Design With Plants to Sleep Better

Today’s buildings are sealed tightly to maximize energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. This insulation is good for keeping your bedroom cool at night all summer long or warm in the winter, but it’s not helpful for maintaining fresh air in your bedroom. Without fresh air, you may be susceptible to health issues including headaches, drowsiness, congestion, and allergy-related symptoms due to indoor air pollutants. These pollutants have many sources, such as chemical cleaners and furniture emissions. Most houses have at least some indoor air pollutants

An easy solution to getting fresh air inside is to open windows and doors at night. In fact, doing so has been shown to improve sleep length, time to fall asleep, and the number of awakenings at night. However, it’s not always possible to sleep with your doors or windows open at night due to weather, security, noise, and personal preferences.

When you can’t open your doors and windows to nature, the alternative is to bring nature indoors. Houseplants have long been known as a resource for improving interiors. They can be used not just to beautify a bedroom, but to clean and purify the air from the inside. Adding houseplants can give you a better night’s sleep and improve the air quality in your bedroom.

Plants That Can Clean Your Bedroom Air

In a NASA study, researchers used common household plants to find out how well they can clean indoor air. They used the plants to clean the air of chemicals including benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. These chemicals are known irritants that are potentially toxic and carcinogenic. Plants that did well removing harmful chemicals from the air include:

  • Mass cane

  • Pot mum

  • Gerbera daisy

  • Warneckei

  • Ficus

  • English ivy

  • Golden pothos

  • Peace lily

  • Chinese evergreen

These plants, either alone or combined, are a good choice for bedrooms. They can filter chemicals from the air and convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, which helps you breathe easier at night.

Choosing Natural Bedroom Design

Plants aren’t the only way to bring the outdoors inside for bedroom design. Nature can be healing, so it’s a good idea to introduce as many natural elements in your bedroom as possible.

  • Choose a natural mattress. Mattresses are increasingly available with more natural elements. You can find mattresses made of plant-based foam, with wool fire socks, and organic cotton covers.

  • Sleep on natural bedding. When choosing sheets, look for 100 percent cotton or bamboo rather than synthetics.

  • Choose wood furniture. Wood furniture has a warm, natural feel. Choose lightly stained or unpainted wood if possible.

  • Rely primarily on natural lighting. Our bodies are designed to follow sunlight for sleeping patterns. Open up window coverings during the day to feel more alert, and avoid using bright lights at night.

  • Use natural colors. Paint your bedroom walls the colors of nature. Blue is the best choice for sleep, but other colors, including pastel shades of green and yellow, are good choices. Neutrals and earth tones are soothing as well.

  • Include images of nature. Bring the outdoors inside with a photo, painting, or other natural art.