Forest Bathing in your Bedroom
Have you heard of the japanese activity of forest bathing? Or shinrin-yoku, “shinrin” meaning forest and “yoku” meaning bath, or immersing oneself in the forest and soaking in the atmosphere through the senses. The benefits include boosting well being, mood and health. In some countries forest bathing is even prescribed by doctors, how amazing is that??
There is no doubt in my mind about the positives of nature and being amongst the trees, but how can we get some of these benefits in our bedrooms……… lots of lovely houseplants!
Research shows that houseplants can improve the quality of air we breathe, lift our mood and even improve our sleep.
Studies show that the air inside our homes is polluted with organic compounds released from carpets, paints, plastics, glues and computers. These pollutants can cause symptoms such as headaches, loss of concentration and sore throats. A study by NASA in the 80’s looked into the effects of houseplants combating this pollution (they were researching how to keep air clean inside space stations). Houseplants, they found, don't just absorb carbon-dioxide and release oxygen, but also eliminate significant amounts of these pollutants.
So maybe it’s time we all add some houseplants to our shopping list. Here are 5 plants that will make your bedroom a prettier, healthier space:
An obvious choice given it’s reputation for sleep and relaxation. Lavender has been proven to lower our heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels, which is why it’s perfect for the bedroom. Lavender plants like warmth and sunlight, so place yours on a sunny windowsill and water sparingly.
The unkillable peace lily (this is not a challenge!) is a great option for those of us who struggle to keep plants alive. This little beauty is an amazing air cleaner with the added benefit that it can increase room humidity by up to 5%. Increased humidity can be really helpful for breathing while sleeping. Peace lilies will also reduce the level of mould spores in the air (so they work well in bathrooms too).
At night, most plants stop photosynthesising and start to respire like a human, they take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. But orchids do the opposite , they continue to take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Keeping an orchid in your bedroom will improve the air while you sleep.
This medicinal plant is an ideal addition to your sleep space. It produces oxygen at night, just like an orchid, so it will improve the air you breathe. It is also a ‘succulent’ therefore can survive on very little watering. The gel from these leaves can be used to treat minor cuts, insect bites and dry skin. A handy plant to have around the house!
A forgiving house plant that is easy to look after. The Spider plant was a part of NASA Clean air study. It is most effective in removing carbon monoxide and formaldehyde (amongst other pollutants). It outperformed many other indoor plants that participated in that experiment. It also sprouts lots of little baby spider plants that can be repotted and grown to produce more house plants!
Which plants do you have in your bedroom? Let us know in the comments!