Sleep matters – we spend a lot of time in our bedrooms or sleeping
An average a person sleeps for about 8 hours a day, which means that one sleeps for one-third of one’s life. Sleep is very important. Sleep research suggests that with bad sleep (especially the lack of deep sleep) your blood pressure rises, you eat more calories, your immune system suffers, you mood deteriorates and even you become less attractive to the opposite sex. There are tons of research on the importance of sleep for our health, wellness, relationships, learning and memory, as well as performance and success at work.
Sleep is recognised as THE most important aspect of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health
As a feng shui consultant, I believe that our bedrooms are the most important rooms to feng shui for our health, wealth and success. After feng shui-ing over 10 000 bedrooms in my 28+ years career as a feng shui consultant, I can testify that most problems in life start in our bedrooms, with inefficient and bad sleep. Feng shui your bedroom and optimise your sleep and you’ll be in a better position to sort out any issue in your personal and professional life. As a feng shui consultant, I look at bedrooms from classical feng shui perspective and modern feng shui by checking for geopathic stress, electromagnetic pollution and dirty electricity among other things.
How to feng shui your bedroom – top expert tips
- Sleep in the power position ie as far as possible from the door with the view of the door to feel safe.
- Sleep in total darkness – or get an eye mask from Amazon. Ban the blue light from mobile phones and devices because it mimics daylight and inhibits the production of sleep hormone melatonin. Most people sleep but not well because they confuse the body with lights which doesn’t produce the optimal levels of melatonin and they don’t go into the deep sleep which is the sweet spot for rejuvenation, detox and rest. Melatonin is your body’s sleep onset hormone and it’s sensitive to light and wifi radiation.
- Switch off the wifi internet broadband for the night to minimise the electro-smog.
- Check for geopathic stress.
- A foam mattress is ideal because it doesn’t contain any metal which can amplify electro-smog.
- Install a demand switch for your bedroom – which will cut off unnecessary electricity/electro-smog during sleep – if possible.
Watch these six short videos below about the importance of sleep for health, wealth, learning, decision-making and success.
Sleeping in total darkness and to foster a feeling of safety and security are the two most important factors for good feng shui of your bedroom. Human night vision is not great, so we need a safe environment for sleep otherwise the brain is forced to be vigilant in case there is a danger which is most pronounced when we’re travelling and sleeping in a new environment. It’s called ‘the first night effect’ when we’re adjusting to new surroundings and new sounds associated with sleeping in a new place.
Other top tips for a great night sleep
Sleep deprivation is detrimental to our physical, emotional and mental health. In the evening, mentally put the day to rest.
Bedtime routine is key. When we’re born, we don’t know how to sleep but soon we learn. The obvious cues and anchors that help to sleep are milk bottle and bath. As adults, we should continue to use similar cues so our ‘body knows what’s coming next.
A bath is an excellent way to relax and reduce stress. Researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany suggest that hot baths seem to have a therapeutic effect on depression. “I’m sure there are things that can’t be cured by a good bath, but I can’t think of one,” wrote Sylvia Plath in The Bell Jar, who struggled with depression, would have felt vindicated by the findings. One reason why warm bath reduces depression is simply by improving one’s sleep. When organising your bath, pick a time when you’re unlikely to be disturbed. Add some Epsom salts or magnesium (magnesium is depleted from our bodies when we get stressed) or some essential oils such as lavender to promote relaxation. Magnesium is believed to help induce sleep and magnesium has an impact on insomnia by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a brain chemical that promotes sleep, which is backed up by some studies. People with electrosensitivity reported that having regular baths grounded them and helped them to release electro-smog. Your bathwater should be just a little hotter than body temperature, which is about 37C, i.e. between 40C and 45C. Consider the temperature of the room as well as a Japanese study showed that bathing in 41C water in a 25C room increased body temperature more than taking a bath in a 14C room. Large and sudden increases in temperature can put a strain on the heart, so if you suffer from heart problems, avoid hot baths, especially on cold days.
Journalling or writing down anything concerning you will help because it’s a therapeutic way externalising and telling your brain that you have acknowledged your worries and now they’re on a piece of paper, out of your mind.
Sleep disorder – alarm bells for teens and kids
In the UK, 9429 of children aged 16 or under were diagnosed with a sleep disorder in 2017 and that’s just a tip of an iceberg, researchers suggest. In a survey in September 2018, experts in the UK noted a sharp rise in the number of admissions to hospitals of young people and children with sleep disorders. Sleeplessness is a modern epidemic. There is a difference in how melatonin works in adults and young people. For adults, 10 pm is the time when melatonin starts working and for teens, it’s about 1 am! Mandy Gurney, the founder of Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic says, “Knowledge of your teen’s specific sleep personality is key to defining bedtime.” Awareness and education of the role of sleep for teen’s growth, development, the concentration at school, positive outlook, etc is very important. Light, especially blue light inhibits melatonin production so no screen time at night is critical for developing good sleep habits. The good news is that if teens accrue a ‘sleep debt’ during the week, they can pay it off at weekends by sleeping more.
