Tag Archives: sleep

Make your bedroom a Feng Shui paradise

Clear the energies from your bedroom and create a peaceful space that invites relaxation and rejuvenation by using these Feng Shui-based principles:

1) Keep your space pristine. Deep clean with natural cleansers (not harsh chemicals). Clear out all clutter and unnecessary items like old papers and things you don’t use, especially mementos that may carry negative connotations (old bills, pictures that make you feel nostalgic and wistful, broken items, items that conjure negative emotions, work-related items); this includes closets, drawers and under the bed. Make sure all dust is wiped out of corners and in places where it gathers (on top of fan blades, doors, windowsills, picture frames, etc.). Make sure everything is sanitized, including door handles and light switches. Everything must be organized and in its proper place. The more minimalist and symmetrical, the better.

2) Burn incense or candles. Preferably soy candles with pleasant smelling essential oils. Fire is the most powerful way to clean out stagnant energies. This is especially important to do after someone has been sick or depressed.

3) Allow for air circulation. Open windows and turn on a fan. Fresh outdoor air is preferable to the air conditioner. If it is too hot or cold to have the window open indefinitely, then leave it open for an hour with an overhead or floor fan also running to cleanse the air in the room.

4) Use natural lighting. During the day, allow sunlight to bathe the room. When it is night time, use soft lamps and/or candles instead of bright overhead florescent light. The best way to sleep is in complete darkness, with star and moonlight filtering in. Moonlight has a magnetic, alkalizing effect on the body, and is especially beneficial in balancing women’s hormones.

5) Hang a crystal in the window to reflect light into the room and create rainbows on the wall.

6) Bring in natural items from the outside such as stones that have been soaking up sun and moonlight. This creates an anchoring, grounding effect. Sleep with them beside your bed. If you are feeling tense, lay on your back and place one on your forehead. It will soak up your negative energies and leave you feeling relaxed. You can also use them for massages with warm oils.

7) Only allow positive and uplifting thoughts, people, words, images, music and shows. Play beautiful, soothing music as often as possible. If you have a TV or laptop in your room, refrain from watching the news or scary shows and movies before bed. Try reading a good book instead while listening to instrumental music or sounds from nature (rain, wind, waves, running water, night creatures).

8) Keep walls bare, except for maybe one or two powerful images; these images should preferably be of nature (flowers, animals, beautiful landscapes) that evoke feelings of awe and admiration and make you feel empowered, important and connected to the beautiful world. These images can be richly colored, but the rest of the bedroom should be in soft, monochromatic shades.

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The best night’s sleep

Last night I slept on the sand, keeping watch over a turtle nest that is about to hatch. If they hatch while no one is there, every single baby turtle will disorient towards a ridiculously bright parking lot street lamp, and ultimately die.

Artificial light at night is sometimes necessary, but it can severely affect both animals and people.

A European scientific committee recently found that “Exposure to light at night (independent of lighting technology) while awake (e.g. shift work) may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and also cause sleep, gastrointestinal, mood and cardiovascular disorders.”

Other studies have linked nighttime fluorescent light exposure (while both awake and asleep) to stress, cancers, shortened life span, dental caries, diabetes, ADD and a long list of other problems.

Those of us who live in cities can never fully soak up the rich darkness of night or bathe in the crystalline star and moonlight. Stars are hardly visible, and when it comes to the cycles of the sun, moon and earth, we are, as Wordsworth wrote, “out of tune.”

Lying there with my back firmly against the sandy ground, I marveled at how utterly majestic and gorgeous the night sky is: giant white clouds rolled in from the horizon, changing shapes in unpredictable ways. The few stars I could see invoked wonder — although it made me sad to know there were so many obscured by the city’s lights. When I was on the small Carribbean island of Vieques, I was able to witness the glorious Milky Way for the first time.

I felt my tension melt away, felt connected to and cradled by the vast universe. The turtles know to hatch at night through innate cues, one having to do with electromagnetism. I can’t explain it, but I think the moon and the night exude a special energy upon the world’s creatures, one they need to stay fully balanced and well.

For millennia, man rose with the sun and, if he stayed awake after sunset, did so talking, laughing and singing around a campfire. At Day’s Close explains how artificial lighting transformed the night into a time for revelry, rendezvous, political intrigues and downright debauchery. The evolution, if you will, of nightlife.

Nightlife is grand and exciting. I love staying up late — to work, play or just hang out. My chronotype and circadian rhythms dictate that I am a night owl. Some studies say that night owls are more intelligent, creative and have more “staying power.” However, since our 8-5 society favors morning larks, they tend to be healthier and happier. That makes sense because I absolutely dread waking up early. And no matter what I do, I can’t seem to make myself go to bed early. Earlier risers, interestingly, were also found to be more conscientious and cooperative.

Exposure to lighting and age can affect sleep patterns, but about 50 percent is genetically determined. But beyond all this there is another modern technology that affects health and sleep quality: electromagnetic pollution. EMFs emitted by cell phones, laptops, modems, alarm clocks, wires and more can subtly affect us in a variety of ways. Some people are more “electrosensitive” than others. Many people are negatively affected without even realizing it. But try a night away from it all, and you will be able to tell the difference.

My best night’s sleeps occurred when I was removed from radiation and electropollution: the time I slept in a centuries-old estancia in the Argentine countryside; the time I slept in a wooden cabin in the snowy mountains of Utah; the time I slept in a hammock in the high desert valley of an isolated Indian reservation; and nights like last night, sleeping while connected to the healing powers of the earth, lulled by the sounds of the waves, caressed by a light breeze, and pondering the endless beauties and eternal depths of the universe.

What dreams may come

Ever since I was a teenager, I have been fascinated with the nature of dreams. Did you know that scientists still don’t know exactly why we dream? It remains largely a mystery. Sometimes it feels just like your brain is a computer that needs to be recalibrated, refreshed and reset. Other times, you remember a vivid dream that feels significant. I often check out dream interpretations to decipher symbols … and they often make perfect sense.

Apparently if you make a habit of writing your dreams down right after you wake up, you will begin to remember them better and to have more vibrant and involved dreams. I am going to try this out and see if my dreams have any messages for me — perhaps in conjunction with meditating and praying.

Check out 99 amazing facts about dreams. Aren’t flying dreams the best?