It is well-known that plants can improve a living space by adding an aesthetic touch. (By Arrangement)
With warmer nights settling in, tossing and turning in bed while sleep remains stubbornly elusive can take a toll on your overall health as well as your mood and energy level. But the remedy may be as simple as some houseplants!
It is well-known that plants can improve a living space by adding an aesthetic touch. But, according to experts, they may also help improve your sleep.
Experts claim spending 15 minutes with plants before you go to bed can help you feel calmer, especially if you’ve had a stressful day.
"We are part of Nature, so any plant within the concrete walls surrounding us provides a feeling of calmness besides a supply of oxygen," says Dr J Anish Anand, Consultant Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals.
According to a NASA study, certain plants are very effective at filtering out all sorts of harmful chemicals and toxins from the air. Better air quality is linked to healthier sleep and improved mental performance during the day. It is also thought to help relieve sleep apnoea.
Dr Anand says the Snake Plant, Rubber Plant, Spider Plant, Aloe Vera, English Ivy and Majesty Palm absorb harmful toxins in the air. The leaves of Aloe Vera and English Ivy have health benefits and can be used as immunity boosters too, he adds.
"Placing plants in spaces where we spend the most time — like the living room or bedroom — decreases stress levels, improves thought processes, increases oxygen supply, and makes us feel healthier and happier, " says Dr Anand.
Luigson Fernandes, a plant enthusiast and founder TheBeardedPlantGuy, provides a complete guide for home gardeners:
Lavender is one of the most recognized herbal scents out there. It is known to slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, reduce stress levels and ease you into sleep. Lavender plants like warmth and sunlight, so keep one on your windowsill.
Aloe Vera has air-improving capabilities according to NASA. It emits oxygen at night, which will potentially make your sleep a lot more restful. It doesn’t require a lot of effort to grow and maintain. Aloe likes a lot of sun, so keep it next to your Lavender.
It is well-known for improving indoor air quality. Snake plants are great at pumping oxygen into your bedroom and their large leaves absorb harmful chemicals from the air. It is easy to take care of.
Areca palm is considered one of the best air purifiers. Like the snake plant, it’s great at removing toxins from the air. The areca palm is also a natural air humidifier and will ensure great air quality in your bedroom while you sleep. In addition, this beauty of a plant brings a tropical feel to your room with its exotic-looking leaves.
These low-maintenance plants are another great choice for purifying the air, particularly for removing carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. Their properties in this regard are acknowledged by NASA. They have beautiful, trailing leaves that look great in hanging pots, baskets and shelves. A must-have in the bedroom as it ticks all the aesthetic and functional boxes.
Spider plants are great at increasing oxygen levels and filtering out toxins in the air to help you breathe easier. NASA studies show that it is very potent in this respect. It is especially recommended for those who have dust allergies. It also absorbs unwanted odours from the room to ensure the air is fresh.
Not a stand-alone remedy
Interior designer Supraja Rao of Design House, who likes to play around with different plants in her décor, says, "There are a bunch of plants which generate oxygen, calm you down and improve respiration. But let us not promote the misconception that just by putting plants in your room, you will get sleep. There are other factors like your thoughts, mood, sounds and lighting, which make a huge difference."
A refreshing vitality
"People need greenery or plants in their space. I have Spider Plant, Jasmine and Aloe Vera in mine. Not only do they bring vitality to living spaces, they also have relaxing and purifying properties, resulting in better sleep."
— Shalini Passi, fitness enthusiast and Founder, SPAF & MASH, platform for art, craft, design, architecture, fashion and jewellery.