5 Plants In The Bedroom To Help You Sleep Better
Following the last post on the lack of sleep, I wanted to do a follow-up post, and provide ways to help you sleep better. As you recall, 6-9 hours of sleep per night is recommended, but unfortunately the majority of people don't get to sleep even 5 hours, and this posses a problem on their psyche, health and overall wellbeing.
In 1973, NASA's scientists identified 107 volatile organic compounds in the air, inside of a Skylab space station, which gave off low levels of chemicals.
A scientist by the name of Wolverton began studying the health effects of toxic synthetic material in sealed buildings. His study focused on not just moving away from the synthetic materials altogether, but rather taking plants with you and including them in the environment.
“If man is to move into closed environments, on Earth or in space, he must take along nature’s life support system - plants!"
- Wolverton, 1989
Wolverton published his study about plants and their air cleaning abilities in dozens of technical papers, explaining how plants emit water vapor that creates a pumping action pulling contaminated air down around a plant’s roots, where it is then converted into food for the plant. He then goes on to explain which plants and varieties remove the most toxins, as well as to rate each plant for the level of maintenance it requires.
Here are 5 of the best plants to keep in your bedroom and why they improve sleep:
The following are some of the best C3 plants: leafy plants with high Oxygen output and large surface areas. C3 plants are also beneficial for patients with COPD and lung diseases as well as those who are suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea ( those who snore). Those with COPD can specially benefit from oxygen while sleeping if they are not on nasal cannula.
1. Aloe Vera (C3 plant)
The Egyptians called this plant "plant of immortality", and thankfully you don't have to travel to Egypt to get you some of this amazing plant. If you live in the south-western regions of the United States, this plant practically grows in your backyard, but if you don't live here, they are sold practically anywhere that sells plants. So no matter where you are, you have access to this gem of a plant!
Aloe Vera is known for its ability to remove polluting chemicals found in many cleaning products, and it makes NASA's highest rated plants, when it comes to cleaning the air.
2. Jasmine (Another C3 plant)
If you have ever smelled Jasmine, you have perhaps found the scent to be aromatic, soothing and calming. Smelling Jasmine is known for calming the feelings of anxiety and reducing stress levels, but one study looked at Jasmine essential oil and its effect on reduction of labor pain in primigravida mothers (mothers giving birth/pregnant for the first time).
This study assessed the effectiveness of Jasmine oil on reduction of labor pain, during the first stage of labor, on 2 sets of women (the control group and the experimental), and based on the findings of this study, the experimental group experienced less pain with the Jasmine oil, therefore it is evident that the Jasmine oil was effective in reducing pain.
But why is this important in the bedroom and how can this improve sleep??
Jasmine is a shrub that usually grows outside, but can also thrive indoors. When surrounded by jasmine, you'll feel less anxious and are likely to get a better night sleep. You're also likely to have a more productive day, followed by increased alertness the next day.
Lavender is another plant that can treat anxiety leading to a better quality of sleep. In clinical studies, lavender improved restlessness, and disturbed sleep, with a positive influence on overall health and wellbeing.
Another study looked at the efficacy of a 6-week-oral-intake of oral lavender oil, comparing it to Lorazepam (sold under brand name Ativan to treat anxiety), in adults with general anxiety disorder. The results showed that the 80 mg daily of the oral lavender oil, successfully ameliorated general anxiety comparable to 0.5 mg daily of Lorazepam.
From soaps to shampoo, you have probably seen the many different uses of lavender in household, hygienic and beauty products. It is no secret that the wonderful scent goes beyond providing you with an aromatic scent, but also treating insomnia, calming feelings of anxiety, improve sleep and lower heart rate. It is also used to calm agitated babies. In fact, for a friend of mine's 1 year old baby, I purchased a purple bunny with stuffed lavender. My friend claims that her daughter not only sleeps better at nights, but also has grown a bond with the stuffed bunny.
> Leave this plant by the window, since it needs plenty of sun to grow.
4. Snake Plant (Another C3 plant)
Do not be afraid of the name that this plant has acquired. If you must know, it is also referred to as the "Mother-in-law's Tongue"!
Native to West Africa, the native people used it to treat headaches, eye-irritations and breathing problems. NASA's study also featured this plant and was very well favored to have in doors.
During their studies, they sealed a single snake plant in an enclosed chamber for 24 hours, whilst releasing a number of toxic gases. Results showed Benzene levels were reduced by 53% and Trichloroethylene by 13.4%.
This is one plant I definitely recommend you have in your bedroom. During the day, it will take in the Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen at nights, which definitely improves sleep.
5.English Ivy (Another C3 plant)
And last but not least...NASA's number 1 choice for cleaning the air inside the home. When it comes to absorbing formaldehydes.
Formaldehydes are colorless, flammable, and pungent smelling chemicals used in building materials as well as household products. In 1980 laboratory rat studies showed that exposure to formaldehydes caused nasal cancer in rats.
In 1987, the Environmental Protection Agency classified
Formaldehydes as a "Possible Carcinogen" to human health.
This is also another plant you should keep by the window and don't be shocked to see it grow and climb up whatever is near it. Take a look at this house infested with English Ivy...it sure does look pretty though!