How to Create a Zen Bedroom
A Zen bedroom is one conducive to sleeping and rejuvenation, a room where your activities prior to sleep assure the sleeper-to-be of an easier fall into slumber and a pleasant, uninterrupted sleep through the night.
There are many ways to improve your bedroom space and nighttime routine to help create a Zen sleep atmosphere. Here are a few tips.
Clear the desks. Your bedside table should not be as a dumping ground for knick-knacks and growing piles of “stuff”. Nor should it ever serve as an extension of your office. Put away the files, telephone, diary, highlighters, kids’ toys and medications. Keep only the things that are essential for sleep and resting: a book, moisturizer, a photo, a glass of water. The fewer things next to your bed, the fewer distractions and the more disposed to sleeping you will be.
Make it into a noiseless cocoon. Your bedroom should be a haven. This may be hard if the neighbours’ hubbub can be heard through the wall. It’s a bit too expensive in most cases to consider soundproofing the room but you can muffle any sounds coming from other rooms by putting up shelves and lining them with books. The books will absorb some of the noise. Although, Su T’ung Po, a zen master once said “All noises are the noises of the Buddha”. Try to think of this when hearing that barking dog on the street.
Remove electromagnetic disturbances. The radio alarm clock, TV, mobile phone, computer etc. – all these appliances emit electromagnetic pollution even when in stand-by mode or turned off. This can disturb sleep and block the production of melatonin. Not to mention the annoyance of blinking or glowing lights emitting from some appliances that disturb sleep. Best to move all such appliances to another room. And get a wind-up alarm clock!
Leave worries at the bedroom door. Don’t bring your day’s concerns into the bedroom. Instead, write a list of the things that need doing or are bothering you in order of priority that you will deal with tomorrow. This list will help you to clarify ideas and give you a sense of mastering the situation, thereby avoiding useless stress at the time you want to be falling asleep.
Come to your Zen bedroom relaxed. This requires unwinding beforehand. Have a sea salt bath. Throw in several handfuls of sea salt into a bath of 36ºC (97ºF) temperature. Not only is this assured relaxation as the warm water encourages physical relaxing but the sea salt penetrates your skin barrier to stimulate the circulatory system and unwind those tired muscles. You will feel good and sleepy after a sea salt bath.
Take Zen practices into the Zen bedroom. Meditation is permitted in a Zen bedroom. As is massage and no better than a sleep-inducing massage. According to traditional Chinese medicine, a 5 – 10 minute massage of the hollow found just behind your earlobe will stimulate your eyelids to close. Try it!
Keep the room cool. In summer, toss the covers and spritz your body with water before pulling over the sheet. Even in winter, a cooler room temperature is better for good sleep than overly warm.
Adopt a Zen sleeping position. Lying on your side is the best for aiding good sleep and digestion. Lying on your back tends to encourage snoring and sore necks, whilst lying on your tummy can inhibit breathing and place pressure on your stomach region, preventing easy digestion.
- It is a good idea to get up earlier than what you’d like; in this way you create a sleep debt that makes it easier for you to want to go to bed earlier and fall asleep quickly.
- Get a cat instead of an alarm clock – there is a saying that says “there is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast” (author unknown).
- Use quality, organic (where possible) linen to sleep in. It will increase your desire to go to bed and it will help prevent you from sweating or itching during sleep.
- Quality bed linen, preferably high count cotton and organic in origin
- Sea salt for bath
- Pen and notebook for the worry-free list
- Spray bottle for spritzing (optional)
- A cat (optional)