If you’ve ever scrolled through #nightstandgoals on Instagram and thought, “Why is everyone else’s bedside table so beautiful, and mine’s covered in two weeks’ worth of empty water glasses and a bottle of melatonin?” I promise, you’re not alone.
But it may be time to up your #shelfie game, for a bigger reason than social cred. As it turns out, having a dreamy-looking bedside table can literally lead to better dreams. And as busy people who are looking to maximize time spent asleep and minimize the need to have to count sheep, who can’t get behind that?
“A cluttered nightstand is a cluttered mind,” says Priya Sher, a London-based feng shui expert. “If the mind cannot rest, then it stagnates. By keeping your space uncluttered, you can relieve pressure for your mind.” So, not only will your Insta-feed thank you for finding a new home for all that excess stuff, but your brain might too.
Here, feng shui pros share their tips for how to prepare sleep-friendly nightstands.
Pick the right table
The perfect “shelfie” literally starts with the shelf, so it’s important to pick a photogenic (and, while you’re at it, energetic) bedside table. According to the principles of feng shui, “the nightstand itself should have rounded corners and should be lower than the level of the top of your mattress,” says Marianne Gordon, a Paris and Los Angeles-based feng shui expert. “If you have a square or rectangular nightstand, it’s okay, just make sure the angles are not sharp or pointing at your face, which could create a poison arrow.” Or in other words: bad energy.
Ditch the clutter
A messy nightstand equates to a scattered mind. Your bedside table should be totally clear of any “stressors,” like food, electronics, clothes, or any other random objects, which should all be hidden away before you hit the hay. “The last thing you see before you turn off the lights should be a peaceful and reassuring sight,” says Gordon. “When we settle in for the night, we prepare for our bodies and brains to regenerate.” By decluttering the nightstand, you might be able to make your peaceful, serene bedtime routine more effective.
Your bedtime necessities, like your book and water bottle, may be crucial for helping you fall asleep, but they aren’t exactly pretty to look at. The quickest fix? Stash ‘em in a drawer. “You should always have storage in your nightstand, so that you can keep the least attractive necessities (like tissues, socks, or earplugs) handy,” says Gordon. FYI: Your phone should go in there, too, so you’re not starting and finishing your day with an Instagram scroll.
Light a candle
Not only does a warmly lit candle make for a seriously luxe-looking photo, but it can also help you drift off to dreamland more smoothly. “Place a lightly fragranced candle on each table preferably with a lavender fragrance to encourage a restful sleep,” says Sher. Pick one that’s scented with phthalate-free fragrance such as P.F. Candle Company No. 25 Nightshade.
Add a flower
While a vases full of flowers should be kept far away from your bed (they’re top heavy and can tip over if they’re accidentally knocked at night), Sher still suggests keeping at least one plant friend nearby: a pink or purple orchid. “Orchids are ideal for the bedroom as they produce oxygen at night,” she explains. “These support your health and love energy.” Plus, they generally only need to be watered once a week, so they’re virtually un-killable.
Crystalize your vision
Your nightstand is basically your bedside alter, so Sher suggests propping up a rose quartz crystal to inspire good looks and good vibes. “Rose quartz is a gentle crystal that aids in the ever important truth of unconditional love,” says Whitney Bell, art director of gem-infused jewelry line Jacqui Aiche. Keeping one nearby while you sleep can help keep your vision clear, heart full, and your decor on point.
Looking for more ways to fully transform your bedroom into a stress-free (and totally photogenic) sanctuary? Check out these 11 products that will help you fall asleep… just don’t forget to stash them in the drawer before bed.