5 plants to help you sleep

Sleep is something many of us can admit that we don’t get enough of. But did you know that there are plants to help you sleep?

Guest poster Sarah Cummings is a sleep expert. She writes regularly for Sleep Advisor, which is a website geared towards helping you achieve the best shut eye possible. Here, she writes for Mr Plant Geek about the ideal plants to help you catch those Zs.

Your bedroom will no doubt have a bed, mattress, pillows, covers and maybe some other less essential bedroom furniture in it. Obviously, the first four items mentioned are pretty much necessities for people to go to sleep properly each night.

But, once the curtains are drawn and you’re settling down for the night, what do you think (apart from switching off smart devices as they’re terrible for sleep) you can do to help you get a better night’s sleep each evening? It could well be a source that has never crossed your mind before, and that’s plants.

No you don’t need to go rooting up the first set of plants that come into sight from your garden, as this could quite well be a pointless exercise. Instead, we’re going to tell you five of the best plants to add to your bedroom space in order to pick up those additional dreamland minutes that could make a big difference in the long-run.

The health benefits, as well as the aesthetics, are all there with these lovely plants. So, let’s take a look at the best options for you, shall we?

1. Aloe Vera

5 plants to help you sleep: Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is widely known for its medicinal purposes – it’s renowned for soothing skin issues such as burns. Aloe vera contains the phytochemical compounds: enzymes, fatty acids, sugars, proteins, vitamins, minerals, sugars, steroids, tannins, flavonoids, immunoglobulin, saponins, and catechins. Among these ingredients, the most important nutrients are the polysaccharides that provide most of the benefits of aloe vera. These catechins act like antioxidants, protecting cells from damage and preventing disease-causing molecules from penetrating the skin. Polysaccharides are also responsible for the skin’s moisture content.

This plant is very good at producing oxygen come nighttime, making it a solid addition to your bedroom as it will improve the air in your room while you sleep.

This plant also featured in The Sleep Advisor’s “11 Best Sleep-Inducing Houseplants for Your Bedroom” feature, which only goes to reinforce its appeal. Referred to as a succulent plant, the care required for this particular plant is extremely minimal. Not much watering is needed thanks to the way it maintains moisture within the leaves.

As we mentioned, the gel from these leaves is effective at treating minor cuts and burns, insect bites and dry skin issues too. Ideally, you want to keep your aloe vera plant in a suntrap-friendly position to help it stay healthy.

Apart from helping you sleep better through improving the air quality in your room, the gel from your aloe vera plants can also be collected to produce DIY skincare products you can include in your night time routine. This can help with skin problems such as acne.

2. Jasmine

Jasmine and chamomile had been among the most popular and most heavily used flowers by the ancients. Both have proven benefits to the health, well-being, and beauty of those who use them. In fact, jasmine tea is one of the most well-known and heavily advertised kinds of tea, particularly as a beverage that will help you to sleep better.

If you’re after a plant that will help the appearance of your room, then jasmine plants are a sound option. Coming complete with their small, white flowers they look just lovely. However, they also offer a pleasant, sweet scent typically used as an essential oil to help people relax and unwind.

Research has established that the jasmine plant’s scent can lower feelings of anxiety. The evidence behind the mood-lifting qualities of jasmine flowers dates back to ancient times. Many ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians and the Aztecs, used jasmine flowers in religious ceremonies. Some tribes believed that jasmine flowers could help calm the senses and provide an overall feeling of well-being.

This will subsequently, but not exclusively, help to improve your quality of sleep. Similarly to aloe vera, jasmine plants are pretty simple to keep and will live perfectly fine when planted in a pot.

Preferably, you should place it on a windowsill and then remember to water it on a once a week in winter/colder months, or 2-3 times a week in the summer/warmer months. Allow the topsoil to dry out slightly during non-flowering periods as this will aid with over-watering prevention.

Lastly, one of the most widely known jasmine tea benefits is its deodorizing effect. When people consume jasmine tea, the scent is inhaled, which has a subtle yet pleasant odor. This reduces airborne bacteria and promotes freshness even as the day ends. More so, jasmine flowers can be used to ward off fatigue.

3. Lavender

5 plants to help you sleep: Lavender

Lavender is arguably the most recognised scent associated with effectual relaxation. From air fresheners to essential oils and laundry powder, lavender is always an option; and with good reason.

Experts have found that lavender lowers blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress levels too. This makes it ideal for the bedroom. Research conducted by the Miami Miller School of Medicine found that the scent of lavender in bath oil alone acted to calm babies and supported sending them into a deeper sleep. Not only this, it lowered their mother’s stress levels too!

For lavender plants you need to accommodate their love for sunlight and warmth. Therefore, you should keep them as close as possible to or on a sunny windowsill at all times. Watering is only required sparingly.

4. Peace Lily

5 plants to help you sleep: Peace Lily

If you wanted any more reason to have a peace lily in your room, then NASA’s study on its effects included being wonderful at making the air quality in your room much better.

Adding to this, a peace lily is able to up the level of humidity in your room by as much as five percent, which is a great trait to have in order for you to enjoy better breathing during stages of sleep.

In fact, low humidity is a precursor for a multitude of issues, such as dry skin and hair, static electricity, raised vulnerability to colds and respiratory illnesses, while also upping the chances of you picking up viruses and germs as they thrive in these conditions.

Another plant that is pleasing on the eye, peace lilies grow delightful white flowers. They also require little watering and scarce amounts of light, meaning they can really thrive in your bedroom.

5. Snake Plant

5 plants to help you sleep: Snake Plant

You might have heard of the plant “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” – also known as the snake plant. It acts to positively purify the air and also emit oxygen during the night, therefore giving you a better quality of air to breathe as you rest each evening.

The snake plant also has the ability to filter xylene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, toluene, and benzene from the air. If you really want to get the most out of this plant, then don’t restrict yourself to one plant. Go all in and add 6-8 waist-high plants (per person) to gain the optimal output from this natural oxygen-giver!

Final word

There are many health benefits of having indoor plants in your home. There are several ways that houseplants release carbon dioxide and oxygen into the air. The plants release these natural gases naturally because these are what they need to sustain them. This process is actually beneficial for the health of humans because it helps to keep our air quality cleaner. Mental health is improved as well. As you retreat back to your homes after a long and stressful day, your house should emulate that cozy feel where you know you’re going to have a good night’s rest. Indoor plants will always be a good addition in your home for this purpose.

Find Sarah Cummings and Sleep Advisor on Twitter here.

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