Bring the outside in
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I appreciate plants so much more since this co-vid nonsense. After being locked indoors you start to miss all the green and fresh vibes nature offers. I've never been one to nurture plants at home but now I'm seriously considering it and so have been doing some research on plants and what I can bring inside with me. This interior design trend has a name, its called Biophilic. It means bringing the outside indoors. Not only do plants look beautiful in general but they come with serious health benefits including more restful sleep.
Come see what I found below :)
THE 8 PLANTS TO BRING TO BED
Lavender has always been a favorite of mine when it comes to bedtime. I usually sprinkle the essential oils all over my pillow. But what about having the plant itself as a permanent fixture in my room? That way I wouldn't really need the oil, my room would always smell like lavender!
Lavender has been used to treat all sorts of ailments over the years, from anxiety and depression, insomnia, and nausea. And it's not all hearsay ancient medicinal treatment. There have been numerous studies that confirm the relaxing properties of lavender. according to Dreams.co.uk the"scent of lavender in bath oil calmed babies and sent them off into a deeper sleep, while also reducing stress in the mother." Personally, I feel it is the number one plant to have in your bedroom if your goal is deeper sleep.
To take care of your lavender plants, make sure to place them near a window so they get a lot of sunlight. They require well-drained soil and deep watering when the topsoil is almost dry. Make sure not to overwater it!
Jasmine plants have bunches of little white flowers and they are so cute and pretty to look at. These little white flowers are renowned sleep inducers because of the sweet fragrance they give off. FYI, not all jasmine plants have a sweet fragrance, some don't have any at all. So, when you do go to a store make sure to look and ask for jasminum polyanthum.
Like lavender, multiple sleep studies have been done to prove that jasmine is an effective sleeping agent. For example, a study at Wheeling University proves that the scent of jasmine reduces anxiety levels, and thus improves the participants' quality of sleep. Moreover, with better sleep, they woke up feeling better rested, and with more energy to conquer the day.
The study has not confirmed why the smell has an effect on sleep however they "suspect that jasmine may help to improve mood, which may, in turn, induce physical changes that promote restful sleep." In addition, the study suggests that you have a shower or bath with jasmine-scented soap before bed, or by place jasmine-scented potpourri around the home to help aid sleep and general relaxation.
To take care of your jasmine plant, place them on the windowsills as they require sunlight, and water them regularly until the soil is moist.
Pro tip: Go for porous soil
The peace lily is great for those of you who are busy 24/7 and have a never-ending to-do list. This gorgeous hooded flower is an adaptable and low maintenance plant. They start small but can grow up to 4 feet tall with beautiful large leaves. For this reason, they usually serve as floor plants and grow well in large pots.
There are two reasons why the peace lily is a must-have in the bedroom: 1. It's a great toxin remover, 2. It increases room humidity. The first point is backed by a study by NASA which proves the peace lily is an incredible air purifier. This study is further reinforced by japanese researchers who discovered that it was very effective at removing toluene and xylene from the air. Additionally, it's leaves also absorbs mold spores.
The second point is a natural occurrence as the peace lily is a rainforest plant with large leaves and so is effective at transpiration (evaporation of water from leaves). It is so effective that it can increase the humidity of the room by 5%. More humid environments are good for getting better quality sleep, according to Apartment Therapy "low humidity causes static electricity, dry skin, and hair increased susceptibility to colds and respiratory illnesses and can allow viruses and germs to thrive."
To take care of your peace lilies place them in partial shade. According to Pro Flowers, they thrive in temperatures ranging from 65-85 degrees, so keep them away from vents and drafts. Also, water them when you notice the leaves starting to droop a little (usually once a week).
FYI: Keep it out of the reach of children and animals because it is toxic when eaten.
This plant is more commonly known as devil's ivy. It's called because it is almost impossible to kill and it stays green even when kept in the dark. It has marbled heart-shaped trailing leaves that look stunning in hanging planters or shelves. Also, this is a great choice if you live in a small room and are looking to use minimal space.
This is another clean air superhero according to NASA's clean air study. It's especially great at removing carbon dioxide and formaldehyde. The better the air you breathe, the better your sleep.
Additionally, try to spend some time with your plants, it can help you feel calmer and more at ease. You can maybe water them, clean the leaves, appreciate the natural calming colors and scents they give off. According to Healthline 15 minutes of connecting with your plant can "help reduce cortisol, sleep latency, and improve sleep integrity by reducing the number of micro-awakening events." And further research from Sichuan Agricultural University shows that looking at bamboo for 3 minutes can help lower blood pressure and anxiety
You don't need to do much with these plants. They basically look after themselves. They need only a little sunlight and watering once a week.
Snake plants are more commonly known as mother-in-law's tongue. They are actually succulents that can grow quite high. According to Master Gardener, they can grow up to 1-4 feet tall and up to 3 inches across.
Snake plants are great to have cause not only are they visually appealing but these plants also improve the air quality of the space. If you use hairspray, this is definitely a must-have because it removes chemicals from the air like formaldehyde, a toxin used in hairspray. You will sleep better with these gorgeous plants around because they work non-stop at providing you the best air quality you could possibly imagine.
