Keeping your sleep environment close to nature can support healthy sleep. Your body's internal clock, also known as your circadian rhythm, relies on cues typically found in nature (including light, sound, and activity level) to help guide you through your day and make you feel sleepy at the appropriate time.
Add Houseplants to Your Bedroom
Making your bedroom's air quality more like the great outdoors may help you breathe and rest easier at night. Although an air purifying device is an option, you can take a more natural route with house plants.
NASA research indicates indoor plants can clear indoor air pollution, making the air you breathe at night while you're sleeping cleaner. Some house plants can remove harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene from the air in your bedroom.
Good choices for air cleaning houseplants include English ivy, peace lilies, bamboo palms and Gerbera daisies. These plants have been found to be effective at removing chemicals from the air. However, other house plants may be helpful in clearing indoor air as well.
Encourage Air Flow
Keeping your bedroom at a cool temperature (about 67 degrees) can offer healthier sleep, as we tend to sleep better at cool temperatures. Fresh air at night can be beneficial as well.
It's a good idea to let fresh air flow throughout your bedroom at night. Opening windows is an obvious choice, but if that's not an option, you can at least leave your bedroom door open and use a fan at night to promote air flow. In fact, research indicates you may sleep better if you leave your bedroom windows and doors open at night. You may fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and have fewer awakenings with your bedroom windows and doors open.
When designing your bedroom, leave plenty of room for air flow. That means leaving room in between furniture to offer walkways and air flow areas. You should avoid placing more than just the head of your mattress next to the wall, so you can have air circulating on both sides and at the end of your bed.
Choose Natural Bedding
Natural mattress and bedding materials tend of offer better breath-ability and comfort than synthetic counterparts. A mattress made with an organic cotton topper may be more breathable and cool at night. Blankets, sheets, and other bedding made of cotton or bamboo may offer more absorbency and feel softer next to your skin.
Additionally, natural materials tend to minimize or eliminate off-gassing smells. Off-gassing is a chemical smell that can occur with new products for the first few weeks after purchase. It can be off putting or uncomfortable for people who are sensitive to smells.
Incorporate Natural Colors
The colors of nature can be soothing and help you feel more calm for a good night's sleep. Although bold and bright colors are exciting and visually appealing, excitement isn't a good quality for sleep.
Choose muted, natural tones for your bedroom walls. Look for light blues, greens, tans, even yellow for a more relaxing, soothing vibe in your bedroom. If you're looking for bright colors, consider adding them as accents.
Bringing nature into your bedroom can help you feel more centered and sleep better at night. Consider natural materials, air flow, color, and even bringing nature indoors with house plants for better quality sleep and comfort in your bedroom.
Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.