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October 15, 2019

"Air-filtering plants" that can help your wellbeing

Trouble sleeping? Frequent allergies? Are you a low maintenance plant lover? Then this should interest you.

Studies have shown that the air in the average home is more polluted than the air outside, indoors we are exposed to airborne chemicals that show up as toxic gases. These can be found throughout our homes in various forms such as: paints, paint strippers, wood preservatives, aerosol sprays, cleaners/disinfectants, air fresheners, stored fuels and auto products, hobby supplies, dry-cleaned clothing, bedding, furniture, carpeting, you name it.

You inhale those gases or VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) every day and high levels of air pollution over time may get in the way of a good night's sleep, according to new research presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2017 International Conference in Washington. It suggests that long-term exposure to high levels of pollution may lead to disrupted sleep.

Having clean air certainly helps with a good night's sleep and is also important to your overall health! Dr. Martha E. Billings, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington states that “not having enough sleep and having low quality sleep affects people's performance, increases the risk of vehicle accidents and lowers mood." So, there's a correlation to clean air and a good night’s sleep. It is known that having plants in your home can reduce stress levels, which in turn helps you to sleep better. So, if you have no plants in your home, now’s the time to welcome them into their new house, yours!

We have come across a list of “air-filtering plants” that NASA classified as part of a clean air study in 1989 and that can help improve air quality inside your home. Beside absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen these good-looking plants also eliminate benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. NASA researchers suggest, efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space, so, pick your favorites, do the math and bring them home soon.

Here are a few of the amazing plants that can benefit you:

Aloe Vera
Keeps your living space free from the benzene, commonly found in paint and chemical cleaners, plus, it has healing properties and is a very low-maintenance houseplant

Boston Fern
They serve as a humidifier by restoring moisture in the air, gets rid of traces of formaldehyde that are used to produce furniture.

Peace Lily
Low-maintenance flower, perfect for an office. It thrives in shade and cooler temperatures reducing the toxins levels in the air

Chinese Evergreen
Perfect for gardening rookies and decoration, useful in removing toxins in the air that are found in chemical-based cleaners

Spider Plant
If you suffer from allergies, this is perfect for you. Its leaves have been known to absorb mold and other harmful allergens. Has been said that it is able to remove up to 90 percent of pollutants in the air.

English Ivy
Perfect for cat owners since it can help to reduce the amount of airborne fecal matter and ideal for the office because it helps to increase focus because it removes traces of benzene commonly found in office supplies.

Heart Leaf Philodendron
Not ideal if you have kids or pets but is excellent in removing traces of formaldehyde and easy to care for.

There are other things you can do that can help you sleep better.

  • Reduce blue light exposure in the evening, it can trick your body into thinking it's daytime, that includes cellphone!
  • Stop using your cellphone 2 hours before bedtime
  • Skip that cup of coffee in the afternoon or go decaf, it can worsen sleep quality
  • Stop napping or shorten your naps during the day, it may impair sleep quality
  • Try to get into a regular sleep/wake cycle, especially on the weekends
  • Try waking up naturally at a similar time every day
  • Since lavender has calming properties, you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your bath water or body lotion
  • Get to bed early so you can rest at least eight hours
  • If you have difficulty falling asleep, Unisom SleepTabs® are clinically proven to help you fall asleep an average of 33% faster. You’ll sleep through the night and wake up recharged. You can try them and see if they work for you, rise to the challenge!

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