It has long been scientifically established that proper sleep hygiene is essential for optimal brain functioning. What is up for debate, however, is what the precise number of hours should be where one feels the very best. That varies across the board for a variety of reasons, mostly genetic.
Humans who do not get sufficient restorative sleep that makes them feel refreshed and productive to tackle the next day suffer from a host of problems. These run the gamut, including pronounced anxiety, chronic stress, insomnia, hypertension, and diabetes, just to name a few. Research has confirmed that there is also a strong correlative link between sleep impairment and subsequent decline in one’s mental/physical health.
That being said, there are some plants that can be placed in one’s bedroom that can be used as a tool to help achieve a more restful slumber. The following plants should not be used for medicinal purposes, or to treat a chronic sleep problem such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or chronic anxiety. Instead, these plants can be used as a supplemental natural aid for effective sleep hygiene instead of resorting to melatonin supplements and/or prescription medication.
If you are having trouble falling asleep, despite keeping your room cool and dark, doing your best to practice good sleep hygiene, and your sleep condition is not a chronic issue that needs to be addressed professionally, try sporting one of these plants in your bedroom, and see if you achieve some relief, and feel a bit more rested and refreshed when you awaken in the morning. Read on for the health benefits of these particular plants. As always discuss this idea with your doctor if you have any chronic ailments that need to be addressed.
Aloe Vera -Dubbed the ‘plant of immortality’ by the Egyptians, it reproduces easily so if you buy one, you will soon have an Aloe plant for all the rooms in your house. It emits oxygen at night, helps you to combat insomnia, and improves overall sleep quality. The Aloe plant doesn’t need much direct sunlight, or watering. Listed as one of NASA’s top air improving plants, it tolerates low maintenance/upkeep quite well, and is a plant worth investing in for its myriad health improvements.
Lavender is a plant well known to induce sleep and reduce anxiety, by enhancing one’s GABA levels, inhibitory neurotransmitters that induce feelings of natural drowsiness. The actual smell slows down your heart rate, and reduces anxiety levels. Gender effects have been noticed in psychological studies, and in women, lavender has been shown to increase light sleep, and decrease REM, and the amount of time to awake after first falling asleep, with opposite effects noted in men.
Jasmine plant – This exotic plant is really quite gentle. The smell of jasmine has been shown to improve the quality of sleep and increase feelings of alertness and productivity. Studies have shown that is also may reduce anxiety levels, leading to a great quality of sleep, while hitting more cycles of REM, and staying longer in REM. This in turn, promotes more restorative sleep.
Snake plant – Also known as ‘mother in law’s tongue’, snake plants emit oxygen in the night while you’re asleep, and simultaneously takes in carbon dioxide from the air inside your house, something we naturally produce while breathing. It also filters nasty common household toxins from the air, including formaldehyde, and benzene.
English Ivy plant – Another one of NASA’s top plants for purifying air, English Ivy is also simple to grow, and only needs moderate exposure to sunlight. It may be beneficial for those who have breathing problems, allergies or asthma, which all sufferers know can severely impact both the quantity and quality of sleep. Studies show that English ivy can reduce air molds 90- 94% in 12 hours.
Valerian – The root of the Valerian plant has been used as a tea or tincture since ancient times. Galen, the Roman physician and philosopher prescribed it for his patients to combat excessive anxiety, and insomnia. Newer research has shown that Galen was way ahead of his times when prescribing Valerian root. Simply inhaling its pleasant sweet aroma is enough to help you fall asleep quickly, if not more easily with a promising chance of achieving restorative sleep.
With stress and anxiety causing half of all insomnia issues, and sleep problems, it’s a good idea to fill your bedroom with a variety of plants that have a calming effect. Studies show that spending time in nature reduces stress, so why not simply bring nature indoors? Before adding plants to your home, it’s crucial to check that they aren’t toxic to children, adults, or animals, so make sure they are suitable for your family and do your research if there is a concern. Florists and professional gardeners recommend wiping the leaves down every week or so to ensure the plants are effectively doing their job.
Lastly, be sure to include a good mix of plants that purify the air in other areas of your house as well, and include those in your bedroom that induce sleep and restful slumber through their uplifting scent and other health benefits. You might end up getting a restful night’s sleep, be prone to less conflict the next day, while being more productive and a happier person overall.