Take a cue from history & create the ultimate sleep retreat

Sleep and dreams were the foundation for healing thousands of years ago.  In ancient Egypt and Greece, if you were feeling out of sorts or sick, you’d head over to the nearest dream temple.  These sleep sanctuaries were the hospitals of the time.  Except in those days the focus was on dreams.

The Egyptian sleep temples were dedicated to Imhotep, a priest who was also the first physician in recorded history. And the dream temples in Greece were called Asclepieia, named for the Greek god of medicine, Asclepios.

Sleep was the modality of choice in the sleep and dream temples. 

A visit would begin with a spiritual preparation, using meditation, bathing, and even hypnosis.  Then it was off to the dream bed, to incubate a dream from the gods.  The next day, a dream analysis by a priest would reveal life guidance and healing advice.

The ancients were routinely tapping into the power of sleep & dreams.

Fast forward thousands of years, and the focus is back on sleep. Sleep’s become all the rage, with labs and consultants abound to guide you toward a better slumber.  Countless sleep-enhancing products are being pitched, and you can even get yourself a sleep-monitoring mattress.

An entire industry has sprouted that’s selling sleep!

And yet, many are feeling sleep deprived.

  • 35% of Americans say they have poor quality sleep
  • 1 in 5 didn’t wake feeling refreshed any of the past 7 days (as in never) 

Poor sleep habits are contributing to everything from irritability and depression to high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease.  Medical experts say, we gotta get better Zzz’s!

The ancients were right.  Sleep is sacred.

We’d have been the envy of Cleopatra, with our temperature control rooms, high-tech mattresses, and sleep sounds on command.  So, how can you take your modern-day bedroom to the next level? How do you create a sleep temple fit for a queen?



Sleep and dream temples were a place to get away from everyday life and retreat.  Honor this tradition by designating your bedroom a place for serenity, sensuality, and sleep. Everything else need find another home.

Color is one of the easiest ways to make your room feel serene.  There’s a physiological reaction we have to the colors we see.  Some raise the heart rate and others slow it down.  For the bedroom, opt for tranquility colors.  Nature scenes make a great muse.

  • Creams and tans are a clean pallet for your senses — an easy, neutral choice.
  • Blues and Greens are especially beneficial in the bedroom.  A study revealed, those who sleep in a blue or green room enjoy better sleep and wake feeling more happy & upbeat.

The key for coloring your sleep sanctuary is to go for the hue that whispers “soothed” to you.


Sleep and dreams are a god send… that’s what the dream temples were all about.  Sounds like something that deserves a heavenly bed!

The “dream bed” was a place of great importance in the ancient sleep temples — the portal to dreams.  Invest in making your’s the ultimate nest for snuggling in at night.

Skin-caressing sheets, quality pillows, and a good supportive mattress are essential for healthy sleep.  Consider the investment a contribution to the dream gods.


A best practice we learn from the dream temples is that rituals encourage sleep.

Straight out of the dream temple playbook is a bath before bed.  A hot bath can be extremely comforting and relaxing, plus it’s proven to help you fall asleep faster.

Meditation & Prayer were practiced in the dream temples, and they’re just as beneficial today.  A few moments in silence, to appreciate, contemplate, accept, forgive, or pray, can be a terrific way to release the day.

Journaling is a great practice for better sleep.  It’s very helpful to get those thoughts out of your head before bed.  Got a problem and not sure what to do?  Don’t let it keep you up.  Write it down and ask for assistance in your dreams.


The ancients understood that answers and healing are rich in our dreams.  “Sleep on it,” was valued advice.  Put the stamp of authenticity on your sleep temple by making it your destination to dream.

Fostering a relationship with your dreams is one of the greatest ways to improve your life.  Click over to the post ‘3 Clues to a Dream Relationship for ideas on forging a relationship with your dreams.

And since you probably don’t have a dream-analysis-trained priest to help you decipher your dreams in the morning, grab your free copy of ‘3 Clues Why You Had That Dream.’  This quickie-read will have you playing dream detective in no time!


So there you have it — the essentials for creating your personal sleep sanctuary in the spirit of the ancient dream temples.  It’s all about respecting the sleep and believing in the dreams.

I hope you’re inspired to turn your bedroom into your ultimate sleep and dreams retreat.

May your dreams be sweet,


Be sure to check out my Pinterest boards for more SLEEP SANCTUARY and BEDTIME RITUAL ideas.  

Let us hear form you!  What ideas do you have for creating the ultimate sleep retreat?  Add your comments below:

1 Comment. Leave new

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