Sleep (and breathe) easier with the power of greenery in your bedroom
If you’re waking up just as tired as when you went to sleep, it could be what you’re breathing in while you slumber. With advancements in construction practices, making our homes and workplaces more air-tight, and changes in how we manufacture everything we use to make and decorate our houses – from building materials to décor – our nighttime air quality might be lower than ideal.
No matter how clean we keep our home sleep environment, there are some toxins that we can’t get away from. These 5 top the list:
- Trichloroethylene. An industrial product found in paints, varnish, dry cleaning and adhesives.
- Benzene. A common solvent found in gas, oils, rubbers and plastics.
- Formaldehyde. Found in grocery bags, facial tissues, cleaning agents and paper towels.
- Xylene. This chemical can be found in tobacco smoke, rubber, paint and vehicle exhaust.
- Ammonia. Common to many homes and found in household cleaners, floor wax and fertilizers.
The good news is that, according to a well-known NASA study, there’s an easy (and very cheerful) fix to your household air quality that might surprise you. We’re talking about houseplants.
You already know plants are a bright and fresh addition to your home. But, according to the researchers at NASA, plants may also be able to reduce indoor air pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde. Additionally, some super plants are actually able to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, further improving indoor air quality. Newer studies have shown that having plants around can also improve your mood and concentration too. Sounds like a win-win to us.
So, whether or not you’ve got a green thumb, it’s time do some plant shopping for your bedroom. Here are 5 plants to consider adding to your bedroom design plan – plus two you can safely leave at the store.
The list topper – Snake Plant
Known for its sword-like leaves this dramatic vertical plant is also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (yikes!). This eye-catching addition to your bedroom will help clean the air in your sleep space – but it also possesses an additional superpower. Unique amongst other plants, the Snake Plant is able to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen during the night hours. Because of its easy care, hard-to-kill reputation, it tops our list of best plants for your bedroom.
The wizard plant – Dracaena
We love the tropical, tree-like look of this potted plant. Featuring long stems topped by thin spiky leaves, it’s a sleek asset to a modern, clean bedroom aesthetic. Long touted as the perfect bedroom plant for smokers (air purifying qualities), it’s included in NASA’s clean air study for its ability to clear away a variety of toxins. Seems this beauty deserves its spot on the super plant list. Dracaenas can grow up to 3 ft tall and love moderate light and lightly moist soil, so make sure to place by a window with lots of room to grow.
The one who needs love – Areca Palm
The tropical vibe of this exotic tree will give a lovely and lush feeling to your bedroom décor. Just like the Snake Plant, the Areca Palm is able to remove carbon dioxide from the air, helping you breathe easier. It’s also great for purifying toxins like formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene from the air. A little more finicky, Areca Palms demand bright and indirect light and evenly moist soil, especially in spring and summer.
The healer – Aloe Vera
If you’ve benefitted from Aloe’s skin relief benefits, you’re no stranger to the healing powers of this plant. But did you know that Aloe Vera plants also do double duty to heal your sleep too? Besides treating sunburns, rashes, dry skin and bug bites, this medicinal plant also releases oxygen at night as well as purifying the air of both benzene and formaldehyde. Since it’s a succulent, it needs very little watering and maintains moisture within its leaves. For optimum plant health and growth, keep in a sunny place.
The maybe it’s worth it – Peace Lily
Peace Lily plants are more than just a pretty face. Featuring lush green leaves and beautiful white flowers, they need little light and watering just once a week. Just like the Snake Plant, they clean the air, as evidenced in the NASA study. Plus, the added benefit of these easy-care plants is their ability to increase room humidity by up to 5% so they can ease breathing while you sleep and potentially lessen your susceptibility to colds and respiratory illnesses. Note that the Peace Lily is poisonous if ingested, so keep it up high and away from children and pets.
The think twice – Zz Plant
This sweet and durable plant features shiny leaves and a unique look. While it’s perfect for your nightstand or a small corner of your room, it can be poisonous to kids and pets, causing pain or congestion if ingested and a rash just from touching it. Yes, it’s super easy to take care of, needing water only when the soil feels dry and low levels of light – we just aren’t sure it’s worth the risk.
The one to leave at the store – Dieffenbachia
While a very common household plant, we don’t recommend placing a Dieffenbachia plant in your bedroom. It’s easy to care for and can fill out an empty space in your bedroom, but it’s sap contains crystals that can irritate mucous membranes and it can be toxic to both humans and pets.
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- 5 ways to lose weight while you sleep
- 8 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep
- Savvy sleep strategies for sleeping with a cold or the flu