It’s Indoor Plant Week - who’d have thought there was a week dedicated to appreciating the biophilic trend of bringing the outside in? Not only do indoor plants look lovely and add a natural element to your interior decor, but they actually have an abundance of benefits for our health. From reducing stress levels to sharpening our attention, they also help in boosting productivity, cleaning the air and helping us drift off at night. And that’s what we’re interested in here, so let’s look at how those leafy greens help us sleep.
Firstly, you might be wondering if having plants in your bedroom is actually a good idea. Well, according to a NASA study, bedroom plants are more than easy on the eye. They refresh the air by reducing pollution, can reduce stress and even make us more creative. Bedrooms can get stuffy, as we’re sleeping soundly, tossing and turning, we’re breathing, probably trumping, and maybe our dirty laundry hamper is in the corner or there’s a mug from two days ago on the bedside table (we won’t judge). So, a bedroom with plants is arguably better than one without. Keeping plants in the bedroom works as eye-pleasing, quiet air filters that purify the air from toxic gases.
But can they actually help us sleep any better? Short answer: Yes! Quick, get to the garden centre! One of the reasons that plants can help us sleep better is their calming aromas - like those used in aromatherapy. We also know that emotions are closely related to how well we sleep. A study found that some edible plants can help relieve stress and release happy hormones, and so we are likely to sleep better. Even just interacting with plants before we go to bed can improve our sleep - say goodnight to your spider plant, groom that weeping fig tree, or give that Peace Lily a bedtime beverage.
The location of plants in the bedroom doesn’t really matter, where you can pop one in, will still allow us to reap the benefits. But the best place is of course, close to the bed. Your bedside table, on the windowsill, shelves, above the headboard if you’ve the space. As long as it’s not obstructing your sleep space, you’re good.
The best plants for bedrooms
(Almost) all plants are good for our health so really, it’s down to personal preference. But here are some of the plants considered best for the bedroom. And we don't need to be green-fingered to keep these guys!
Fragrant plants like jasmine, lavender, or gardenia that emit calming scents that can help us to relax while we drift off and stay relaxed to help deeper sleep.
Air purifying plants like Golden Pothos, snake plants or spider plants produce oxygen at night and reduce toxins and gases that can help us feel refreshed after a night’s sleep.
Humidity increasing plants like the peace lily, snake plant, or aloe vera can increase the air humidity to help us breathe while asleep. Increasing humidity in the bedroom can prevent skin and hair drying out, decrease susceptibility to colds, and even reduce static electricity.
Sleep inducing plants like Valerian, which has been used for centuries to help with insomnia, thanks to its sweet smell Valerian root has been shown to induce sleep. Definitely a top pick for the bedroom if you ask us!
Bringing the outside in: The introduction or even addition of plants to our bedrooms, unfortunately won’t solve all our sleep problems, nor will we suddenly find we sleep so much better than before. But, plants have proven benefits to our health and wellbeing that can certainly improve our environments, mood and therefore sleep. So why not give it a go? At worst, your room might look a little brighter or a bit greener, even if it is just a room to snooze.