Sleep helps toddlers to learn
When toddlers are learning to speak they need naptime. A study shows that a short sleep of about 90 minutes (which is the full sleep cycle) helps young children remember words better. Dr Goffredina Spanò, lead author of the study, from the University of Arizona said: ‘We were very careful not to sleep-deprive the children, so the wake condition was done during a time when they wouldn’t usually nap.’ Professor Edgin added: ‘Clinical trials often don’t consider sleep as an important factor in the trial design. ‘If we can show that children learn differently when they nap, it shows how important healthy sleep really is.’
Research suggests that the deep sleep part of sleep is the most important for health. During deep sleep, our bodies rejuvenation, build cells and muscles and detox.
Sleep on your left side
Sleeping on your left side helps the brain to flash out the toxins more efficeintly (because your liver is not squashed).
Reseach suggests that people who pray before going to sleep – sleep better and are healthier and happier. If you’re not into prayer, just thing about three to five good things that happen to you that day or you’re grateful for and what good things do you expect tomorrow to happen and this will have a similar effect. If you had a bad day, think of ways of seeing some positivity in those ‘bad’ experiences – research suggests that lucky people know how to turn bad luck into good luck.
The benefits of deep sleep and how to get more of it
There’s nothing quite like a good night’s sleep. What if technology could help us get more out of it? Dan Gartenberg is working on tech that stimulates deep sleep, the most regenerative stage which (among other wonderful things) might help us consolidate our memories and form our personalities. Find out more about how playing sounds that mirror brain waves during this stage might lead to deeper sleep — and its potential benefits on our health, memory and ability to learn.
During the sleep your immune system produces cytokines which are protains that regulate your sleep patterns and they also defend the body from infections. “Reseach shows just one late night can more than tripple your risk of catching a cold the next day.” says Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert and author of How to Sleep Well.
How to succeed? Get more sleep
Why school should start later for teens
One more reason to get a good night’s sleep
The brain uses a quarter of the body’s entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body’s mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep.
Why do we sleep?
Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist: He studies the sleep cycles of the brain. And he asks: What do we know about sleep? Not a lot, it turns out, for something we do with one-third of our lives. In this talk, Foster shares three popular theories about why we sleep, busts some myths about how much sleep we need at different ages — and hints at some bold new uses of sleep as a predictor of mental health.
Our natural sleep cycles is nothing like what we do now
In today’s world, balancing school, work, kids and more, most of us can only hope for the recommended eight hours of sleep. Examining the science behind our body’s internal clock, Jessa Gamble reveals the surprising and substantial program of rest we should be observing.
Sleep deprivation is a well-known factor in depression and even suicidal ideation and apparently has been used in torturing people. But, recently sleep deprivation has been revived as a serious treatment for depression. Scientists at King’s College London started Britain’s first trial in ‘triple chronotherapy’ where patients are kept awake at night then sent home to reset their body clocks over the next four days. Although the process is not fully understood, it is believed that triple chronotherapy helps to solve the problem of ‘social jet lag’ which could be behind some types of depression, where circadian rhythms have been desynchronised from daily routines.
A nap is a secret to happiness
The secret of happiness is as simple as having a quick nap in the daytime, the Hertfordshire University researchers have suggested. They found that taking short 30 minutes naps improves our sense of well-being and boosts performance and suggested a new word to define the contented feeling after a brief nap: ‘nappiness’.
How lack of sleep makes pain worse
Researchers at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa found that an interrupted night’s sleep can make you more likely feel pain the next day because a lack of sleep impairs the function of the body’s pain-inhibitory system controlled by nerves in the spinal cord. “Sleep loss increases our perception of pain but a good night’s rest increases our pain threshold”, says sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley (published in the Journal Of Pain last year).
What chronotype are you?
Are you a lark or an owl or in between?
Definitely morning: wake up at 5 am and go to sleep at 9 am.
Morning: wake up at 7 am and sleep at 11 pm.
In between: wake up at 8 am and sleep at midnight.
Definitely evening: wake up at 10 am and sleep at 2 am.
According to Body Clocks by Paul Kelly with Sian Griffiths, beginning work at 10am would allow most stuff to follow their natural sleep rhythm and reduce illness. The book claims that it is not only teenagers who have different body clocks and backs it up with a body of evidence that inadequate sleep is linked to cancer, obesity, mental illness and early death. Dr Paul Kelly, the former headmaster of Monkseaton community school, was the first headteacher in England to move start times for lessons to 10am so teens could have more sleep to perform better at school. In sum, delaying clocking-in-times for the workforce to have more happy, healthy, productive employees, Dr Kelly says, “would have an immediate positive impact on current levels of adults sleep deprivation caused by early workday start times. It would reduce sleep deprivation by 70%, to 36 minutes on average day.”