In the 70s it was all about circular beds, piled high with plush pillows, porn style. In the 80s we sloshed and sploshed the night away on water beds. By the turn of the century, memory foam mattresses had us cradled in our own personal groove. And over the last decade, there’s been a four-poster revival but all slim blonde wood and tulle curtains.
And now? Well, as we move into the 2020s, there’s a new bed trend, quite probably inspired by our need to get back in touch with our childhood, with nature, and with the motion of the planet. Because, much like your very first bed – a gently swaying cot, which soothed you to sleep in your tender years – the dream catcher bed suspends all your worries, delivering a pendulum-like swing which imitates the natural motion of the microcosm inside our bodies, and allows for deep relaxation and healing.
“Our current lifestyle takes us away from our natural rhythms, intensifying mental, physical and emotional ‘dis-ease’,” explains Stefanie Nicolaou, a Tantric healing therapist and an exponent of the dream catcher bed. Working from Nicosia, she’s made a handful of such beds herself, first for personal use, and then for a few customers around the island.
“I consider this an art, rather than a business,” she says. “The idea for DreamCatcher beds first came to me organically when I was in Spain. I was teaching an energy course, making dream catchers in my spare time, and needed a bed for the place in which I was staying. So I decided to meditate on what I needed and, almost instantly, saw the bed I was going to make…”
Entirely different from anything one might imagine, Stefanie envisaged a disc spinning inside a pyramid. “It was pure conception,” she reveals, “Of course, when I researched the idea, I realised such a bed already existed. My ego,” she smiles, “was quite hurt! Until, that is, I recognised that I must be tapping into the wisdom of the universe in exactly the same way as others had before…”
Suspended beds are nothing new – Native Americans have been sleeping in hammocks for thousands of years, reaping the benefits of being gently rocked to sleep. And current research reveals that a swaying bed can not only helps you nod off faster, but also augments the quality of one’s sleep.
“The idea of a dreamcatcher bed does, originally, go back to the hammocks of Native Americans,” Stefanie agrees. “The gentle swaying motion has been proven to benefit the natural rhythms of the body. Sleep is a fundamental function that affects both our mental, physical and emotional wellness,” she continues, “and it’s no coincidence that rocking to sleep is an ancient universal practice: a gentle rocking motion triggers a natural relaxation state, decreasing stress related hormones, balancing blood pressure and heart rate and stimulating endorphin release. And at the same time, the motion has been shown to increase the duration of deep, make it more refreshing, and reinforce endogenous sleep rhythms.”
Our bodies respond naturally to this pendulum motion and, when you’re sleeping on a DreamCatcher bed, it’s believed that the gentle swaying automatically helps to reset various vital systems. The lymphatic system (involved in cell detoxification and immunity), can benefit from faster detoxification, better cell oxygenation, increased overall health, energy and alertness, reduced swelling, an improved metabolism, reduced muscle soreness and aches, and a speedier recovery from surgery, injuries or Illness. The motion is also believed to heighten the function of the vestibular system (responsible for balance, coordination, spatial awareness), and this has been proven to help those with learning disabilities, attention difficulties (ADHD, ADD), developmental problems, unilateral vestibular injury, balance disorders, and autism. And finally, a rocking movement can benefit the nervous system, aiding communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
Her first DreamCatcher bed was produced in 2013, which she took to an exhibition hosted by a local NGO. “At that point, I wasn’t thinking of selling the bed; I just thought it would be an interesting installation. But then I noticed how much enjoyment people derived from it – especially children, who loved playing on it! – and one of the visitors to the exhibition asked if I could make one for him. He was captivated by the idea,” she continues. “He’d tried the bed and loved it, and wondered if I could make one for him for his place in the beach in Paphos. So I visited the space, took notes, discussed my ideas with him, and created another DreamCatcher bed.”
This personalised process is very much part of Stefanie’s creative method. “This certainly isn’t a full-time job,” she smiles. “It’s more artistic, an intentional creation; something I do when the right person comes along.”
With less than a handful made – “now I have the pattern, and I know what works, it takes just a few weeks to source the materials and make the bed,” she adds – Stefanie has no plans to turn this into big business. “There are places out there, in the world, where similar beds are being mass produced,” she acknowledges. “But this is different”.
For more information on DreamCatcher beds, visit https://stefanienic.wixsite.com/dreamcatcher-beds