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The Sleeping Compass

You go through life thinking you’ve got things pretty well figured out (while knowing deep down that nobody does), and suddenly you trip over something you never thought of before. That’s the beauty of travel and expanded reading – you discover things that challenge the way you think. When you consume the same information every day that shell you crawl into gets pretty thick. ’tis better to get out and swim in new currents to see where it takes you.

Many people know of Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra and this business of designing your dwelling to optimize living. Honestly, this isn’t an area where I’ve applied significant mental capacity. But lately I’ve read a bit more about Vastu Shastra and the direction you sleep in. Generally I spend about as much time figuring out which direction to sleep in as it takes to see where the headboard is. Perhaps I should have thought about it a little more.

There are sleep compass headings developed over billions of lifetimes. The ideal sleep position for restful, restorative sleep is south. Those seeking knowledge should point east. If you’re seeking success, point west. And north? That seems to be reserved for the walking dead. Like sticking your head in a freezer.

It seems I’ve been sleeping with my head pointing towards the west for the last 22 years. This is much better than my previous home, where I slept with my head pointing north. I’m sure glad we got out of there! Would my life have turned out differently had I simply stuck the headboard on the south-facing wall? Has facing west made that much of a difference in my success? What might have been?

The thing is, I’m not sure I’m going to start moving the furniture around in the bedroom, or bringing a compass with me when I start staying in hotels again, but I see the merit of knowing where you are and how you’re positioned. I do believe the next overnight hiking trip might involve a quick consultation with the compass before setting up the tent and sleeping pad. After a long day of hiking a restful, restorative sleep would be most welcome.

Living a fully optimized life begins with evaluating the best practices of our billions of fellow humans and seeing what works for you. That last bit, seeing what works for you, requires an open mind and the willingness to try something new. Maybe pointing your sleepy head to the south is worth a try.

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One Comment

  1. Interesting! I always thought that upon returning home from a fatiguing trip, that it’s because I’m now back sleeping next to my loving wife, I seem to achieve a deeper and more restorative sleep. But maybe it’s more because I’m facing south?! 😉

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