Sleep, some say, is a colossal waste of time. Others recognize the importance of a good night’s sleep. Either way, there are times when it is difficult to fall asleep, or stay asleep, and this can be frustrating even for someone who dislikes having to take time out of being busy to sleep.
It is good to know that there are some things that can be done to encourage a better sleep experience, because regardless one’s opinion about sleep, there is incontrovertible evidence that it is necessary for good health. One of these things is to surround yourself with sleep-supporting plant life. Placing certain plants in your bedroom can greatly enhance the quality of your sleep time.
Plants can aid in sleeping in several ways. One of these is that they purify the air, taking in CO2 and toxins and releasing oxygen and moisture. This also results in lower air temperatures, in many cases. They also absorb some degree of the sounds, for a more tranquil ambience. These improve the quality of the air and the entire indoor environment.
Along with its well-known benefits to burns, aloe vera has beneficial effects on inflammation, scars, and detoxification of the body. It clears the air of cleaning agent chemicals, and if your home has excessive quantities of these, the aloe vera plant will let you know by developing brown spots. As a succulent, it does not require much watering, and it reproduces itself, allowing you to eventually have one for every room in the house, if desired. Aloe does do best with a lot of direct sunlight.
Also called a Reed Palm, this plant is elegant and attractive. Its tropical exoticness is a fun addition to any room, and it is easy to take care of, needing indirect sunlight and damp soil.
English ivy purifies the air surrounding it so efficiently that it has been known to aid allergy sufferers, as well as aid sleep. It has also been known to help remove mold from the air – up to 78% in only 12 hours, along with 94% of airborne feces in the same time frame. This plant is not ingestible, however, so keep it away from children and pets that might want to nibble on it.
Ferns have more surface area to their leaves, making them more efficient at removing airborne toxins than many other plants. They need lower light, not direct sunlight, and moist soil which can help to humidify the air.
Gardenias have pretty, sweet-scented flowers and are noteworthy for their sedative effect. This is because of the acid crocetin, which is naturally occurring in the plant. A study in 2010 by German scientist found that gardenia works as effectively as valium for relaxation.
A bit more fussy to care for, the Gerbera daisy has cheerful and colorful flowers and it releases extra oxygen throughout the nighttime, which enhances your room’s air quality while adding a beautiful pop of color. The difficult part of Gerbera daisies is that they are susceptible to fungal infections, requiring special care.
This plant is a very low maintenance option that is extremely efficient in removing contaminants from the air, both through the plant itself and through the soil in which its roots reside. This is an excellent choice for a bedroom in a busy city.
Jasmine is a pretty plant with small white flowers and a sweet smell which has been known to have a relaxing effect. Some of the substances discovered by German scientists in the jasmine’s fragrance work just like sedatives that are commonly prescribed, making this an excellent choice for the bedroom. Even better, jasmine can also increase productivity and alertness during the day, because the sleep quality provided is so high.
Lavender is well-known as an aromatherapy or essential oil fragrance which soothes and calms. Grow your own lavender in a south-facing window of your bedroom to have both the plant’s air-quality benefits and the aromatherapy benefits, which includes a reduction of anxiety and stress.
This exotic tropical vine can be grown indoors where there is plenty of light, but not direct sunlight. It may need a support in its pot. Its leaves can be used for a relaxing tea, as well.
The peace lily is beautiful and its white flowers are sure to be an addition to any décor. It adds humidity to the air – it can increase levels by up to 5% – despite needing infrequent watering. It also is an excellent plant for removing airborne toxins from a room, including gases such as ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, trichloroethylene, and xylene. However, these are not edible in any way, so be careful with this plant if your home has children or pets.
While rosemary is known to be a great herb to use in cooking, many do not realize that it is also excellent for boosting memory and purifying air. It also tends to repel mosquitoes.
Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue)
NASA listed this as one of the top 10 plants for filtering indoor air. It is a simple plant with broad leaves, giving it a good amount of surface area to process the air. It releases more oxygen at night, while many plants store oxygen overnight instead. It is also low maintenance.
This is another natural air purifier that removes harmful gases from the air, leaving it beautifully breathable. NASA’s study shows spider plants removed up to 90% of formaldehyde and other carcinogenic chemicals in the air around it. It also freshens by eliminating odors.
Valerian is a perennial herb with pink flowers that has a mild sedative effect when the dried and ground root is ingested. Its white flowers may also diffuse a scent that aids sleep, and its leaves can be made into a sleepy time tea. It is one of the best treatments for insomnia known, and also is useful to treat anxiety and nervous tension.
Placing a variety of these plants in your bedroom will multiply the beneficial effects of all of them, and provide a much better quality of rest, even if you are not a green thumb.