Getting enough sleep--an elusive goal for most moms--can be equally challenging for kids, whose developing brains require plenty of shuteye to keep them healthy, happy and able to pay attention in school. In a highly-stimulating world, parents need all the help they can get to ensure their kids wake up refreshed and ready to tackle whatever the day brings. Certain tried and true techniques, such as bedtime stories, can help, but savvy moms are discovering that a 3,500 year-old Chinese tradition, when used in the arrangement of your child's room, offers health benefits and can even prevent nightmares, sleep disturbances, and encourage better waking up practices.
Feng shui (pronounced fung schway) is the Chinese practice that sets out to balance life through controlling the environment, such as through air-flow or the placement of furniture. Proponents spend years studying how best to achieve harmony at work or home, but there are some simple steps that even a beginner can take to align a kid's room and allow proper balance. The book, Feng Shui Your Life, by Jayme Barrett has tons of helpful hints to make your home a Zen palace. Here are some we translated to get you started.
**Promote Bed(ed) Bliss **We all know how annoying it is to come home to an unmade bed, but even more vital is where the bed is placed. Avoid situating the bed under a window--a solid base at the head of the bed provides support, while a window does the opposite and allows energy to enter and exit during our slumber, making for a restless sleep. It's also important to keep the bed away from the door, but with a view to it. An eye on the door allows for a sense a safety--bye, bye boogie man! Though you must never place the bed with your child's feet pointing directly out the door as they sleep (this is seen as draining the life force, or Qi). A footboard can help if the bed must be situated like this, though a footboard any other time is seen as suppressing forward progress. Headboards are fine particularly if made with solid, natural materials. Under-the-bed clutter is also a common culprit for unrest. Keep it clear for a clear mind.
If the child's room has a beam or pitched ceiling, feng shui says it's best not to place the bed under it, as it's thought to literally weight a person down. If there is no other option, a canopy or fabric attached to the beam it is a solution.
Consider Colors Avoid overly bright tones and color associated with fire. This produces overstimulation and unrest. Create a soothing environment with soft hues like light blue or green, and lavender. You can also go neutral with warm earth tones like peach and cocoa. Keep any bold colors as an accent only. Feng shui colors lend to a more peaceful energy conducive to better sleep.
**Be Clutter Free **If your child's desk is in his or her bedroom, it's best to keep it tidy--not just for your sanity's sake. Your child could be struggling with a school project or cramming for an exam, and if he or she heads to bed with that project in view, that negative energy can affect their sleep. Feng shui experts say that the bedroom should be a place of rest, not work. So if your space allows, keep your child's desk in another room.
Air It Out No one likes the shades been raised to wake you from a slumber, but the reality is that it works--but it can be done with subtlety. Natural sunlight alerts the body that it's time to wake. Fresh air also helps expel any negative energy and replenish it with goodness.
Of course, all these tips apply to your own bedroom, too. And guess what? Better feng shui practices also helps in the romance department. Sweet dreams indeed!
Interested in learning more? Go to www.wofs.com.