Your personal sanctuary: greenery, feng shui and essential oils for better sleep
How designing your perfect zen den can lead to your best sleep ever.
Imagine yourself drifting off at night in your personal version of sleep heaven. When you close your eyes, what does this look like for you? Despite our collective well-intentioned efforts to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night, many of us are falling woefully short, clocking in around 6-7 hours at best. What exactly is preventing us from prioritizing our sleep schedule? What keeps us up at night?
Common reasons why people don’t get enough sleep include everything from stress and worry to overcaffeination and excessive use of social media and video games. There are no shortage of ways in which we can inadvertently disrupt our sleep cycle which got us thinking: what if we designed our own curated sleep sanctuary to encourage rest, relaxation and that coveted 7-9 hours? What if we minimized distractions and maximized tranquility? Here we share some of our favorite ways to transform your sleep space into a sleep sanctuary.
Houseplants are an easy way to bring peace and calm into the bedroom. Many of the most popular plants for inducing benefits related to sleep are cost-conscious and easy to find at your local plant shop, like aloe vera, english ivy, succulents and snake plants. Studies, including those conducted by NASA have consistently proven that plants have the ability to remove airborne toxins and improve air quality in a space. Better air quality aside, houseplants have been linked to overall better health indicators, like lower blood pressure and heart rate and lessened fatigue and anxiety. Go ahead and add a pop or two (or three!) of green to your sleep sanctuary.
FENG SHUI SLEEP TROUBLES AWAY
The definition of feng shui, in part, means to “govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy”. In layman's terms, this means to harmonize an individual with their environment. As more and more of us find ourselves living in smaller spaces (think: condos and apartments), using our space to our advantage becomes extra important. One of the more controversial beliefs in feng shui is that of keeping the area under the bed completely clear. Luckily, this myth is busted; the more realistic ask is keeping the area tidy and free of clutter, while being mindful of certain items staying out of the bedroom, like memorabilia, shoes and electronics. So us city-dwellers can take heart, and continue to build our dream sleep sanctuary around our extra bed linens, blankets and pillows. (Hot tip: feng shui for the bedroom draws from the fire element - think deep reds and expansive light.)
HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?
Another important consideration in creating your ultimate sleep sanctuary is ideal room temperature. Experts suggest somewhere between 15-19 degrees celsius (60-67 degrees fahrenheit) for optimal conditions that allow your body to drift effortlessly towards dreamland. They go on to say, “it can also help to think of your bedroom as a cave—it should be quiet, cool, and dark for the best chance at getting enough rest”. So it’s time to turn that thermostat down to turn up the odds of sleeping like a rock.
SCREEN FREE SANCTUARY
One of the best tips for creating a sleep sanctuary you would be hard pressed to find differing opinions on is that of electronic and tech gadgets having no place in the bedroom. Study after study has shown the dark side of blue light, the kind emitted from our smartphones and laptops, and its negative effects on sleep. The thought is that blue light can slow or stop our body’s natural production of melatonin, which gives us an internal cue to start thinking about winding down for the day. Add to this the strain on our eyes, the disconnection from our partners and the barrage of messages we are cramming into our minds before we hit the pillow and you’ve got a recipe for sleep disaster. When in doubt, leave it out. A true sleep sanctuary is one that is free of distracting devices. If this feels impossible, at least consider plugging your phone in on the opposite side of the room to minimize the pull of its soft glow for one last scroll before bed.
LAVENDER & CHAMOMILE & JASMINE, OH MY
One of our favorite ways to curate a personal sleep sanctuary is to add wellness products to your routine that increase your joy and decrease your odds of staring restlessly at the ceiling as the clock ticks away. Adding an ultrasonic diffuser to your bedside table has many benefits, including freshening the air you’re breathing. You can tailor your experience to your personal preferences, by selecting from any number of diffuser blends formulated with essential oils known to be relaxing, calming and balancing like lavender, roman chamomile or jasmine. For extra added bedtime routine enhancement, roll-on a topical blend of essential oils like Sleep Well, chalk full of soothing valerian and grounding vetiver, or Tranquility, blended with sweet marjoram and citrusy orange to help your body & mind drift into dreamland.
A sleep sanctuary should be a priority for every one of us. Our personal version of a sleep sanctuary is whatever we make it, and we hope your version has you snuggled in coziness, headed towards your best sleep ever.
Dream a little dream with us.