Creating a Restorative Oasis in your Bedroom
If you read Part I of this piece and were able to put some new practices into place, you’re probably already sleeping better than you were before. With the basics covered, let’s dig a little deeper into the less obvious environmental factors that may be interfering with your ability to catch some quality zzzz’s.
First and foremost, your bedroom is meant for two things and two things only: it is a space for restoring and cultivating intimate relationships and for sleep. It is not an office, a toy room, a place to watch television, or a place to pile up clutter. If this is the current state of your bedroom, it’s time to make some changes! Your environment may be impacting your quality of sleep more that you think. Follow the guidelines below to create the ultimate sleeping situation.
Let us begin with overall levels of cleanliness. As we mentioned before, keep clutter out of your bedroom - try to keep it out of your home altogether, but at the very least, don’t let it pile up in your sleeping oasis. If it’s not something related to getting ready for bed, sleeping, or getting dressed in the morning, it doesn’t belong there. Remove it. After the clutter has been taken care of, give it a good dusting. While I do believe that dust settles nicely, I have noticed a direct impact between the dust in my room in combination with seasonal allergies on my ability to sleep peacefully. Now, I make it a habit to dust in there at least once per month. Make sure to get the ceiling fan as well. Take your curtains down and throw them in the wash at the same time. Vacuum your carpet weekly. Change out your sheets weekly as well. There’s nothing like drifting off to sleep wrapped in crisp, clean linens.
If there are any unfinished projects lying around, now is the time to take care of them. Have a shelf you’ve been meaning to hang? Put it on the wall. Been meaning to clean out your closets and drawers? Do it. It’s amazing how much better you’ll sleep without all of that extra stuff weighing you down.
Keep your bedroom cool. Set the temperature somewhere between 65 and 72°F. You should be reaching for the covers and snuggling into a restorative cocoon, but it shouldn’t be so cold that your drool freezes. You don’t want it to be too warm, either. Personally, I’ve noticed that when my room is too warm, my thoughts are more active and I find it difficult to go to sleep. As soon as it cools down, I’m out like a light.
Next, make sure that your room is as dark as possible. If you live in a city and streetlights are a problem, invest is some blackout curtains. Turn off all the lights, including any light coming from electronic devices. If you have a digital alarm, dim the screen as much as possible or consider switching to a battery operated one that isn’t lit. Eliminating the light simulates being in the womb, the ultimate place of rest and rejuvenation.
Electronic devices like cell phones and tablets, emit electromagnetic frequencies that could be interfering with your sweet dreams. You are an electrical being and their frequencies may be distorting your own. If at all possible, charge them in another room. If you think you’d have separation anxiety from your cell, at the very least move its charging location so that it is not right beside your bed. This leads us to an excellent point. Their electrical interference may not be causing a disturbance in your sleep, but the distraction of all those unread emails and texts and unliked Facebook statuses could. Take a break. Disconnect. It will be good for you on so many levels.
Every rule has an exception and this is mine. There is one electronic device that I cannot sleep without and that’s our white noise machine. The constant background noise allows me to drift off peacefully even when my husband is snoring. Its electromagnetic emission is nowhere near that of a cell phone, so it’s worth a try.
I love my furbabies just as much as anyone, but I draw the line at having them sleep with me. I tried, when I first got my little Pug-a-Poo, Phoebe. However, every little noise drew her undivided attention. She squirmed a lot. She snored. As a yet-to-be recovered insomniac, I just couldn’t do it. Phoebe loves the security of her crate. She sleeps much better there and I sleep much better without her. As an added bonus, she’s extra happy to see me in the morning after some time apart. Dander and shedding are additional reasons to keep your pets out of your bed.
I am not an expert in all things feng shui. I have, however, picked up a few tricks that really seem to work for me. According to feng shui philosophy, all doors are to be completely shut. This includes your closet doors and the door to your bathroom (should you have one off of your bedroom). I’ve tried to revert to keeping the door open to benefit from our whole-house vent fan in springtime, and just couldn’t do it. Don’t hang mirrors in such a way that you can look at yourself when you’re trying to go to sleep. If at all possible, don’t position your bed under a window. Lastly, the only pictures of people that should be in your bedroom are those of you and your spouse or significant other if applicable. Keep everyone else out. Including your Mom, your kids, and your sweet Grandmother. Find them another spot in your home where you (and they) will be more comfortable.
This wraps up the effects of environmental factors on your ability to get quality shuteye. Implement what feels good to you and toss out the rest. Tune-in to Part III for tips on developing a meditative practice.
Up Next: Part 3-- Quieting The Monkey Mind.
Dr. Kate is an intuitive and creative visionary with the ability to break patterns of dis-ease down into their component parts so that the flow of health may be restored. She fills in the gaps that other techniques and approaches have missed and discerns the best course of action.
Dr. Kate is a chiropractor, intuitive healer, and teacher. She is the creator of Activating Ascension, a platform for living, healing, and creating from the heart and founder of the Alternative Pain Clinic where she works with her patients to resolve the emotional components of their physical and emotional pain, complicated grief, and patterns of addiction.
Dr. Kate believes in the responsibility of empowering those seeking care so that they may ultimately see that true healing comes from within. She is happily married and helping to raise three wonderful children. Dr. Kate resides in Knoxville, Tennessee with her husband and their dog, Phoebe.