To Sleep or Not to Sleep How Feng Shui Can Help Banish Your Senior Insomnia

For a
variety of reasons, many of us over 60 experience sleep issues. You may have a
hard time falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. Or maybe you
just wake up too early and lie there, with nothing to do for a couple of hours.

These are common complaints of people
our age, and it doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re still working or are
retired, sharing your bed or sleeping alone. Any of us can have sleep troubles
throughout our 60s and beyond, whether consistently, frequently, or

After you’ve tried all the
conventional advice for insomnia you remember from when you were younger, you
may decide that it’s simply an inescapable part of aging. But there is
something you may not have tried that could help.

Setting the Stage

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that focuses on how we arrange everything in our living spaces. Colors, shapes, and specific items are either placed or left out of areas in our homes to facilitate optimal effects on the respective areas of our lives.

according to Feng Shui, where your bedroom is in your home, as well as everything in it, can affect the quality of your

For example, bedrooms are best located
on the back side of your home. If that’s not where your bedroom lies, you may
be able to change its location if you can swap it with a den, guest room, or
the bedroom of your child who is now 30 and living on the other side of the

If you cannot relocate your sleep
space, however, there are many ways that applying Feng Shui practices can
transform your bedroom into the slumber sanctuary you need at this time in your

The Main Attraction

Where is
your bed? It should be opposite the room’s
door, but not directly in line with it. When sitting up in bed, you should have
a good view of the door and whatever might come through it. In Feng Shui, this
is called the command position.

The headboard needs to be solid,
without bars, spindles, open spaces, or shelving, to create a feeling of safety
and stability behind you.

Likewise, the headboard should not be
under or in front of a window, but against a solid wall. If there’s really no
other place to put the bed, hang draperies behind the headboard.

Balance the
two sides of the bed, placing similar nightstands and lamps or light fixtures
on either side. Do this even if you sleep alone and only use one side of the
bed. It’s okay to have
some things on or in the nightstands but keep them tidy and clutter-free.

Avoid having footboards, benches,
trunks, or anything else at the foot of the bed, and leave enough space to
allow for easy walking around the bottom and both sides of the bed. Don’t store
anything under the bed and keep that space completely clear.

Look Around

To make
sure the whole room has an easy, natural flow of energy, imagine water flowing
in the room’s door. Where
does it go? Where does it get stuck or diverted? Do any sharp edges jut into
the flow?

Place the furniture so that the
imaginary water flows smoothly into and around the room and remove any sharp
edges facing the bed or the door.

Make sure the door opens fully, with
nothing behind it that can keep it from opening all the way. If there’s no door
on your bathroom or closet, put up a full-length curtain to cover the opening.

colors should be soft, not bold. In Feng Shui, this means more yin than yang energy, creating a calm, relaxed
feeling. Warm earth tones, pastels, creamy tans, and neutrals are good choices.

Look at your walls, window coverings,
bed linens, art on the walls, photos, and all the furnishings in the room with
an eye for colors that soothe rather than stimulate. Look for soft textures and
rounded –rather than sharp – edges.

the day, natural light is best, while at night you want to block out any light
from outdoors and use soft artificial lighting indoors. My absolute favorite
discovery in home lighting was finding amber blue-light-blocking light bulbs.

You’ll often find them marketed for
nurseries, to help infants sleep, but they help everyone transition from
bright light to darkness, and I love them for all bedrooms.

sure the content of any artwork you have in your bedroom is also calm and
soothing. This is not the place for active scenes. It’s also not the place for family
photos, mirrors, or pictures of water.

Look Up

your bed is not under a sloping ceiling or a beam cutting through the overhead
area. You can’t always
control those kinds of architectural features, but you can usually paint beams
to blend in with the ceiling or paint a slope with upward-moving or
depth-creating images.

It’s easier to deal with ceiling fans
or chandeliers that hang down over the bed by simply removing them, but if
that’s not possible, you can use color to make the object blend into the
ceiling, such as a white fan against a white ceiling, or replace the blades
with ones that are shaped like palm leaves.

Be careful about anything hanging on
the wall above your bed, avoiding anything sticking out from the wall (like
shelves), anything too large, or anything that has a dark or heavy feel to it.

Lie on
your bed, close your eyes and get used to the darkness. Then, open your eyes. What
do you see when you wake up? Think about making the first thing your eyes land
on every morning very beautiful, calm, peaceful, and lovely. Make sure it’s something that makes you happy.

Do Not Disturb

bedroom is not the place for electronics. Avoid having televisions, computers,
cell phones, or screens of any kind in your bedroom. Your home office or desk also
does not belong in your bedroom.

If it’s
absolutely necessary to break this rule because you just don’t have any other place to put it,
find a way to mask it off from your sleep area. Perhaps you can use a standing
screen or create a wall with a curtain, so that you can’t see your desk when
you’re in bed.

sure your window coverings do a good job of blocking out light from the
outside. When you go to
bed, close all the room’s doors –
to closets, bathrooms, and the rest of the home – creating a cozy cocoon for
the night.

The Stuff Dreams Are Made of

that this is your bedroom, so make it a place that you love,
where you feel peaceful, calm, relaxed, quiet, and absolutely safe. If you
like, you can add an air purifier or essential oil diffuser to fill the room
with calming aromas, such as lavender or chamomile.

If this all sounds like a lot, don’t
do it all – or don’t do it all at once. When you feel the effects of one
change, you will want to do more. Whatever the causes of your senior sleep
issues, from worries to hormones, use Feng Shui to create a dreamy place to lay
your head at night.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Upon evaluating your bedroom, which
features do you think foster sleep? Which do not? Can you make one of the
changes mentioned above to your bedroom right now? Are there more you’d like to
try? Let’s talk!