In a world that’s full of technology, constant information, and increasing pressure to perform, it can be hard to get a good night’s rest. As the space in which you’ll spend nearly a third of your life, the bedroom of all the rooms in your house needs to be an escape from the outside world. Even if you’re stuck sleeping on an air mattress, you can use natural design elements to help relax both your mind and body to get the deep, restful sleep you need.
Why Bring Nature Indoors?
Nature has a naturally calming and soothing effect. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it was found that participants who spent 90 minutes in a natural environment showed less activity in the area of the brain associated with mental illness like anxiety and depression. The colors, sounds, and scents of nature influence how your brain works and can be used to your advantage when it comes to getting better sleep.
1. Add Houseplants
A study performed by NASA found that certain plants remove biotoxins from the air, which is not only safer but improves the quality of your sleep. Many of these plants remove toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, which are released from common household products. A few plants worth considering:
Snake Plant: The snake plant makes the top of our list because it releases oxygen during the day and at night. It thrives in low to bright light and doesn’t have high water needs.
Peace Lily: Peace lilies work best in dry climates because the naturally release humidity into the air. While they’re not picky about light levels, they do require a lot of water.
Spider Plant: This plant is fairly easy to grow even for newbies. It does well in most sunlight levels but does require frequent watering and occasional pruning.
Aloe Vera: You can’t go wrong with aloe vera, which releases oxygen day and night. Aloe vera is a succulent so it doesn’t require much water and grows in low to bright light.
These are a few of our favorites but you might also consider Gerbera daisies, English ivy, jasmine, lavender, or rosemary, which have also been shown to improve air and sleep quality.
2. Use Artwork
Sometimes houseplants aren’t practical. A busy travel schedule can make it difficult to take care of plants and some species are toxic to pets and people, which can be a problem if you have children. Then, of course, there are those who suffer from allergies.
If plants don’t work for you, artwork of that depicts nature can have a similar effect on your mind. Photos of trees, leaves, and outdoor scenes can be enough to trigger the relaxation response, which is a lowering of your heart rate and blood pressure.
3. Manage Natural Light Wisely
Natural light is vital for the correct timing of the sleep-wake cycle. However, it needs to be managed wisely in the bedroom. Two curtain layers, one sheer and one blackout, can help manage light levels. Exposure to light early in the day helps the body correctly time the release of sleep hormones at night. At night, it needs to be as dark as possible to strengthen the body’s response to sleep hormones.
Natural elements can help you relax, clean the air, and reduce the number of synthetic and artificial products used in your decor. Piece by piece, you can bring elements into your design but not only make your bedroom feel like an escape to nature but a sleep sanctuary.