Bored with the current state of your bedroom? The problem with decorating a bedroom is that it’s really easy to go overboard. Arguably, boring is a good look for a place that’s supposed to be designed for slumber and relaxation. The very decoration in your bedroom should be able to contribute to the goal of putting you to sleep. So if you find it too boring, haphazardly decorating it with exciting or interesting objects isn’t exactly ideal. On the other hand, thinking about what you can do to “spice things up” in the bedroom can and will keep you awake. So how do you find the balance between interesting and still sleep-conducive bedroom decor? Try a vertical garden.
First of all, contrary to popular belief, you can’t ‘raise the oxygen levels’ in your home simply by introducing a couple houseplants; there’s actually no scientific basis for that claim. Likewise, the claim that houseplants can ‘clean up volatile chemicals in the air’ comes from misinterpretations of a now-famous NASA study on houseplants in space (in a nutshell, houseplants alone can’t clean up air; they need to be attached to carbon filters). But this doesn’t mean that vertical indoor gardens are useless. In fact, if you do it right, installing an indoor garden does come with some very real benefits that are highly conducive to the purposes of sleep and relaxation.
The Very Presence of Houseplants Can Reduce Stress
Simply having some plants in the bedroom can significantly add to its attractiveness, and this alone can reduce stress. In a 2008 study, 77 participants were presented with a scenario in which they were diagnosed with legionella, a respiratory disease that’s similar to pneumonia and requires hospitalization. After that, they were shown two photos of different hospital rooms: one containing houseplants and the other with a wall that mimics an urban environment. Not only did participants prefer the hospital room with houseplants because of its attractiveness, they also self-reported less stress when exposed to that particular room, confirming the stress-reducing effects of having natural elements in a healthcare environment.
Similarly, in a different study, simply taking care of houseplants proved to be a great way of handling stress. After being exposed to a logical problem, participants were divided into two groups: one played games on the computer while the other group was made to tend to indoor plants. As you can probably tell, while both groups struggled with the given logical problem, the one that tended to houseplants experienced considerably less stress indicators. And you can enjoy the same benefits if you had a vertical garden in the comfort of your own bedroom. Instead of going on the computer or pacing back and forth when you can’t sleep, tending to your houseplants can actually help you relax, de-stress, and raise your odds in the fight against insomnia.
Lavender and Jasmine Have Physiologically Relaxing Effects
Aromatherapy is an ancient method of using scents to affect and control the state of the human body, and recently, certain scents were scientifically proven to be much stronger than others. A study conducted by specialists from the University in Bochum, Germany, has found that the scent of jasmine (via essential oils) is literally as calming as the popular sleeping pill, valium. According to lead study author Professor Hanns Hatt, certain chemicals in the airborne scent of jasmine acted on the same receptors in the brain targeted by powerful pharmaceutical relaxants such as sleeping pills, sedatives, and barbiturates (surgery anaesthetics). Furthermore, jasmine can do all that without any of the side effects commonly associated with frequent doses of powerful medication.
Another relaxing scent that can perfectly suit your bedroom’s vertical garden is lavender. Several scientific trials that exposed study participants to essential oils from lavender has found that the scent can have a strong relaxing effect on the central nervous system. In one study, exposure to lavender decreased the participants’ heart rate, skin temperature, and blood pressure – powerful indicators of a relaxed mood and nervous system.
In a similar study, this time involving mother and child pairs, the scent of lavender was found to increase enjoyment and bonding between mother and child. This indicates that lavender can be used as a natural therapeutic measure in mothers suffering from postpartum depression and having problems bonding with their child. So if you’re thinking about which plants to keep in your vertical bedroom garden, try a soothing combination of jasmine and lavender.
Vertical Gardens Can Block Shade and Reduce Solar Heat
Plants need sun while humans, particularly during the summer, need to block out sunlight; this is especially important in the bedroom because lower temperatures are better for healthy and uninterrupted sleep. Hit these birds with one stone by installing a vertical garden next to your bedroom window. A well-positioned and well taken care of vertical garden can provide your bedroom window with a natural set of curtains, not only blocking out solar heat gain during the summer months, but also providing your with some extra privacy in the bedroom. Also, unlike curtains that you need to take down and launder on a semi-regular basis, your vertical gardens require a more personal type of maintenance, which, as we’ve already established above, is also a good way to reduce stress.
You Can Design and Modify Your Vertical Garden However You Want
When it comes to vertical bedroom gardens, the only rules are to keep the plants alive and at the same time make sure that the garden won’t somehow interfere with the goal of regular and healthy sleep by taking up too much space. You can either avail of commercially available sets of equipment for setting up a vertical garden, or if you’re handy enough, find a way to do it yourself. Go ahead and get your hands a little dirty! While this may seem like hard work, all you really need is one or two free afternoons on the weekend to design and create your own vertical garden from scratch. It might also be a good opportunity to recycle the junk that you’ve been stubbornly hoarding in your shed or garage. Instead of letting that junk end up in landfills to rot, why not make good use of it by turning it into something that’s both beautiful and useful?