Sleep is an essential part of our life. Like breathing and eating, sleep plays a vital role in maintaining our physical and mental health.
In our earlier blog, we talked about several types of insomnia and how you can tackle it. Read the blog here.
It is important to understand the difference between sleeping and sleeping well. The quality of your sleep ensures that your physical, mental, and emotional health is well taken care of.
The best kind of sleep is when the following criteria are met:
Duration of sleep: Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. While this varies for older adults and babies, the duration of sleep mostly depends on daily schedules, genetics, and activity levels.
Uninterrupted Sleep: Quality sleep is always continuous. Uninterrupted sleep at night is deeply restorative and improves mental and physical body functioning.
Research shows that people who have sleep continuity performed better on cognitive tasks.
Sleep time: Circadian rhythms involve integration between the body clock and environmental cues. People who maintain a healthy sleep routine and have aligned the circadian rhythm fall asleep faster and better. Such people also have a reduced risk of diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
Below is the list of reasons why a good night’s sleep is crucial for us:
Boosts brain function: During sleep, our brain forms new pathways and helps in learning and remembering things. A good night’s rest leads to better learning ability, and critical thinking skills, and enhances focus, creativity, and decision making.
Improves emotional health: Your emotional health is related to your sleep. If you have adequate sleep during the night, you will feel fresh, mindful, and active throughout the day. Sleep deprivation causes mood to be irritable, anxious and stressed.
Impacts heart: Along with healthy food and exercise, sleep boosts the health of your heart. Poor quality of sleep or insomnia results in the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular build-up. People who have sleep apnea have a higher risk of heart arrhythmias, coronary heart diseases, and heart failure.
Sleep impacts weight: A good night’s sleep makes you well-rested and less hungry. Sleep deprivation causes hormonal imbalance that results in an increase in junk food cravings.
Improves productivity: A good night’s sleep refreshes you, improves your productivity and makes you feel less overwhelmed.
There are a few tricks that can help improve your sleep. For example, avoid consuming caffeinated products closer to your bedtime, and encourage healthy sleep hygiene.
We at SmartHug made a handy list of indoor plants you can be added to your bedroom for better sleep.
Jasmine: A common plant cultivated for its fragrance, Jasmine relieves stress and neutralizes the air in the room. It is a natural air purifier that destresses you and reduces anxiety.
Lavender: Lavendar is an evergreen plant famous in the medicinal circle. It’s oil produces a calming effect and is known to relax muscles. It is effective for anxiety, depression, and menstrual cramps as well. Read more here.
Add a lavender plant next to your bedside to help you relax. Its soothing scent has sedating effects and can help you lower blood pressure and stabilise heart rate.
Gardenia: Also referred to as Cape Jasmine, Gardenia can induce sleep as these plants have a soothing effect on GABA neurotransmitters, an effect close to Valium.
Snake Plant: Sometimes, poor air quality in the rooms affects our sleep. Moulds, moisture, improper ventilation rooms, and dust mites affect our ability to breathe and sleep.
Snake plants are great at pumping oxygen and improving the air quality of the rooms.
Aloe Plant: Aloe is a common household plant that is used to soothe cuts, burns, and dry skin. But little did people know that aloe vera keeps the room fresh. It is a cleansing agent that removes the polluting agents present indoors.
English Ivy: English Ivy is one of the most efficient plants that absorbs formaldehyde. It works best if your room is damp and has airborne mould.
Red Edged Dracaena: A visually pleasing plant, Red Edged Dracaena removes toxins like formaldehyde, xylene, and trichloroethylene. They are also known for sharpening the focus and increasing concentration.
One of the rare benefits of Red Edged Dracaena is that it helps absorbs lead particles present in the room.
Golden Pothos: Nasa Study named Golden Pothos plants as natural air humidifiers which removes indoor air pollutants. They require minimal maintenance and look great.
Peace Lily: Just like damp air can cause problems, dry air can cause issues with sleep as well. If you have a similar issue, use a peace lily plant in your room. These plants increase the humidity of the room by 5%.
Peace lily helps remove mildew present in rooms and eliminates mould spores in the air. A low maintenance plant, peace lily absorbs acetone vapours.
Areca Palm: Areca Palm is also a great air purifier. Like snake plants, it removes toxins from the air. It is also a natural air humidifier ensuring that the room has healthy air quality while you sleep.
Sleep is important. Unhealthy sleep patterns affect our health. It dilutes our focus and causes irritability, anxiety, and depression.
Start by examining your sleep hygiene practices and promote an environment that allows you to relax After all, good sleep also boosts the functioning of your immune system.
Start small, start today.
That’s all I have for now,
I will write to you soon.