Some flowers do a lot more than just look good. While prized mostly for their natural beauty, the benefits of keeping certain plants in the bedroom are more than meets the eye. In fact, some houseplants can actually improve the way you sleep.
Jasmine Decreases Anxiety
It’s long been common knowledge that certain flowers, like jasmine, have relaxing properties, and now, there’s actual scientific proof. According to a psychology study at Wheeling Jesuit University aka WJU, the scent of the jasmine plant can actually relax a person’s nervous system, leading to better sleep quality followed by greater mental performance in the morning. But that’s not all.
In a separate German study in 2010, researchers found that the scent of the species Gardenia jasminoides has the same effect and strength as prescription barbiturates (central nervous system depressant) and propofol (common relaxant before general anaesthesia application). The findings led to the researchers being granted a patent for using jasmine as a substitute for valium and other tension-relieving drugs for treating sleep disorders.
Here’s how you can enjoy jasmine’s anxiety-relieving effects: You want to have either several small or just one or two big pots of jasmine near the head of your bed. If it’s of the vining variety, you can even train its vines to arch somewhere around your bed’s headboard, ensuring that the relaxing scent reaches your olfactory nerves. You can also opt for the dwarf jasmine or the royal jasmine, just make sure that they get adequate sunlight and even amounts of moisture.
Lavender Promotes Relaxation and Mother-Child Bonding
Lavender is another famously relaxing scent that’s backed by science. In a 2008 study, mom and infant pairs were separated into two groups: one in which infants were given a lavender-scented oil bath, and one in which infants were just given a normal bath.
The researchers observed that both moms and infants in the lavender bath oil group bonded with each other more than the other group. In fact, the moms also smiled more, touched their infants more as they bathed them, and were generally more relaxed throughout the experiment. Also, the infants looked at their moms more during the bath, cried a lot less, and even spent more time in deep sleep after being bathed. After testing, they even found that both moms and infants’ cortisol levels were significantly decreased after being exposed to lavender oil.
If someone you know is suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety, a bunch of lavender plants in the bedroom could help them relax and even establish a better bond with their baby. Remember: lavender plants like full sun, so make sure to put them in a spot where they can get direct sunlight in the mornings and afternoons. Water them infrequently, when the soil is almost dry, but use a lot of water.
As doctors have long known, scent can greatly affect mood and our nervous system. It should come as no surprise that these scents, commonly marketed to be relaxing and anxiety-relieving, actually have some physiologically relaxing effects on the body.