Improve Your Sleep with Natural Design Elements – By: Samantha Kent

  • Thursday, October 11, 2018
  • Posted by Krisanne Butler in Uncategorized

It takes more than a comfortable mattress to get a good night’s rest. Today, when so many people lose sleep due to mounting pressure and stress, the bedroom needs to be an escape where the mind and body can relax. The use of nature-inspired design elements can create the home oasis you need to improve the quality (and quantity) of your sleep.

Nature’s Effect on the Mind and Body

Researchers at Stanford University studied the brain’s response to a 90-minute nature walk. Participants in the study not only reported feeling less negative but brain scans showed less activity in the area of the brain associated with anxiety and depression. While you can’t have a nature walk in your bedroom, you can certainly use natural elements to get the same effect.

Nature also acts as a way to “reset” your brain. Throughout the day, it gets harder to pay attention to your work and other activities as the brain gets fatigued. Time spent in nature rejuvenates and resets the ability to concentrate. Natural elements can give you that same kind of rejuvenation.

How to Incorporate Nature into Your Design

1. Houseplants

Houseplants are an obvious choice because they already have the colors, shapes, and scents of the outdoors. The trick comes in how to use them and which plants to choose. NASA conducted a study to find plants that could remove biotoxins like formaldehyde and benzene from indoor air. Their list included some famous favorites like the Gerbera daisy, English ivy, and aloe vera plant, which are a good place to start. The list also included a few lesser known options such as the spider plant and snake plant, which can clean the air and add a unique addition to the bedroom.

Houseplants offer incredible versatility in how they are displayed and the look they can give your bedroom. The spider plant, for example, has tall vertical leaves, which complement a modern design scheme with their geometric shape. The vase or pot can also complement your design. If minimalism is your style, glass or white vases blend well while the plant itself offers a pop of color.

 

2. Textures of Nature

Bark, stone, and brick all have natural textures that bring depth to a design, but they also take your mind to the outdoors. Decorative pieces like pictures frames, tables lamps, and bookends can all be found with some of these natural textures. Your nightstand is more than a great place to hide books, notebooks, and medical equipment you may need at night, it’s also an easy place to use woods in natural finishes with stone inlays.

And, don’t forget the importance of textiles. Natural fibers like cotton and linen bedding feel amazing and get softer with each washing. Throw pillows, window treatments, and benches with natural fabrics can make the bedroom more inviting while incorporating the comforts of nature.

 

3. Artwork

If live plants aren’t for you, artwork can be just as powerful. Their images have the same colors and shapes of a houseplant but without the maintenance. In fact, a 2008 study found that pictures of nature – a forest scene, a mountain lake, or a simple leaf – can have the same calming effect as an actual plant.

You don’t need to redesign your entire bedroom to get the benefits of nature. A few well-chosen pieces can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relieving stress and allowing you to get a good night’s rest.

Blog Post provided by: SleepHelp.org

Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.

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