There’s nothing like potted plants strategically placed to instantly liven up a room. They bring nature indoors and create a calm, relaxed environment that’s sorely missing in today’s chaotic world. But if you ask nearly anyone about having plants in the bedroom, you may hear a resounding ‘no’. That’s because they produce carbon dioxide at night since sunlight isn’t available for photosynthesis. But, the truth is, the amount of CO2 plants emit at night is very small. And, when you factor in how they improve indoor air quality and the stress-relieving effects they have, there’s a lot to benefit from placing them in the bedroom.
It’s cheekily called Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and is one of the best indoor plants you can have. Snake plant is low maintenance and produces oxygen at night. A study done by NASA showed that it’s a natural air filter and can remove several toxins to help you sleep better. They include the likes of formaldehyde, which can cause irritation to the nose, mouth, and throat; benzene, which can cause headaches, confusion and even unconsciousness; and xylene, which can lead to dizziness, heart problems, and kidney damage.
Place snake plants in indirect light and rotate the pot so that the leaves get even light exposure. Don’t over-water them; instead, water when the soil becomes dry.
Who hasn’t heard of lavender and its soothing effects? The fragrant flower is known to reduce anxiety and depression, which are conditions that can keep you awake at night. It also acts as a mild sedative and has been shown to increase slow-wave sleep (SWS) and decrease rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. In a study conducted on open heart surgery patients, inhaling lavender essential oil was even shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate.
Place your lavender plant in direct sunlight like near a window. Don’t water it too often as it grows best in dry conditions.
Aloe vera is similar to the snake plant in that it produces oxygen at night and isn’t high maintenance. The succulent is often used to treat minor cuts and dry skin, so it’s a convenient plant to have around. What’s more, aloe vera is also known to purify the air and propagates easily. Just plant a pup in one part potting soil and one part sand. Water the soil after a week and watch your plant grow.
Keep your plant under direct sunlight, right near your window. You should water it only when the soil is completely dry.
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Jasmine is another anxiety-reducing plant and if you find yourself lying awake at night with thoughts of worry, consider placing a pot of it in your bedroom. According to a study, the scent of jasmine can reduce sleep movement and lead to greater sleep efficiency. It doesn’t prolong total sleep time, but it improves sleep quality. The participants who were tested in the study even performed better in cognitive tests after inhaling the scent.
Jasmine is usually grown outdoors, but you can also have it indoors in a pot or a hanging basket. Place it under direct sunlight in spring and summer and shift to indirect light in winter.
If you like tending to plants, get a pot of gardenia for your bedroom. Unlike aloe vera and snake plant, it requires more maintenance, but the efforts are well worth it. A clinical trial showed that gardenia might improve the quality of sleep while another suggests that it may work as well as valium by helping you feel calmer and promoting sleep.
Keep in mind that gardenia needs quite a bit of care as it thrives in bright indirect light and high humidity. This means you’ll need to use a humidifier if the air is dry. You’ll also need to keep the soil moist but not overly wet.
Around 4 percent of American adults use prescription medication to sleep. While it may be necessary for severe cases of sleep disorders, there’s nothing like going the natural route with these plants. They’re not addictive like many medications and do more than help you sleep; they also keep the air clean and add plenty of charm to your bedroom. You can place them in corners, near windows, and on tabletops. You’ll soon see the difference they make to your sleep.