Regardless of how well you sleep, we’re all looking for ways to improve our sleep habits, from investing in the best mattress (opens in new tab) to trying viral TikTok sleep hacks (opens in new tab). But sometimes, the simplest tricks could be the answer to all your problems and it turns out the direction you sleep in can actually have an effect on how well you sleep at night.
I’ve spoken at length about how sleeping position has an impact on sleep quality, but this refers to whether you sleep on your back, side or front. Sleep direction is completely different and refers to where your head and feet are facing, and where your bed is positioned in your room. While these things might seem like absolute nonsense to you, ancient traditions and spiritual practices say otherwise.
Before you change the layout of your bedroom, let’s look into which direction is the best for sleep and why.
North or South: Which direction is the best to sleep in?
According to Eastern medicine practices, and specifically Vastu Shastra – a traditional Indian system of architecture – the best direction to sleep in is south (opens in new tab). This means your head should be facing the direction of south while your feet should be facing north.
There are many reasons that sleep experts and ancient traditions believe south to be the best direction to sleep in. Vastu Shastra states that sleeping south helps align your body’s magnetic energy with the Earth. Your head or the ‘north pole’ should be oriented towards the Earth’s south pole and vice versa, so the opposite poles attract. Many practices also suggest that your bed and bedroom furniture should be facing south, too.
Sleeping in a north-facing position is believed to create tension in the body and some research has shown that those who sleep in this position take longer to enter REM sleep and get less sleep overall. This is mainly because your body’s poles are misaligned with the Earth’s poles, therefore, ensuring your body is inline with the Earth can help improve sleep quality and general comfort. Studies have shown sleeping southward also helps lower blood pressure, something that needs to happen in order for you to fall asleep.
While more scientific research needs to be done on this, the general consensus is that while sleeping southward won’t magically fix all your sleep problems, it’s worth trying as it could help you fall asleep faster.
Like I said earlier, sleep direction is different from sleep position but if you want tips on how to sleep better, check out 5 tips for side sleepers (opens in new tab), our 5 tips for back sleepers (opens in new tab) and 5 tips for front sleepers (opens in new tab).
Where should I place my bed in my room?
Now you’re facing the right direction for sleep, it’s worth considering where your bed or other bedroom furniture is facing, too. Many experts advise that keeping to the principles of Feng Shui ( the practice of arranging your furniture and possessions to align with the natural world) can give you the best chance of getting a great night’s sleep.
So, where should you put your bed? Your bed should be in a secure and harmonious position, directly against the wall and opposite your bedroom door. It shouldn’t be under a window or directly in line with your door, as sleeping with your head towards a door is considered bad luck. Placing your bed opposite your door and against the wall is the ‘command position’ (opens in new tab) which is said to make you feel more in control, empowered and safe.
When you position your bed in your bedroom, there should be space on either side of your bed to balance all aspects of your room, plus it’s convenient for placing your bedside tables. For more Feng Shui bedroom rules, check out how to Feng Shui your bedroom for better sleep (opens in new tab).