Plants create a comfortable and peaceful environment, aside from bringing life into a home. These are exactly what you need in your bedroom at night to have a proper rest. You can then be using plants to help you sleep better in a completely natural fashion and without having to go out of your way every night to do it.
Nevertheless, not all plants are the same. While some can help you relax, others can disrupt your sleep or make you feel awake and active for longer.
Bedroom plants to help you sleep better
Either by cleaning and purifying the air so you can breathe better or by releasing their relaxing fragrance, these plants can give you a hand to get a good night of sleep.
Aloe Vera is listed as one of the best plants by NASA to purify the air. Besides being very easy to keep, you also have the added benefit of being able to use its natural gel for several beauty hacks and home remedies.
This plant is also one of the few ones that, contrary to normal, releases carbon dioxide during the day and oxygen at night. This means you will be able to breathe better and, thus, sleep better too.
The snake plant follows the same principles as aloe vera. It emits oxygen at night, cleaning the air and making it easier to breathe, and is also listed by NASA as one of the best purifying plants since it absorbs common harmful toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde.
Likewise, it is very easy to take care of.
According to a 2003 research that evaluated the effect of odors on sleep quality, Jasmine’s fragrance was the one that showed greater sleep efficiency and quality, by promoting relaxation and reducing sleep movement.
Smelling Jasmine essential oil before bed is a good option, but why not skip this step at night and simply add a beautify Jasmine pot to your bedroom? The fragrance it releases is very soft so it won’t bother you, but it will still be producing the desired effects.
True to its name, the peace lily looks beautiful, gentle and calm. It also helps purify the air by cleaning common toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde so you can breathe better at night and restore your energies.
Despite its fragile look, this plant is low-maintenance and all you have to do is to keep it away from direct sunlight and make sure its soil is moist.
As much as you want to use plants to help you sleep better, you might want to skip this one if you any house pets, though. Lilies can be toxic to cats and dogs if eaten.
Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
Gardenias are more common in gardens than in flower pots, but there is no particular reason for this. In fact, this is probably one of the best plants to help you sleep better, so in a pot it is!
A 2010 research isolated two fragrances (Vertacetal-Coeur and a chemical variation PI14513) only to find they have the same effect and molecular mechanism as those found in sleeping pills, such as Valium. And where can you find those fragrances? In gardenias, most specifically the Gardenia jasminoides.
According to the researchers, just smelling the fragrance of this flower is enough to induce relaxation, sleepiness and to soothe anxiety.
Other plants to help you sleep better
Looks matter and if you think a certain plant is ugly or doesn’t go together with your decoration, you won’t feel as much peace as you should.
If you didn’t like any of the plants previously mentioned, you can always check out the following list of purifying ones:
- Golden Pothos
- Spider Plant
- English Ivy
- Gerbera Daisies
- Bamboo Palm
Lavender is probably one of the best plants to help you sleep better and it’s often rated on the top spots. It’s undeniable that is fragrance is very effective but depending on the size of your bedroom, it can quickly become overwhelming too, which can affect negatively your sleep.
The debate: plants in the bedroom, yes or no?
For some time, there was an urban legend that assured that you could not have plants in your bedroom or you could die from suffocation since they would steal your oxygen. Albeit a bit exaggerated and dramatic, there is actually a point to this legend.
And so, still nowadays, there is a debate over whether it’s advisable or not to keep plants in the bedroom at night.
The arguments against
The most common argument against is based on the fact that most plants release oxygen during the day, but they switch to carbon dioxide at night. If your bedroom is small and not well ventilated this could lead to an excess of carbon dioxide in the blood. The brain will then have to readjust breathing to account for this increase, which can affect the sleep quality.
There are also plants that do the reverse and release oxygen at night. A cleaner and fresher air seems like a good thing for a better sleep, but this time, instead of an increase of carbon dioxide you can experience an increase in oxygen in the blood.
When you’re sleeping, you don’t need to as much oxygen as during the day. This surplus will then work to alert and turn your brain active, disrupting the brain.
The arguments in favor
On the other side of the barricade are the people that believe that, unless you turn your bedroom into a jungle, this effect is barely noticeable and is trumped by the benefits of having at least one cute pot with purifying properties in the room.
Since the ones in favor take a moderate and sensible approach, there are no studies or scientific research to support neither of the sides. It is a matter of preference and of understanding that too much of a good thing can turn it into a bad thing.
Other bedroom tips for better sleep
You can use plants to help you sleep better, but unless you change some habits and pay attention to certain details of your body and environment, they won’t be as effective as you want them to be.
Check out a few other tips to help you sleep better, below.
Create a routine
Have you noticed that, if you wake up every day at the same hour and minutes, eventually you will begin to wake up alone and naturally around the same time too? It is useful for when the alarm doesn’t go off, not so much on weekends.
The same principle applies at night. If you start going to bed at the same time every day, your body will pay attention to the clock and will start winding down when sleep time is approaching. Then, when you go to bed, you’re less likely to fumble around awake because your brain had been preparing the shut down before.
Declutter the room
For those who believe that untidiness and clutter affect people’s energies, draining them and difficulting clear thoughts and concentration, it is obvious why you should keep your room clean and very simple.
If you don’t believe in any of this, it is obvious too. Just picture a clean, simple and comfortable looking bedroom, and then one stuffed with souvenirs, clothes on the floor and furniture covered with lotions and jewelry. Now, choose the one where you would want to rest in. Not hard, right?
Your body knows what it’s good for itself. Just focus on creating a warm and comfortable environment instead of worrying about the decoration.
The scent of some essential oils is enough to make the brain and the body relax, promoting a better night of sleep. Lavender and Roman Chamomile are two good options, as well as Valeriana, although the latter doesn’t have a pleasant smell.
If you add plants to help you sleep better in your room, it’s better not to create a mix of fragrances.
Just take a sniff of the oil and go to bed. If you do not want the plants or they have no scent, then you can add a few drops of essential oil to your pillow do you keep breathing the fragrance while sleeping.
It might sound silly, you might feel silly while doing it, but deep breathing is a great exercise to relax the body and the brain and induce sleepiness.
There are several breathing methods you can try, but one of the most popular ones is the “4-7-8 method”. Just inhale through your nose while counting to 4, hold your breath and count to 7 and then release the air through your mouth slowly while counting to 8.
You should complete 4 cycles every night, but you will feel the drowsiness and sleepiness before you reach your goal.
Mixed them all!
Combine these tricks with your favorite plants and in no time you will be sleeping like a baby!