Sunday, January 9, 2011

Can't Sleep? 5 All-Natural Insomnia Cures

Some environments, like candlelit spa treatment rooms, are so soothing, they just make you want to curl up and nod off. Others, like fast food restaurants and punk rock bowling alleys, would be impossible to get a good night's sleep in no matter how dark your circles or how red your eyes. These are extreme examples, of course, but they do illustrate the power of our environments to support the length and quality of our rest.

With that in mind, these five simple tips can help you get to sleep and sleep through the night. Not only that, but they can help beautify both you and your bedroom and transform your nerves from frazzled and frizzy to soothed and smoothe

1. Be Mindful of Mirrors
The first thing I ask when I see a large or medium-sized mirror in one of my client's bedrooms is: "how well do you sleep?" This is because mirrors are very energizing to a space, and the potential (or actual) movement reflected in them at night can be unsettling and non-conducive to rest. So, if you have trouble sleeping, try covering your mirror at night for a week with a blanket or sheet and see if it makes a difference. Then, if it does (which I am guessing it will), you might consider moving the mirror to another location or setting up some sort of attractive nighttime covering technique such as a tapestry or scarf. If you have mirrored closet doors -- a frequent culprit in cases of insomnia -- you might consider curtaining them as you would a sliding glass door and opening them during the day.
2. Watch the Windows
Being able to cover your windows with somewhat substantial curtains at night can sometimes make all the difference when it comes to your comfort level and general feeling of safety. This is especially true if you happen to have a window over the head of your bed, because a window in this placement can make you feel vulnerable unless it's well-covered.
3. Clear Clutter and Minimize Extras
The same thing that makes women excellent multi-taskers also makes us uber-aware of every little trinket and tchotchke in our immediate vicinity. Even if we're not consciously aware of them, they're making a definite splash in the seascape of our awareness, and too many extras in our bedroom at night can have the same effect as a bunch of nagging thoughts or annoying noises. That's why when it comes to bedrooms, the simpler the better!

What's more, bookcases do better elsewhere, as do computers, exercise equipment, and reminders of work. (If you absolutely have to have any of these in your bedroom, see if you can minimize their appearance and/or hide them at night.) Even pictures and decorations should be kept to an elegant minimum.

4. Bed Down Wisely 
I'll admit it: most bedrooms have only one, maybe two, places the bed can attractively go. And the placement is normally not going to be perfect by every feng shui standard (so don't freak out). Still, it's best for your sleep's sake if you follow as many of these rules as possible:

-Place the head of the bed against a solid wall.
-Place the bed so that you can see the door from across the room, but so that your feet are not pointing directly at the door (because this feels a little unstable) and so that you're not right up close to the door (because this feels a little unsafe).
-Leave nothing under the bed so that air can circulate around you and the bed in a free-flowing and healthy way.
-Place the bed so that you can easily get in and out of either side (so that one side is not pressed up against the wall).
-Choose a substantial headboard made of wood, as this will feel the most solid, grounding, and restful.
-Choose solid-colored, natural fiber sheets, as these are the most soothing and comforting. Remember, these are just loose guidelines. After all, feng shui is supposed to relax us, not give us one more thing to obsess over. It's really just about doing the best you can with what you have.

5. Get a Little Mystical
A rose quartz or amethyst crystal next to your bed or under your pillow can infuse the space with harmonious and sleep-enhancing vibrations, as can a spray or diffusion containing essential oils of lavender and/or chamomile.


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