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 to ensure a restful night's sleep.
"[Feng shui] is not just about the physical presentation of the room and the accessories in it," says Laura Cerrano, a New York–based feng shui consultant. "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."
Meet the Expert
A feng shui expert with offices in both NYC and LA, Laura Cerrano received her certification under the guidance of her mother and mentor, Certified Feng Shui Master, Carole Provenzale, in 2000.
To learn more, we asked Cerrano to share some tried-and-true strategies for improving the energy of a bedroom. Read on for 10 feng shui dos and don'ts, including the No. 1 home accessory to leave out of your bedroom for maximum R&R.
Do 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," metal frames and metal box springs can amplify and distort the earth's natural magnetic field," states Cerrano. "Wooden materials are not conductive, 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.
Try to part with electromagnetic field appliances in your bedroom altogether, suggests 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.
Make it a habit to turn off your Wi-Fi before going to sleep to help reduce radio frequency pollution.
Do Position Your Bed Against a Wall
"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," says Cerrano.
She advises arranging your bed so that it has a clear vantage point of the doorway while not being in direct alignment with it. "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."
Do Decorate in Twos
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."
Do Channel Positive Vibes through Decor
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, and 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.
Don't Hang a Mirror
The home accessory that tops the list a feng shui bedroom don't? A mirror. "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.
Don't Position Your Bed Under Heavy Objects or Sharp Angles
To ensure a good night's sleep, be conscious of your bedroom's ceiling. "Do you have a ceiling fan, beams, a skylight, an angled or slanted ceiling design?" asks Cerrano. "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 Allow Clutter
To bring good vibes to your space, 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.
In addition to keeping your bedroom neat and tidy, Cerrano advises that you are discerning about what items you bring into the room, as decorative items "play a collaborative role in enhancing your space."
Don't Add Water
While water is believed to be conducive to financial success in the Chinese culture, the element has no place in the feng shui bedroom, whether tangibly (a fountain or a fish tank) or figuratively (water-centric artwork and photos).
The reason? The powerful and active chi energy created by water disrupts the peaceful, serene vibe that feng shui aims to create in the bedroom. And because water extinguishes fire, the element can be bad news for the libido and, ultimately, passion.
Don't Choose Just Any Color Scheme
According to feng shui best practices, interior colors should be chosen for their relation to Bagua, the energy map of the home. Each "zone" within the home has different energetic needs, and fulfilling those needs promotes harmony between one's physical, spiritual, and psychological selves.
No time for energy mapping? Earth and skin tones are a safe bet (think ivory, peach, coral, and chocolate) as are soothing, tranquil colors such as soft blues and pale greens.
This story was originally published on January 14, 2017, and has since been updated.