How Plants Improve the Quality of Your Sleep
Stress and anxiety have become more common in an increasingly urban society. Your home, especially your bedroom, is your sanctuary from the world. With the right design elements, you can create a space where your mind and body can relax so that you get the full seven to eight hours of sleep you need.
Nature can have a powerful impact on your mental health. Studies have shown that walking in a natural environment such as a park or greenbelt reduces activity in the part of the brain linked to mental illnesses like depression. When you’re in nature, the sounds, smells, and muted colors calm the mind, reducing stress and anxiety.
Using plants in your bedroom decor can have a similar effect. Plants bring many of same smells, colors, and textures into your bedroom. Some plants like lavender, for example, have scents that have been shown to increase both sleep quantity and quality. Others clean the air for healthier sleep.
Advances in construction technology have made houses more airtight than ever. While that makes them secure, it often compromises the air quality. Homes are full of adhesives, paints, and off-gassing materials produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde and benzene. These biotoxins come from building and insulating materials, but they also come from house products like printer ink, furniture wax, and detergents. But, clean air makes a difference in the quality of your sleep.
NASA conducted a study to find plants that work remove many of these indoor air pollutants. While their purpose was to discover plants that would help purify the air in space, the information they gathered has practical applications to clean indoor air in public and private areas. A few of the plants from their list include:
Elephant Ear Philodendron
Dwarf Date Palm
Mother in Law Tongue
Overall, the bigger and leafier the plant the better it cleans the air.
Re-creating a natural environment does more than make you feel relaxed or improve the quality of your sleep. New evidence has shown that natural surroundings promote healing. Hospitals have capitalized on this knowledge for years. At first, it was noticed that patients who stayed in a room with a view recovered faster. Over time, that knowledge led to the use of nature-inspired decorations such as landscape paintings or photos of leaves and flowers, and the improvement in healing continued.
Today, many hospitals devote space to gardens or parks for patients to enjoy. Time spent in these natural areas certainly won’t cure illnesses, but it can improve your mental health, which influences physical recovery.
How to Use Plants in Bedroom Design
Plans are a versatile design tool. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. It can be as simple as setting a potted plant on your window seal or dresser. If space is limited, you can try hanging plants with macrame or use tall slim varieties that can fit into an unused corner. Plants that release oxygen at night like the snake plant make a great addition near the bed. Don’t be afraid to mix and match to get a variety of heights and shapes.