A Vital Key to the Good Life: Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

“A good laugh and a long sleep will cure most ills.”  Irish Proverb

After a good night’s sleep, anything is possible!

When the sun moves south and the days are ‘shorter’ it’s our cue to follow nature and rejuvenate our bodies, taking time to allow the natural healing that is programmed into our cells.  A nap, and especially a healthy night’s sleep is  the best way to insure a prosperous day, a vibrant immune system and more.

Here are a few tips to get you right on track:

Your bed:

Who are you sleeping with?  Remove dust mites by washing sheets weekly in temperatures above 130 degrees; soaking your linens in eucalyptus oil and water will kill dust mites, whereas washing sheets in cold water will kill up to 90% of the little buggers.

FENG SHUI: If that’s not enough reason to switch to a new mattress consider this:  If you are sleeping on a mattress from a previous marriage or relationship, you are keeping yourself tied to the past.   Especially after an illness, and sometimes during (especially for my sons) I wash the bed linen (add sea salt to your laundry and you’ll clear the negative vibes), vacuum the mattress and sprinkle sea salt between the sheets and mattress to clear the air.

Choose Organic cotton, Hemp or Peace Silk (eco-friendly production of luxurious fiber that lets the silk worm live a full life.) Conventional bedding, often treated with formaldehyde and chemical dyes, can be full of irritating allergens and non-organic cotton is harvested from pesticide-laden farms.

Clean, clean, erase*…:  Remnants of the day, laundry and clutter, negatively affect your psyche all night long as does clutter anywhere in the room, and especially under the bed.  Best solution: keep laundry out of the bedroom, keep the room clutter-free and remove all but the essentials from your bed stand.  Not more than one book, a battery operated clock, and drawers that are empty except for a few things will have you dreaming sweet dreams.    *This is a phrase used in Ho’oponopono, an ancient Hawaiian system for clearing energy clutter and restoring sacred balance.  (The whole phrase:  Clean, Clean, Erase, Return to Divine Source.)

Position your bed for a good night’s sleep.  If your bed is over a garage, near an electrical box, or even over the refrigerator or major appliance, think about moving it.   A further feng shui note: if your headboard shares a wall with water (sink, tub, laundry, toilet) move it to a wall that doesn’t.  If you cannot, use the mirror cure to send the offending draining energy away from your head.   North, South, East or West?  The energy of the directions that EM comes onto the planet

Close the bathroom door:  if your bed is exposed to a view of water,  that creates an overly ‘yin’ environment that could result in a sleep hang-over, or not waking refreshed.  Eliminate water in the bedroom, either in the form of art, or by a view of a bathroom or tub.  Feng Shui advises you eliminate the view or water in the bedroom.  If you cannot, use a screen to shield your bed from the downward moving energy which will drain your energy.  Gaiam makes a beautiful from natural fibers that can conform to any space and neatly rolls for storage.  *Don’t use this to hide clutter, as your body will know it’s still there.

Here are some resources for Green and Healthful Bedding:

The best mattress I have ever found can be had at Soma found in Canada.  These wonderful, healthful, organic totally customizeable mattresses are available also in the States.
By Phone: 416.789.2337
By Fax: 416.789.3791
By Email: soma[at]somasleep.ca

Great Organic Bedding

Gaiam
Pottery Barn
The Company Store

What’s on your walls?

Mirror, mirror – not in my room

Mirrors are activating and I recommend you don’t use one in your bedroom.  If you don’t want to move your mirror, try covering it with a soft cloth or beautiful scarf and notice how much quieter your room feels.  Removing it all together is the best solution.

NOTE:  if your bed is positioned so that you cannot see the door (but not directly across from it) you may need a mirror to reflect a vision what might be approaching.  Position the mirror so that it doesn’t reflect the sleeper but will reflect the entry to the room so you can see the door and who might be approaching.

Artwork & Photos

Since our minds are most receptive and still working all night, it’s important to have artwork in your bedroom that is only in line with what you want to create.   Soothing and loving subjects and colors, romance if that is what you’d like to create.  Remove artwork with energizing scenes, sharp abstracts or vibrant line drawings; remove images showing waterfalls or lakes/oceans (too much yin energy, too much emotion) or with bright and energizing colors.   Images of singular people will work to keep you single or create a single life.  Abstracts with sharp edges or contrasting colors will keep you energized at night.

Photos of people will keep you from diving into a restful sleep, like having a party in your room all night.  Remove photos of people and more than 2 books, as our brains are always tracking what is in the room.

For kids, it’s important to have a photo of parents with the child in the room, to remind your child of being cared for and loved, as well as who is the guiding factor in their lives.

Color?

