When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, we'll readily admit that there are very few things we won't try. From lowering our thermostats to upgrading our mattresses, we've spilled a lot of ink on strategies for getting solid shut-eye. But as it turns out, optimizing our beds' feng shui could be one of the simpler ways of ensuring we get a restful night's sleep.
According to Laura Cerrano, a New York–based feng shui consultant, "It's not just about the physical presentation of the room and the accessories in it." As is common in feng shui, "It's important to have an emotional connection that aligns your intentions with your heart, allowing yourself to open up and feel the energy of the room."
To learn more, we asked Cerrano to share some tried-and-true strategies for improving the energy of a bedroom, specifically a bed. Ahead, an expert shares five feng shui bedroom ideas, including the number one home accessory to leave out of your bedroom for a better night's sleep.
Opt for a Wood Headboard (or Bed Frame)
As you'd probably expect, your headboard and bed frame play a significant role in optimizing the feng shui of your bedroom, according to Cerrano. Choose "a solid wooden headboard and frame," she suggests. This "is a common suggestion in Western feng shui because the element of wood relates to the symbolic nature of supporting your body and energy when sleeping," she explains.
So what are some of the drawbacks of having a metal headboard or bed frame? "From a Bau-biology feng shui perspective, choosing a solid wooden headboard and frame is ideal because 'metal frames and metal box springs can amplify and distort the earth's natural magnetic field,'" Cerrano elaborates. "Wooden materials are not a conductive element, so they can help reduce radio frequency signals from wireless appliances (your computer, cell phone, and television) from negatively penetrating your personal energy field," she adds.
If you can part with having electromagnetic field appliances in your bedroom altogether, that's even better, says Cerrano. "Choosing to leave those types of EMF appliances within your bedroom during sleep increases interference with your circadian rhythm. This is especially true with young children and adolescents," she adds. "Making it an evening habit to turn off your Wi-Fi before going to sleep is another way to help reduce radio frequency pollution," she suggests.
Position Your Bed Against a Solid Wall
Now that we've sorted out your bedroom furniture—where is the best place to position your bed for good feng shui? "Every bedroom layout is unique, which means you really need to be observant and creative in how these feng shui principles could best fit your personal space," cautions Cerrano. "In general, it's best to allow your bed to be placed against a solid wall, as this psychologically provides a feeling of support and protection."
Arrange your bed so that it has a clear vantage point of the doorway while not being in direct alignment with it, Cerrano advises.
"When you allow your bed to be directly aligned with your doorway, the energy flows too quickly," she says. "This can feel unsettling, thus disrupting your sleep."
To ensure a good night's sleep, be conscious of your bedroom's ceiling as well, suggests Cerrano. "Do you have a ceiling fan, beams, a skylight, an angled or slanted ceiling design?" she asks. "Any of these could negatively affect your sleep and energy as they relate to Sha energy (which drains a person's energy)," Cerrano explains. If your ceiling has any of the aforementioned items, avoid sleeping directly under them, if you can, she suggests.
Don't Hang a Mirror
We were surprised to learn that the number one home accessory Cerrano advises against having in the bedroom is a mirror. "Mirrors tend to be among the top accessories to avoid inside the bedroom," she explains. "I have found over the years working with various clients, having a mirror in the bedroom can be disruptive."
So what's the reason for banishing reflective surfaces from the bedroom? "From a feng shui perspective, mirrors are considered to be an activation cure, which promotes Yang energy (movement)," Cerrano explains.
"Inside the bedroom, the majority of the energy you ideally want to cultivate is Yin (restfulness)."
Of course, there are exceptions to the no-mirrors-in-the-bedroom principle, says Cerrano. If you want to have a mirror in your bedroom, "be sure it's not facing your bed directly," she advises. "Instead, allow the mirror to face an outside window, which could be beneficial as it helps to pull more daylight into the room," Cerrano says.
Go With Two Nightstands Instead of One
When choosing bedroom furniture, opting for pairs can be especially harmonizing. "Two nightstands (one on each side of the bed) is recommended" for optimal feng shui, explains Cerrano. "They symbolize balance and equality in Western feng shui practices." If the layout of your bedroom doesn't allow equal space for this particular arrangement, one side table will do, reassures Cerrano.
But even if you're short on space, avoid storing items underneath your bed, she advises. "In Western feng shui, it's said that energy expands in all directions. When sleeping, your 'third eye' awakens and greatly expands—your higher consciousness is wide open."
To bring good vibes to your space, you might want to consider purging unwanted items from your bedroom. "If you store objects from your past or present that you do not associate with beneficial emotional memories or energetic frequencies, it could negatively influence your aura (energy field), dreams, emotions, and thoughts on a subconscious level," cautions Cerrano.
Choose Accessories That Channel Good Vibes
Looking for an easy way to incorportate feng shui principles into your bedroom décor? Home accessories offer a low-cost, low-commitment way to test them out in your space. "If you are a feng shui minimalist in how you approach enhancing your bedroom's energy, one area that could be utilized as a soft focal point is with the bed accessories themselves," says Cerrano.
When it comes to accessorizing, Cerrano encourages choosing items you love in order to optimize the energy of your bedroom. "Accent pillows, a throw blanket, paired with a comforter can all help enhance the energy through subtle colors, patterns, and designs," she suggests. "What you choose would all depend on the overall atmosphere you are aiming to create along with what is already established within that room." Follow your gut and decorate with textiles that bring you joy.
"To further harmonize the energy of your bedroom, keeping it organized and being very selective with the type of objects you bring into it (e.g., images, artwork, colors, textiles) play a collaborative role in enhancing your space," says Cerrano. And if you're looking to expand the good energy into the rest of your space, find out how to achieve a happy and healthy home, according to feng shui.
This story was originally published on January 14, 2017, and has since been updated.