Best indoor plants for sleep

Best indoor plants for sleep

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Best indoor plants for sleep, fight fatigue and boost mood

What are the best indoor plants for sleep?

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1 of 17


Best indoor plants for sleep, fight fatigue and boost mood

A ton of research suggests the presence of plants can boost your mood and even increase your ability to fall asleep. In one study, researchers put plants in bedrooms of people who’d slept poorly and found that participants’ sleep improved and they had fewer symptoms of depression the following day.

One of the key health benefits of plants is a compound called phytochemicals, a substance that accumulates in certain parts of the plant and can help ward off diseases.

What’s a sleeper-friendly indoor plant?

For instance, a 2013 study found that participants with allergies who had a bowl of houseplants in their bedrooms over a six-month period spent more than eight hours a night in the bedroom and nearly 25 percent of those folks slept for seven hours or more without the aid of a daytime nap.

Plants also have been found to reduce symptoms of insomnia and depression. These sedative qualities are probably due to their presence of a compound called salicylic acid, which has a natural tranquility effect and even makes it easier to fall asleep.

So if you want to feel like you’re home but don’t have a huge outdoor space for planting, an indoor pot of a hardy succulent, houseplant or some bonsai could help you manage stress and enjoy the benefits of being in your bedroom.

How do indoor plants help your sleep?

Indoor plants such as ferns, philodendrons and bonsai trees have roots that take nutrients from the soil and not enough direct sunlight to produce chlorophyll, the green substance in plants that lets them photosynthesize, so they can produce energy without using light. This lack of chlorophyll may decrease sleep-deprivation symptoms, since the brain uses proteins to produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which, in turn, can induce feelings of happiness and better sleep.

“When the brain gets activated and is producing sleep hormones, the body’s pineal gland actually dims its light response to generate sleep,” said Karen Fine, a psychologist in New York City who specializes in the science of natural sleep remedies and whose research on the effects of sleep and plants has been featured in The Washington Post and in several psychology textbooks.

If you want to see some sleep-inducing properties in a plant, you could opt for an Amazonian jade plant, also known as “Jade Love,” which grows about two feet tall and has brownish-green leaves. It’s a cacti and has a rosette-like shape that spreads from a central stem. A study found that you can order the plant in a green pot for about $15, or one that has a red base and a blue background for about $30.

“It’s used to help relieve stress and sleeplessness, and some cultures use it as a calming, euphoric plant,” Fine said.

Additionally, studies show that people who live in green homes that have plants have higher levels of mental wellbeing. (Toward that end, her wellness and lifestyle website, Soothing Organics, sells potpourri scented with essential oils that’s designed to bring about a calm state of mind.)

Since you don’t have to worry about the light flickering on the screen, or the air-conditioning being turned on, you can also focus on work or fun during the day with the aid of a plant.

These benefits don’t have to be relegated to living in a more rustic or greener space. “If you have a window that lets in some sunlight and allows you to sit in the room comfortably, you can make your own internal greenhouse,” Fine said.

For starters, she said, look for succulents, a type of cactus, which will stay compact and give a more delicate look to your living room, even if they’re kept in a bigger pot.

Indoor plants: the top 10 healthiest


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