Colors we live with change our lives.  Warm, muted “flesh” tones are best for a bedroom (anything from soft pale yellow to rich cocoa to pink to burgundy).  Blues and greens are called restful and it is because it inspires a need to be with one’s self, inspires independence and reminds us of our connection with nature, but might not be the best for a nourishing relationship.  Avoid more than 20% of the room in black or dark blue as this can cause oversleeping or a sleep hangover.  Red is a passionate color but too much can cause arguments and Peach is only recommended if you are looking for an outside romance—avoid peach if you want to stay happily married.

New research has shown that not only does our brain control the hormonal changes associated with Circadian rhythm, but that there are cells in our skin that read light and color and signal changes in our body’s regenerative schedule.  Wall color, and lighting, all carry color frequencies to which our bodies respond in a what that will either keep us healthy or inhibit our immune and hormone systems.

Smell:

Our sense of smell can keep us healthy and alive:  take the nose test.  With attention, we can discern subtle nuances of flowers, fruits, and herbs found in wines and perfumes, but when it comes to our own homes, sometimes our sense of smell is turned off to the smells we live with.  Take some time to do the smell test and then use natural scents to help your body relax and rejuvenate.

Out with the bad:  If you smell mildew or mold, take steps to rid your bedroom immediately as those are toxic and cause myriad disease.  Rid yourself of toxic building materials: old carpets, anything musty or mildew-smelling, check walls for condensation or dark spots, even ceiling tiles if you have those.  Remedy the problem thoroughly and then paint with a Zero VOC paint or use a natural/green wallpaper.

In with the good:  Essential oils are nature’s pharmacy.  Eucalypus will kill mold and mildew, lavender will prevent blistering from burns (not on open skin), peppermint can alleviate headaches and pain and so much more.  Most essential oils are antibacterial and anti-fungal and healthful benefits and smell good as well.  Scent is the sense that will connect us most quickly with memories and molecules smelled find the fastest route to the brain have been used in scientific tests of pharmaceuticals.  Here are some scents I use to help a good night’s sleep:

Give your bedroom time to recover if you clean  with citrus,  a wonderful cleaning agent, the scent awakens us, and grapefruit will actually help us lose weight.

Lavender:  restful and relaxing, one of the big surprises for me about Lavender was when I watched “A Good Year” and scorpions were discouraged from entering the beautiful French Chateau by sprigs of Lavender mixed with other herbs.

Vanilla:  this slightly arounsing scent is warm and nourishing and would be good for reconnecting with your significant other.

Blends of oils:  I use essential oils as a large part of my routine.  I love the blends and oils I can find through Young Living Oils (available from distributors).  These are high frequency oils, albeit expensive, but I find them worth it.  Their blends are beautiful and I use Theives to ward off colds and flue (named for the blend of oils used by raiders during the Black Plaque to ward off illness) and I also love Clarity, Release, and Abundance.  You can explore the other blends by following this link to Young Living Oils.

Temperature:

A cooler room is better for getting a good night’s sleep, 65 degrees F (18.33C) and covering up with a delicious organic down blanket will help you enjoy a deep and nourishing sleep.  Feathers are a sacred symbol and as such impart a frequency of healing.  I sleep on a feather mattress and under a feather comforter.  It’s yummy.

Light:

If you can see your hand after the lights are turned off, you have too much light for a good night’s sleep.  Our entire physiology is based on the color of light and the timing of that color.  Called Circadian Lighting, blue light in the evening adversely affects our ability to regulate our sleep hormones and is being implicated in stunted growth patterns of our youth.  Our pineal gland operates to regulate our hormones and the mechanism is light or darkness.   Full darkeness is best for a good sleep and light exposure before bed, especially the light emitted from a television or computer, can reset your biological clock and make it difficult to sleep.  One step further: turning off the power grid to your bedroom if you can will guarantee that your body isn’t being affected by electromagnetic forces that could interfere with your body’s own natural systems.

NOTE:  The light we see all day affects our ability to sleep:  Circadian Lighting, being used and further studied in Europe is now being taken seriously in the US.  The color of the light we see, blue being the most important color, tells our hormone system how to behave, when to turn on and off.  Drive past homes in the evening and you’ll see a blue light emanating from some homes…this is the light given off by the television and computer screens.  This light will essentially activate your pineal gland to shut down the production of melatonin, which means you’ll be awake.  It’s recommended that you don’t watch TV or work on the computer for at least 45 minutes before you want to sleep.  Instead, read a real book under incandescant light, meditate or review your day and set the intention for a nourishing and restful night’s sleep.

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1 Comment

Filed under Life

One response to “A Vital Key to the Good Life: Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Cath

    Fascinating.

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