Dream Therapist, Heal Thyself (Or, how I learned to take my own advice)

Creating a Sleep Sanctuary

It's true, I sleep better in my new, improved, sleep sanctuary.

On a recent visit home, my adult daughter walked into my bedroom and exclaimed that enough was enough! She declared that the blankets on my bed, a mish mash of hand-me-downs from my mother that I’ve been using for decades and the cast-off blankets my daughter left behind when she went off to college, were “unacceptable” and that I deserve better.

When she was born, an astrologer told me that my now 23-year-old daughter’s tastes would run toward the regal. And as the years unfolded, I learned that the stars didn’t lie! My daughter has always been drawn to all that glitters! She loves designer clothes, fine jewelry, and luxury items of all kinds. Unfortunately, my budget was never quite kingly, so I spent a lot of time trying to teach my extravagance-loving daughter frugality.

So, when she made her declaration about my bedroom I immediately took my default position: “There’s nothing wrong with these blankets. They keep me warm!”

But my daughter would hear none of it. She insisted on setting a date to take me shopping for new … matching! … blankets and pillows.

I put her off for weeks. But in the meantime, as part of my campaign to improve the quality of my sleep, I began using the Zeo sleep monitor [read more about that experiment here] and signing up for their sleep coaching emails.

Among the Zeo Sleep Coach’s suggestions was one that, in my capacity as a Dream Therapist, I often offer to others: Make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep.

Suddenly I saw my daughter’s insistence on upgrading my bedding in a new light. I realized that my bedroom was not quite the sleep sanctuary I advised others to create. It was, quite frankly, shabby.

So, I took her up on her offer and off we went to Bed Bath & Beyond. To satisfy my frugal side I brought along a handful of coupons. My luxury-loving daughter helped me pick out a beautiful new bedding set, patiently answering my protests (“Who needs matching pillows?” “You do!” “I don’t need a throw blanket.” “Yes you do!” etc.).

Finally we purchased a beautiful purple and lavender set of blankets, sheets, pillow shams and even a throw.

It was truly a gift for me to realize that my daughter had plenty to teach me about pampering and caring for myself. Meanwhile on the checkout line I took the opportunity to point out how much money I’d saved using my coupons–because I still have plenty to teach her about making the most of her money.

As for my sleep; I must say it worked. I am sleeping more soundly in my new sleep sanctuary.


You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. Here are a few easy steps you can take:

  • Eliminate clutter to make your sleep environment feel relaxed and spacious.
  • Use heavy curtains or shades to eliminate as much light as possible. A dark room is essential for a good night’s sleep.
  • Backlit digital clocks and electronic equipment all emit light. Limit or eliminate the number of light sources in the room.
  • If you have a phone in your bedroom, turn off the ringer when you go to sleep. If you keep your cell phone in your room turn it to “airplane mode” so that it doesn’t send and receive signals while you sleep. This will eliminate the possibility of being woken by a text message or call, but will allow you to use the phone’s alarm clock, as well as the voice memo feature of your phone for recording your dreams.
  • Check your mattress and pillows. Are they still comfortable? If not, it may be time to replace them.
  • Candles, incense, and some decorative cozy pillows are all accessories that can give your room a cozy, inviting feel.
  • Use a lavender-scented eye pillow to help you relax into sleep.


Contact me for an individual dream consultation, including advice on how to create a healthy sleep environment, and how to recall and work with your dreams.



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