From Svelte Linens to Obese Comforters: How to Build a Better Bed

With time, I have come to appreciate the delicacy of a bed cloaked in fresh pressed French linens topped with a heavy quilt, but in my younger years, I was all about beds bogged down with pouffy duvets, largely because that’s what Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s beds were like on their hit show, Two of a Kind. Regardless of “topping,” the matress is key to making a good bed. Advoacting the softer the better, when my parents went to buy a mattress for the pale moss green and rose colored antique bed we had newly purchased from the infamous Marche aux Puces St.-Ouen de Clignancourt in Paris, we, with our best effort at speaking French, asked the Parisian salesman at  Le Bonne Marche to order the softest option possible. Classically, however, something went terribly wrong with our communication, and when the mattress was delivered to our apartment, I excitedly tore open the plastic packaging to only be greeted by something as soft as the pavement outside. We could do nothing but laugh, and every time I sleep at my parents’ cabin at Lake Tahoe, memories of Paris come flooding back; every cloud has a silver lining…

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Because we spend up to one third of our lives in bed, it is important to make wise sleeping choices. Tips on how to make a good bed:

1. A good-quality box spring and mattress that is protected the mattress with a cotton cover or wool pad. The general rule is that people who sleep on their backs should use hard mattresses, people who sleep on their side should use a mattress that does not put pressure on their hips (try a foam one, or perhaps even a water bed, if you’re feeling extra adventurous), and people who sleep on the stomach need a mattress that is soft, yet still offers adequate support.

2. Pull the bottom sheet taught; looseness will cause the sheet to bunch up, creating mental and physical irritation.

3. Tuck the top sheet in at the bottom of the bed, but leave the sides untucked so that you do not feet trapped. Side note: once I didn’t do this and, while asleep, I started screaming because I felt so claustrophobic. Also, if you’re like me, you’ll actually prefer to have the bottom untucked too; since feet are trapped inside shoes all day, there’s something nice about exposing them while sleeping.

4. Finish with a quilt; I prefer mine to be on the heavier side because the added weight on my body allows my muscles to totally relax.

Lastly, according to the rules of feng shui, balanced decor promotes energy flow, in turn enhancing restorative sleep, as well as sexual healing. For the bedroom, the best feng shui colors are “skin colors” (i.e., anything from cream to chocolate brown). However, if you prefer colorful rooms, bear in mind that green and blue are said to be the colors that can enhance our health; red and purple can induce luck and prosperity; pink, yellow, and orange enhance love life. 

Of equal note is object positioning. To benefit most from the chi that flows through the room:

  • Place your bed diagonally across from the bedroom door to ensure safety from any unwanted guests. What’s more, sleeping with your feet pointing toward the door is the “Death Position,” as in Chinese culture, the dead are carried out feet first.
  • Place the head of your bed against something solid, like a headboard; the support will endow you with strength.
  • Think twice about using a footboard; these, along with walls, block good energy and, in turn, obstruct you from progressing career-wise.
  • Avoid placing your bed under a window; unlike walls, windows do not create a sense of safety, which calls for a restlessness.
  • Do not store anything under the bed or place the mattress directly on the floor; chi needs room to flow and envelope the whole body with its goodness.
  • Do not place a mirror opposite your bed– not only do they reflect your woes, they cause too much energy movement that accordingly disrupts rest. It is also said that mirrors opposite the bed invite another person into the relationship, causing relational stress. If you need something to fill the wall space, hang an inspirational picture. This way, the last thing you see when you go to sleep will bring you peace, and the first thing you see when you awake will flood you with positivity.
  • Make sure the space surrounding your bed is free of objects; the better the view you have of your room, the better your life’s vision will be, and the more power you will have.

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