Want to Help Your Child get a Good Night’s Sleep? Here’s What I Learned From Molly’s Science Fair Project

August 11th, 2011

Guest Article by Candace Vorhaus

Our very cute yorkiepoo, Ollie, has no problem sleeping and for the rest of our four-person, two teenager family, sleep comes at a premium.  As a Feng Shui consultant, interior designer and spiritual coach, I know the importance of deep and restful sleep.  Whether in my home or traveling, my nightly intention is ending the day in a comfortable bed, feeling completely relaxed, free from my worries and cares, and for at least seven to eight hours, peacefully drifting into a place of deep and restorative sleep.  My goal is waking in the morning visualizing every DNA strand, cell, and fiber of my body and soul are rested, restored, renewed, rejuvenated, and remade for another day of work, fun, and family.

We also value sleep as a precious commodity in our home.  Conversations often revolve around getting more sleep, bed times, and how to improve the quality of our sleep.  So, I shouldn’t have been surprised (although I was) when my thirteen-year-old daughter, Molly, chose me as her sleep-guinea pig for her seventh-grade science fair project, “How Light Affects Your Brain’s Sleep Patterns?”

Molly’s results interested me.  The first test night I read for a half hour in soft lighting before turning off the light and my sleep was a typical light sleep that provided me with enough rest to function, although I still awoke tired.

The second test night I worked on my computer right up until I got into bed and I slept terribly, getting barely four hours sleep.  The third and last test night, Molly made me go to bed a half hour earlier than I normally do.  We turned off the lights and lay in the dark chatting girl talk, followed by quiet time.   I was out within 15 minutes, and slept better than I had in recent memory, arising feeling refreshed, positive and excited to start my day.

Molly’s conclusion, and I agree, are that both the computer’s stimulation and Electromagnetic Fields, or EMFs, negatively affected my sleep, and that quiet, low-light, and loving connections improved my sleep.  To learn more, visit the National Sleep Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping American’s get a better night’s sleep, http://www.sleepfoundation.org/.

In addition to getting cozy with Molly, Feng Shui is my solution for a good night’s sleep.

Feng Shui, modernized for the way we live in the Western world, is the 4000 year old science and transcendental art of aligning your goals, intentions and desires with the energies of your immediate environment, including your home, business, landscape and community.  What’s happening in your environment is connected to what’s happening with your relationships, money situation, career, health, the people you attract into your life, and your sleep patterns.  The patterns in your home and office mirror the patterns in your life.  Change the patterns, change your life and sleep better.

There are many Feng Shui “cures” or remedies for sleep.  Feng Shui is both intuitive and intentional.  So, if you really want a good night’s sleep, take off your shoes and get into your bed and look around.  What do you see?

A major problem I often see with clients having trouble sleeping is clutter both under and around their bed.  To sleep peacefully, the energy needs to flow smoothly around you.  If there is clutter or stored items under your bed, then the flow of energy is blocked.   This can lead to feelings of being stuck or stagnant.

Books or items around your bed that remind you of work will also affect your sleep.  To help relax, remove these items from the bedroom before going to sleep.  Instead of that pile of books, bills, and blackberry, add a vase of fresh flowers or healthy green plant to enhance your bedroom.  Also try placing a pleasing, restful picture directly across from the bed.

In our home, TVs and computers are not permitted in the bedroom, and I suggest to my clients (including my blackberry addicted husband, Robbie) moving the clock radio, cell phone and blackberry at least eight feet away from where you sleep.   Many clients like to fall asleep to the TV, but this can be disruptive to your own life force, causing a poor quality sleep.  I also recommend finishing all meals at least two hours before bedtime and limiting alcohol consumption, which also disrupts sleep patterns.

Last step.  Just prior to sleep, I advise my clients to practice some form of prayer or meditation.   You can visualize you’re in a peaceful place like a beach in Hawaii, on your favorite mountaintop, or in a beautiful garden.  You can also visualize your body filled with light and that healing energy is circulating throughout every cell in your body, calming and bringing each cell and system into alignment.

Success Summary:

  • When you can, reduce the use of all EMFs and visual stimulation, including TV and computers, at least one half hour before bed.
  • Clear the clutter from under and around your bed that can block restful energy and make you feel stuck or stagnant.
  • Try to get to bed a half-hour early at least once a week.
  • Make a loving, kind, or compassionate connection just prior to sleep.
  • Practice a mind-calming meditation or prayer just prior to sleep.
  • Have pleasing and uplifting art or restful nature scenes in your bedroom.

What have you found that improves the quality of your sleep?

About Candace:

Candace believes focusing on your personal space is the missing link to lifelong fulfillment and happiness.  In her work with clients, Candace emphasizes C3D Feng Shui: Color, Clutter, Ch’i (life force), and Design.  A classically trained interior designer with over 20 years experience, Candace is the recognized leading Feng Shui consultant in the world-famous Hamptons, also advising clients worldwide.  Candace is also a well known heart-centered spiritual coach, and an original member of the International Association of Women in Business Coaching. Candace lives in Sag Harbor, New York, with her husband, Robbie, two children, and very cute dog, Ollie.  Click here to receive your complimentary download of a map to the spirit of your space, a Feng Shui Ba Gua: www.candacevorhaus.com

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