By: Pallavi Vathiar. Practicing Clinical Nutritionist, Mumbai.
According to Feng Shui and Vastu-Shastra it is been said that_ north-to-south body position is considered the worst direction. This is because the human head is considered to have a polar-like attraction, and it needs to face southward to attract opposite poles while you sleep.The swirling motions of molten iron inside the Earth’s outer core are what forms this magnetic field. There are two geographic poles: the North Pole and the South Pole (1).
- Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that focuses on energy and placement in your everyday life, including space, in order to achieve balance.
- Vaastu shastra, on the other hand, focuses on Indian architectural balances based on science (Architectural Science).
Both practices have different histories, but each practice is also based on the four directions (north, south, east, and west), as well as the five major elements of nature:
While there’s much more to Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra beyond sleep hygiene, both practices hold the belief that the way you lie down at night can affect your overall sleep quality and health (2).
The intention is to create a harmonious, peaceful, and healthy home. With the understanding that we are constantly receiving and radiating energy, it is critical to sleep in an orientation that is conducive to propagating quality energy.
“Only dead people sleep pointing north.” It is Hindu custom to arrange a corpse so that the head of the deceased is pointing north until cremation. The Hindu belief is that north is the route that the soul takes to exit the body. Sleeping with your head into the north draws energy out of the body, disturbing body-mind-spirit integration .
Sleeping with your head pointing east is a boon for any academic pursuits. It boosts memory, increases concentration, and promotes meditative sleep, resulting in good health. East is recommended for scholars, teachers and those looking for fresh career opportunities or promotions.
Studies have shown that people who sleep in this direction have shorter REM sleep cycles and eye movement (compared to north-south sleep), implying fewer dreams and a more sound sleep(3).
Many suggest that sleeping west is ideal for those who are success driven, striving for fame, wealth, and a stellar reputation. West is a neutral sleeping position, while some say west is not ideal and promotes active and unsettling dreams. However, according to Vaastu, sleeping with one’s head to the west can lead to restless and disturbed sleep, nightmares, and a tendency towards violence.
South is ruled by the Hindu god Yama; therefore, sleep south if you want to have the heavy and deep sleep of death. If one goes by the theory of magnets, a mutual attraction between the negative south and positive head creates harmony in sleep. Vastu practitioners consider this to be the best type of sleep for health, lowering blood pressure and promoting positive energy, wealth, prosperity, and harmony (4).
Other Sleeping Suggestions From Feng Shui and Vastu
- Put your bed on the opposite side of the doorway
- Make sure your bed is against the wall (not underneath windows) and is not freestanding in the middle of your bedroom
- Keep bookshelves and mirrors out of the direct line of your bed
- Avoid extra clutter around your sleeping space, including books and toiletries
- Keep electronics out of the bedroom
Feng Shui also includes color schemes that identify with different life energies. As such, some people paint the walls of their bedroom accordingly:
- Green for east (wood) for family and health
- White for west (metal) for creativity and children
- Red for south (fire) for fame and good reputation
- Blue or black (water) for career and life path
- Keeping electronics out of your room
- Avoiding mirrors facing in front of the bed
- Removing clutter from your bedroom
- Painting the walls light colors, such as white, cream, or light earth tones
- Closing windows and doors inside the room (2)