Written by Amy Highland
Gardening is one of the most common hobbies in the world, and with good reason. It brings joy to everyone who steps foot in the garden, sees the flowers that come out of it, or eat the fruits and vegetables that grow in the fertile soil.
Plants can do wonders for your health, but did you know that they can also help you to get a good night’s sleep if you bring some of them inside your bedroom? It’s true! We have all struggled with getting a good night’s sleep at some point, so if you’re already spending time gardening, you should think about bringing a few insides as well to improve your sleep and thus your life.
Pain is one of the most common reasons that people report struggling to sleep at night. Plants can improve the rate that you heal physically, reducing the amount of pain you are in, something that scientists have known for decades. Patients in a 1984 study that had views of trees or gardens healed on average a day faster than those who had views of a brick wall. They also had fewer post-surgical complications and needed less pain medication. If you are someone who struggles with chronic pain, this can be a small help for you.
Another way that plants help you to sleep better is by cleaning the air around them. This helps you to breathe more deeply, not to mention breathe cleaner air when you do breathe. This will mean that more oxygen gets into your body and thus into your bloodstream, making it easier to be happy and healthy.
Leafy plants like ivies and striped dracaena are the most helpful because they take in the most carbon dioxide, according to studies, but really keeping any kind of plant in your bedroom will help. Pick ones that are easy for you to care for and that you enjoy looking at, and you’ll be happier, too.
Other ways you can work to improve your sleep are by decluttering your room, setting a sleep schedule for yourself and by making sure that your mattress and pillows are as supportive as they can be. Decluttering your space makes it harder for your brain to find things to worry about in your bedroom, which makes it easier to deal with any anxiety you have trouble with. By setting a sleep schedule, you are able to train your body to begin feeling tired at a regular time every day. This helps you to set a routine and stick to it, making you happier and healthier. You should also be updating your mattress every eight to ten years in order to ensure you are getting as much support as you need to sleep well. Pillows should be updated at a minimum of every three years to be as comfortable as you can be. If you’ve tried all of this and still find yourself struggling to sleep, try talking to your doctor to see if there is a medical reason you aren’t sleeping well.
Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. Her preferred research topics are health and wellness, so Amy’s a regular reader of Scientific American and Nature. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.