also other distractions. “We’ve got everything from tablets and laptops, cell phones, to routers people have sometimes plugged in under and around their bed,” says Towne. Even having a metal bed frame can conduct low levels of electricity.
The disruption: All of that technology is stimulating. The blue light from electronics interferes with your ability to create the sleep hormone melatonin. Cell phone notices interrupt sleep. Electromagnetic frequencies these devices emit stimulate your energy, says Towne. All of this can impact sleep.
The fix: Reroute your router to another room. Consider buying a wooden bed frame. Put your bed in what Feng Shui calls the “command position,” placing it up against a solid wall and not in the direct path of the doorway. Avoid having your bed up against plumbing (like your bathroom or kitchen areas where pipes are behind it) and an elevator as those energies can affect your sleep even if you don’t hear or feel anything.
Hide or Remove Workout Equipment
The disruption: “Exercise equipment makes me think, ‘Oh, I can sleep as soon as I finish 20 more minutes on the treadmill,’ or, ‘I can sleep after I’ve done 500 more crunches.’ It’s like I have another ‘to do’ on my list, or I’m feeling ashamed because I’m not getting to it,” Towne says.
The fix: Move fitness equipment out of your bedroom since they’re not conducive to sleep and romance. If you’re not able to remove it, consider moving it out the way so it’s not the last thing you see before you sleep at night.
Take Away the Reading Temptation
The disruption: “Books are so compelling, and even though we may not think about them all the time, they’re whispering to us because they want to be read,” says Towne. “That’s the thing about clutter, it’s whispering to us…that it wants to be dealt with.”
The fix: Move as many books as you can out of your bedroom. If that doesn’t feel right to you, at least consider moving the ones that have to do with work, finances, or anything that reminds you of unfinished business. If you enjoy reading some inspirational books before bed to relax, maybe those are the ones you keep nearby.
Avoid Bringing Work to Bed
The disruption: Do you work too much in your sleep space? Having your office or remnants from work set up in your bedroom is not ideal in the area where you should be resting. Paperwork piles may cause anxiety when you need to unwind and relax.
The fix: Even if it’s a studio apartment, move the work area as far away from the sleep area as possible, suggests Towne. Pack your laptop away and consider moving your briefcase or work bag closer to the front door and out of the bedroom.
Reduce Clothing Clutter
The disruption: Some bedrooms feel like a closet has exploded. Even if you’re clean and organized, seeing stuffed plastic bins underneath the bed can impact your sleep. These too represent “things that need to be taken care of and dealt with,” says Towne. Another key Feng Shui principle is that “things don’t have to be seen in order to affect you.” For example, shoving clutter under the bed can still block the “Chi energy” that ideally flows freely throughout your room.
The fix: Try to make sure clothes, accessories and shoes aren’t hanging where you can see them. Try to create more space around your bed, even moving dressers and armoires further away from where you sleep.
These aren’t hard and fast rules – if something about your sleep space negatively affects you, try to figure out what that might be, and focus on what you can address.
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