Few things are quite as provocative as both sleep and mirrors in spiritual teaching. Therefore, when you consider them together, it is unsurprising that they are particularly problematic.
While the ever-growing popularity of decorating with mirrors shows no sign of decline – after all, they are wonderful for making small bedrooms look bigger and brighter – the concept of covering mirrors overnight is one that has stood the test of time.
But why? Spiritual experts have explained that mirrors and sleep have an association with death, so it is better to limit their power when you are in your most vulnerable state. Here's exactly what the teaching means – and how it could change the way you sleep at night.
Why do people cover the mirrors at night?
The act of covering your mirror overnight is something that is done in multiple cultures and across many beliefs worldwide.
As Anthony Perrotta from AP Astrology explains, mirrors are often seen as a 'portal into the liminal space and the otherworld – and they have the power to reflect what is happening deep in our subconscious.'
However, while bedroom mirror ideas are fabulous for reflecting light in the day time, they are at their most powerful when paired with sleep, say experts.
'Because sleep has been seen as a tiny death in ancient cultures, covering the mirrors helps keep your spirit from leaving the body or welcoming other spirits to your home or dream world,' Anthony says. 'It aids in resting and brings us safely to morning.'
New York Times Bestselling Author Christy Whitman mirrors this teaching. However, she adds that, alongside its association with death, your mirror could be interrupting your bedroom Feng Shui – and consequently keeping you awake at night.
'In the Feng Shui world, when you have a mirror reflecting on the bed while you sleep, your energy gets doubled by the effect of the mirror and bounces around, making it difficult to find that tranquility and rest that we need as humans,' Christy says. You can find out more about Feng Shui mirror rules in our dedicated piece.
When deciding on the best feng shui bedroom layout, Christy urges you to ensure your mirror is not facing the bed, especially if you leave it uncovered.
'[There is a] theory that mirrors in bedrooms create a connection to the energy world or spirit world. You can spook yourself by seeing yourself move in the middle of the night and think it is another spirit or create openness as sleep does to the other side of the veil,' she says.
'Others say you should cover your mirror to avoid bad luck or negative attraction. If you are in a negative space or dealing with a negative situation, mirrors can double the energy in a room and expand the current vibration and frequency.'
Should I cover my mirror at night?
Yes, if you hold with the beliefs we have mentioned above, it is a good idea to cover your mirror overnight. However, astrologer Anthony Perrotta from AP Astrology suggests that you should not stop at mirrors.
'One of the best practices for dream and sleep hygiene is to cover any and all reflective surfaces, including electronics (black mirrors). The dreamscape is where we connect most with the subconscious and the liminal spaces,' he warns.
'By not allowing reflections in our space when we sleep and dream, we are less likely to be impacted by the spirit world. It closes the portals and protects us. So, before you get ready for bed, cover that mirror and put your phone away. Your spirit and sleep will thank you.'
What happens if you sleep in front of a mirror?
The reason why you should never put a mirror opposite your bed dates back to ancient beliefs.
'Because of the connection to the spirit world, mirrors have an association with death. The Greeks and Romans used reflections to connect with the underworld,' says Anthony Perrotta from AP Astrology.
The expert explains the old teaching that suggests the soul can enter through reflections – and lost souls will linger in said reflections.
'Consider that many cultures cover mirrors after a passing, such as the Jewish folk tradition during shiva. Additionally, in certain Buddhist customs, objects that have reflective qualities are turned around or hidden so that the soul does not get confused on its journey to the spirit world. If it sees its reflection, then it may not fully pass on, remaining trapped.
'Covering mirrors is necessary for mourning, healing, and resting. It is a form of processing grief and safety to the other side.'
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Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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