Design for Better Sleep: Bring Nature Indoors

Small houseplant

In our high stress, fast-paced world, getting a good night’s rest becomes increasingly more difficult every year. If there’s one room in a home that needs to be stress-free, it’s the bedroom. Good design can and should support the main purpose of any room but especially the bedroom. While today, many people focus on purchasing a comfortable and budget-friendly mattress, the bed is only one element in the design. One of the latest and most livable design trends brings natural greenery indoors to create a luscious oasis where you’ll love falling asleep.

Relax in Nature

There is a connection between stress and nature. Being in nature, whether that’s a walk in the park or a stroll on the beach, naturally brings down your heart rate and reduces stress hormones. The sounds, smells, and colors all give your brain the relaxation signal.

A  natural environment also aids in recovery after an illness. Many hospitals now put time and effort into designing attractive outdoor spaces for their patients. Not to mention the fact that plants release oxygen and absorb biotoxins, improving air quality. Plants in your bedroom can provide many of the same benefits as a walk in the forest.

Using Plants in Your Bedroom Design

While any plant makes a welcome addition to the bedroom, there are some that are more helpful than others. NASA conducted a study to find the best plants that help reduce indoor air pollution. They came up with an extensive list but a few favorites include:

  • Spider Plant: The spider plant grows quickly and loves wet environments. It does an impressive job of removing carbon dioxide from the air.

  • Snake Plant: This plant is more than attractive leaves. It takes in carbon dioxide during the day and releases oxygen at night, making it the perfect addition to a healthy bedroom environment.

  • Peace Lily: If you want a conversation piece, try a peace lily. It’s bright white color obscures the many benefits it has such as removing benzene, acetone, and alcohols from the air.

  • Dragon Tree: Popular in offices because of its size and appearance, the dragon tree also keeps xylene released from car exhaust, paints, and cigarettes out of the air. It’s a low maintenance option that has big benefits.

  • Bamboo Palm: This little plant releases a lot of moisture into the air so it works well in arid climates. It’s insect resistant and easy to grow in shady areas.

There are many other plants that work well in the bedroom. Consider the climate and design of your home before choosing plants. Some do well in direct sunlight while others prefer shady spots. Some do better in high humidity while others can’t take much water. Look for plants that appeal to you visually and require the level of maintenance you’re willing to put into your weekly routine.

Design Ideas

After considering which plants you might want to include, use your creativity. Incorporate plants into your existing design by placing one on your nightstand close to your pillow. If you’re a little more adventurous, consider:

Bed with plant

  • Varying Heights: Plants of varying heights take up vertical space and add visual interest. This method works well in an empty corner where you’re not likely to place anything else.

  • Plant Shelf: A floating shelf with several small potted plants adds ambience in the right bedroom.

  • Living Walls: Living walls are a relatively new concept to home design. A box of mature plants already planted and intertwined is attached to the wall. Not for the faint of heart, these walls make a statement, yet require only basic maintenance.

Adding plants to your home and specifically to your bedroom may improve both the air and your sleep.

Ellie Porter

Managing Editor | SleepHelp.org
ellie@sleephelp.org

Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Ways to Influence Good Health Habits

It’s no secret. I’m battling extra pounds. No, I haven’t hit the obese rating on any chart but I am squeezing into once comfortable clothes and struggling against the scales. Age is not making it any easier.

Nemesis

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Squeeze the Day!

One thing I learned when we first moved to the desert was how to use citrus once the season hits. It’s troubling to see so many oranges and grapefruits find their fate on the ground below the trees. At our current home we have a couple of orange trees, a grapefruit and one mandarin type variety. We recently added a lemon tree and two small kumquats to the mix.

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Laughter

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” The quote from Woody Allen describes the condition that triggers the release of endorphins, our natural feel-good chemicals that promote a sense of well-being and have also been shown to relieve pain. It also triggers the release of milk from one’s nostrils but never mind.

flickr.cc.2.0/photos/chrishuggins

Let Me be Your Zero Hero

When my kids’ were a bit younger, on the 100th day of school, the Zero Hero appeared and celebrated with bags of 100 things; Cheerios, pretzels, goldfish crackers – you get the picture. Today, however is my 100th blog post. I recognize that it’s peanuts compared to some of you uber-productive bloggers who churn out multiple posts per day but given that my goal was 50 – 150 posts per year, I’m on track.

Zero Hero Sneaking a Popsicle

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The Way to a Man’s Heart

My friend confided in me that her husband will never leave her for another woman. Rather, she might lose him to a good Osso Bucco. I’m certain that you’ve heard the old adage, that the stomach is the pathway to a man’s heart but over the last few years there is growing evidence that the true path to the heart is through one’s teeth.

Showing the Pearly Whites

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Salt of the Earth

Salt is the new black. But then black salt might refer to sea salt that is mixed with activated charcoal or to Kala Namak, the deep purple salt from India with an odor telling of its sulfur content. Whether it’s pink salt from the Himalayas or matcha green tea salt, recently I’ve seen a number of recipes that call for a specific salt pedigree.

Peruvian Salt in the Sacred Valley Ogwen.flickr.cc.2.0

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The Butterfly Effect

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.  ~Rabindranath Tagore

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Poop

“There is nothing so overrated as orgasm and as underrated as excrement.” I’ve heard this quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin but now I can’t seem to find a source. So what is it doing here? It began innocently. I asked my youngest son what I ought to blog about this week and with 8 year old humor he answered, “Poop.” Don’t worry, there’s no photo of the product.

An Underrated Experience