You may be a parent or grandparent who knows what impact it has on a family if a child does not want to sleep in their room, or if they just don’t sleep well. Children are ultra sensitive to energy. If their bedroom is not set up to be restful and conducive to getting a good night’s sleep, every family member is impacted. Creating a child’s bedroom that supports rest and rejuvenation is a key component of a happy home and at the foundation of the practice of Feng Shui.
I have helped numerous grateful parents change their nocturnal monsters into little lambs that go to bed easily and sleep through the night simply by changing their bedrooms. Here are some simple yet powerful tools that will ensure your little darlings sleep through the night every night, and the adults do too!
The well-meaning parent or grandparent often believes in empowering the child to design their own room. You can still encourage individuality and creativity in your child’s space by giving them choices within these perimeters. Once you understand what guidelines to give, let them choose between three or four appropriate choices. They can still express themselves but it won’t impact their ability to sleep well, which has a huge impact on not only their health, but the well being of the entire family.
6 guidelines that will ensure your children sleep soundly — and in their own beds!
Choose restful colors for the walls, sheets and PJs: Colors are hugely powerful and impacts us profoundly, especially children. Don’t choose bright colors such as bright purple, pink, blue, yellow or green for wall colors. The top picture of the all-pink bedroom is what I often see in little girls’ rooms, and it is far too fiery and active. Ask the child and they will say they love their bedroom; ask the parents and they express their frustration that the child doesn’t want to sleep in their room at night. The color is fine for a play room, but not if the play room has to double as the bedroom. You can still create a room that feels happy without painting the walls bright colors.
- For the wall color, use muted tones of the color they love in the pastel version, and try to avoid purple or pink in any version for walls. Use these for accent colors in the accessories such as pillows, throws, bedspreads and stuffed animals. Then tone them down using the more pastel versions.
- Make sure the sheets (and the PJs) are not red, purple or pink or of action figures. Red is from fire element and is used in Feng Shui to stimulate and energize a space, the opposite of what you want to happen in the bedroom. Action figures of people and animals are also fiery and activate the nervous system and are much too stimulating for sheets and PJs, which are right next to their skin. A great wall color choice for the little girl who loves purple and pink is a pastel minty green which will compliment the purple and pink accents beautifully. Read more about using the Feng Shui Five Elements to balance the home.
Choose wall and ceiling art that is empowering and happy, yet balanced and restful. Anything that leaps, dives, jumps fights or zooms around the room is not going to inspire a good night’s sleep. The popular theme “Winnie the pooh on a blustery day” where he is floating topsy turvy holding onto balloons is also not a good choice — neither are action heroes, fighting ninja turtles nor Disney villains. Our art holds powerful real estate on our walls and acts as radio signals, recording these messages into the subconscious brain and attracting it to us. Guide the child in the direction of choosing art and objects that support healthy development. Messages of aggression or violence, no matter how cutely they may be represented are not only sending negative messages but are too active for bedroom art. Make sure the first thing the child sees in the morning and the last thing they see at night is the most empowering and positive message in the room.
- And … make the ceilings interesting. Can you remember staring at the boring ceiling for hours while sick or just laying in bed? Use this important real estate for empowering messages and luminescent constellations. Looking at magical stars, they will fall asleep dreaming of galaxies while also learning about the universe. This is also a great solution for bunk beds, use these luminescent stars above the bottom bunk and change the oppressive, heavy energy for the child sleeping below.
- Mobiles for smaller children should be made of light and airy materials with restful yet happy messages, not too active and bright and not made of heavier substances that feel as if they could injure if they fell. We are dealing with the reptilian brain in Feng Shui, and feeling safe is paramount.
Balance the Yin and Yang energies. Yin and Yang represent the balance of activity and rest, or the play of opposites. In a home, Yin energy encourages rest, rejuvenation and relaxation and should be used in bedrooms and room where we want to create a restful atmosphere. To create more Yin spaces use more muted colors, ambient lighting, soft and sumptuous fabrics, curved and circular furniture and peaceful artwork.
Yang spaces are for more active rooms such as children’s playrooms, kitchens, home offices, garages, exercise rooms and laundry rooms. To create more Yang spaces use bolder, brighter colors; active patterns, brighter lighting; square and angular shapes, mirrors and active art work. The mistake parents (and many Interior Designers) make is to make the bedroom also serve as the play room. If you are fortunate enough to have a play room separate from the bedroom, then make it Yang and active, but if the bedroom has to serve both sleep and play, tone down the wall colors and active art work.
The importance of bed placement and what is over and under it:
- Bed Placement: The bed should be placed in the empowered position, where your child sees the doorway from their pillow but is not in direct alignment with the strong energy that comes through open doorways. If you can’t move the bed and the door needs to remain open at night, add a beaded curtain to provide shielding from the strong energy coming through the door.
- Move the head of the bed away from windows and “water walls” — walls with plumbing behind them. Both are far too active for their delicate nervous systems.
- Always cover heavy beams overhead or move the bed away from them. Use gauzy fabric to create a faux canopy to soften the oppressive energy of beams directly over the bed.
- Beds should be elevated from the floor and preferably not have storage underneath. If you need to have storage, make sure it is organized in bins.
- Remove ceiling fans from over the bed or replace the sharp knife blade edges with friendly blade covers that look like palm leaves. These register to the reptilian brain as spinning knives overhead and will never feel friendly or safe to sleep under.
Remove or cover all large mirrors, especially on the closet door. Mirrors, used as chi (energy) activators in Feng Shui are far too energizing for bedrooms. Treat mirrored closet doors like a window and add curtains and close them up at night, cover with sticky back shelf paper, paint them or remove them altogether. Three coats of paint will cover the mirrors if you rent and can’t remove them. It is easily scraped off with a putty knife if you have to return them to their natural state. For dresser mirror, cover with a throw at night or replace with pictures of peaceful subjects.
Hide toys from view from the bed. Organize the toys and keep them in bins or behind doors and drawers which are placed below the view-line from the pillow.You can’t expect the child to not want to be playing all night when the toys are beckoning… come play with me. Cover stuffed animals with a blanked or a throw and put them to bed, closing down the playful energy until morning.
Organize and clutter clear. When the bedroom is in chaos, children will feel overwhelmed and insecure. Edit the toys and make sure they are current and donate the ones they are no longer using. Make sure there is adequate storage for toys, organize the closet so that it stores only current clothing and donate what is no longer worn. Disorganization is often because the space does not have adequate, functional shelving or closet space. Investing in a few pieces that will hold everything will make a huge difference and facilitate easier up-keep.
Creating a safe, comfy and calming sleeping place for your child to sleep will be the difference between them peacefully going down at bedtime or having a meltdown. These simple, practical Feng Shui solutions will insure that everyone enjoys a more harmonious, healthy home, and you may finally get some sleep as well!
Erica Sofrina is an Internationally recognized Speaker, Teacher and author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World. She is the Founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui which offers Practitioner Training Programs and Seminars on-site in N. California and in Home Study. Find out more at www.ericasofrina.com