Zen Of Sleep

By Lambeth Hochwald / August 31, 2012

Tokyo Floating Platform Bed Haikudesigns.com


You’ve just spent another night tossing and turning. Maybe you’re stressed, or it might just be that your bedroom is cluttered with so much stimuli that a good night’s sleep is next to impossible. You’re not alone. Nearly one-third of all Americans (40 million) are sleep-deprived and get less than six hours of sleep each night, according to a recent report conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So what can you do to ensure at least a few nights of unadulterated rest?

Transform your bedroom—a place where you spend one-third of your life—into a sanctuary. Keep the temperature cool (between 65 and 68 degrees), and the room dark and quiet (use a white noise machine if necessary). “Your bedroom should be reserved for sleep, sex and nothing else,” says Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute (sleeptolive.com) in Joplin, Missouri.

Resist the urge to check Facebook at the eleventh hour. The same goes for TV

watching and web surfing—which should come to a halt about half an hour or so before bed, Oexman says. “The blue light emitted from these electronics impacts your body’s production of melatonin, which you need to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.”

Once you’ve cleared the clutter and kept technology to a minimum, it’s time to think about décor. “Creating a bedroom that is neat, well ordered and yet comfortable can bring a calming influence into the sleeping area,” says Clay Phipps, owner, Haiku Designs (haikudesigns.com). “By choosing a few choice furniture pieces that complement each other to create a sense of balance in the bedroom, it is actually possible to get a better night’s sleep.”

The goal for your bedroom: to make it as positive and uplifting place as possible. “Start by thinking about the artwork and pictures that fill your bedroom walls,” says DeAnna Radaj, an eco-shui consultant and owner of Bante Design (bantedesign.com), an interior design firm in Charlotte, NC. “Do they convey the symbols of rest and romance, which should be the only two activities that take place in this room?”

If not, it’s time to redecorate, corral the piles of dirty laundry and sweep aside the dust bunnies. “Whether you live alone or share your space with a significant other, kids and pets, your bedroom is your refuge and it should reflect that,” Radaj says. Here are her top tips for a zen bedroom:

Pick cool, restful colors. Great options include blues, purples, grays, white, black and green.

Select quality bedding. Buy organic bedding, in cotton or silk, and the best quality organic mattress that you can afford. Your bedroom should invoke feelings of luxury, spa and comfort.

Mix your textures. To engage the sense of touch, mix and match textures in your accent pillows, curtains, bedding, throws and upholstered pieces.

Don’t forget your floors and walls. Wood/bamboo or tile flooring feels wonderful on your feet (along with a cotton area rug to warm you up) and adds color to the space. Don’t hesitate to add patterns to your walls. Just make sure they’re undulating, organic and/or circular in movement, steering clear of jagged lines or angular shapes.

Cover windows with drapes. These will help keep your bedroom blissfully dark.

Skip the mirrors and ceiling fans. In feng shui terms mirrors are ‘activators’ of energy and fans are likened to knives and ‘cut energy.’ If you must have a ceiling fan, avoid hanging it over the bed or place a small crystal on it to negate the ‘cutting’ effect of the fan blades.