To take care of your snake plant, make sure to place it in indirect or partial sunlight and only water the pot when the soil is completely dry. You want to prevent overwatering in order to reduce the chances of root rot. If you want, you can block some time off at the end of your day to care for your plants and practice movement meditation. The act of caring for plants can be very therapeutic as you give each one much-needed attention. Afterward, you can take a breather, sit or lie with your eyes closed and reflect on your plants.
Aloe vera is a succulent that has been used since the time of Cleopatra. Not only is it a significant ingredient in our beauty routine but it also is used for skin-healing properties and is a natural sleep aid. It's a handy plant to keep around the house!
Aloe vera is like an all-in-one medical kit. It's been used for dry skin, burns, insect bites, decreasing sugar levels, and can be found in almost any form, from juice, tea, cream, and even tablets. On top of all that, it is a beautifully sculptural plant that is visually appealing, produces oxygen, and improves air quality 24/7. The improvement in the air quality helps us sleep better (also NASA approved).
To take care of your aloe vera, make sure to keep it in a sunny space. Water it heavily once every 2 weeks (once the soil is dry). Aloe vera plants are very resilient, so if they do die, it's because it got watered too often, or there wasn't enough room for the water to drain.
FYI, this is toxic to animals. So keep it away from your animal best friend.
The valerian plant has a sweet scent and small pink and white flowers. You may have heard of this already because the valerian root is commonly used in food, beverages, and medicines. The valerian root is famously used as a natural anti-anxiety. According to Healthline the valerian root "increases the levels of a chemical known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain" which "contributes to a calming effect in the body." Please note that other drugs for anxiety also increase GABA levels.
These plants are wonderful at inducing sleep, and so naturally it's the perfect roommate. It has been used for centuries to aid insomnia because the scent helps you quickly fall asleep and stay asleep ensuring a good night's rest. The sleepiness is due to some chemicals in the valerian plant, such as isovaleric acid and valepotriates (National Library of Medicine). The sleep-inducing properties help relax the muscles and the nervous system.
To take care of your valerian, make sure it receives a ton of sunlight and it well watered at all times.
The spider plant is a spindly plant with thin spidery leaves. It's a great plant purifier that removes toxins from the air (such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene) that can cause stress and brain fog. It also increases oxygen day and night to help you breathe easier.
This is a great plant to have in your bedroom because of its refreshing light green color. It'll look great hanging or on a shelf.
If you're new to bringing plants indoors this one might be your best bet because it requires minimal maintenance. All they need is some light and minimum watering. It's a good idea to wait for the soil to be dry before you begin watering them.
OVERVIEW OF TOXINS PLANTS ABSORB
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's)
This is a common household product used for disinfecting. The problem is it evaporates quickly thus making it super easy for large amounts to build up at home. When using this make sure to use breathing protection and turn the ventilation on to improve air quality.
Acetone is commonly found in nail polish remover, furniture polish, and wallpaper. It is very harmful in high doses. This is why alcohol-based nail polish removers are much healthier alternatives.
The most common source of this toxin is vinegar. High doses of this acid can cause throat and breathing issues.
This is usually found in household cleaners, floor wax, and fertilizers.
This toxin is commonly found in gasoline, oils, and plastics.
Butanal can be found in candles, bbq's, and gas stoves.
This is found in chlorinated tap water. To decrease exposure, use a carbon-filtration system.
This is found in most cleaning products and so will be difficult to avoid. Think glass cleaners, dishwasher/laundry detergents. In order to preserve your air quality, make sure to turn the ventilation on or open the windows.
This is found in molded plastics, lacquers, facial tissues, cleaning agents, paper towels and grocery bags.
This is a very common VOC. It's commonly found in paint removers. It has a high rate of evaporation so make sure the ventilation or filtering system is on when this is in use.
This is usually found in paints, varnish, and adhesives.
This is a toxin commonly found in tobacco smoke, and paint.
SUMMARY OF BEDROOM PLANT BENEFITS
The fragrance given off has been proven to help you relax and reduce insomnia.
Simply seeing the plants can affect your mood positively
Plants increase humidity and that makes you less susceptible to allergies
Plants absorb mold spores that cause illness
Plants absorb and remove toxins that can make give you brain fog
Plants can be part of your evening meditation practice
They brighten up the space and make the room come alive
TIPS FOR YOUR BEDROOM PLANTS
Keep the plants close to your bed
Plants can have mold in the soil, so if you begin to react with a runny nose move the plant out of the bedroom.
Do not purchase toxic plants if you have pets or young children. Check out Treehugger to crosscheck plants that are toxic to animals.
Make sure to provide the right conditions for your plant to grow well. Do not purchase plants that need sun, if for example, you have a windowless room.
These are my top 8 bedroom plants however there are tons of other plants out there that can provide you with similar benefits. If you are a visual person like me and prefer seeing more color than you will probably want to find plants that have more flowers, or a variety of shades. If you want more fragrance you can try adding some dried fragrant flowers and plants into your pillow. However, make sure not to count solely on plants. For a general healthy bedroom climate, you need regular ventilation, fresh sheets, a great mattress, plump pillows, and maybe an extra blanket or two. All these factors will help you get better sleep, which in turn will help improve your overall wellbeing.
Now add some plants to your bedroom and have an incredible night!
Which plants do you have in your bedroom? Let us know in the comments!
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