There’s a reason why rainforest and beach sounds are so popular on sound machines and sleep apps. Nature has a special way of bringing peace and tranquility to our senses and helping our bodies relax. But for most of us who are caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of life, how do we get the relaxation vibes of nature and its sleep health benefits?
Cue the house plant!
What if you are closer to nature’s healing properties – and a solid night’s sleep – than you thought? Look around and count how many green plants you have in your home. Research shows that although house plants can’t purify air to the same extent as a machine, they can be helpful in clearing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from our indoor environment. With purer air, you can expect to, quite literally, breathe easier while you sleep.
Soothing the senses
House plants can improve sleep quality by appealing to your senses of smell, sight, and even sound.
Taking a few moments to breathe deeply in a room which contains your favorite plants can immediately bring balance to your mind and body. Before you lay down to sleep, give yourself time to take notice of the smells your plants are surrounding you with. They may emit a pleasant, floral fragrance or even just a subtle, earthy scent. Allow your body to relax while you inhale and enjoy the aromatherapy.
The color green has been known to help regulate the body’s nervous system. Surrounding yourself with this color by adding green plants to your bedroom can enhance your ability to unwind before sleep. Try creating a garden or forest aesthetic in your personal space that will make you feel connected to nature even from indoors.
House plants with large leaves or dense foliage can sometimes help with natural sound proofing within your home. You can experience more peaceful sleep when outside noises are blocked out and jarring sounds are cushioned by your plants.
House plants can also help to regulate temperature in your sleeping space. Certain plants crave humidity and will absorb excess moisture in the air through their leaves. This results in a cooler atmosphere which in turn can help you sleep more comfortably through the night. These moisture-absorbing processes can also mean a reduced possibility for mold as well which is better for your overall respiratory health.
Not all plants are right for living indoors. Some need more direct sunlight and won’t be able to contribute as much to your health needs. It’s important to choose the right kind of plants for your sleeping space, so here is a list of suggestions to use as a resource based on the categories discussed.
For air purification: Orchids, Aloe vera, Spider plants, Palms
To calm your senses: Lavender, Eucalyptus, Begonia, Jasmine [Read more about aromatherapy.]
For cooling and humidity: Anthurium, Calathea, Peace lily, English ivy
The best kind of roommate
Plants are living beings whose major function is to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. By giving them a space to live in your home and tending to them with care, they can give back to you by enhancing the quality of the air you breathe and, in turn, the quality of your sleep.