Sleeping with Plants in the Bedroom: Are They Stealing Our Oxygen? - Step To Health

Sleeping with Plants in the Bedroom: Are They Stealing Our Oxygen?

Do you like having plants in your bedroom but don't know they're good for your health? Read on!
Sleeping with Plants in the Bedroom: Are They Stealing Our Oxygen?

Last update: 14 January, 2022

You may have heard that sleeping with plants in the bedroom is bad because they rob us of oxygen. It is true that they breathe and release carbon dioxide at night (and during the day the opposite happens, by photosynthesis). But to conclude that they take away pure air from us is stretching it a bit far.

In this article, we’ll reveal whether sleeping with plants in the bedroom is healthy or not, as well as other recommendations and interesting facts.

Do plants rob us of oxygen?

¿Es bueno dormir con plantas en la habitación?

Some people say that sleeping with plants in the bedroom is bad, because they ‘take away’ the oxygen we need to breathe while resting. But, in order to analyze whether this is a myth or not, we should quickly take a look at a plant’s breathing cycle.

During daylight hours they perform the well-known ‘photosynthesis‘. During this process, the plant takes advantage of the sun’s rays and water to grow, while also reducing carbon dioxide. In this part of the cycle, they release oxygen.

The opposite occurs at night, when the plant receives neither sunlight nor artificial light. It then consumes some of the oxygen in the environment and expels carbon dioxide.

The oxygen that plants need to keep from dying is really tiny compared to that required by humans. In fact, plants consume about 0.1% of the oxygen in the room, while humans consume an average of 3%. Therefore, it isn’t true to say that they harm health or affect sleep.

A simple potted plant in the bedroom isn’t going to suffocate us or take away our oxygen. If this were the case, then what about people that we share a bedroom with? Would they not “take” oxygen from us? Isn’t there enough oxygen for everyone?

NASA conducted an experiment in a greenhouse, where the concentration of carbon dioxide is higher than in your room with a couple of plants. Even there, it was shown that one person didn’t experience a shortage of oxygen while sleeping and didn’t have any breathing problems.

Decorate the bedroom with plants

So, which houseplants should you choose to decorate your bedroom? There’s no rule, but here are some recommendations.

As a general rule, we should try to choose plants with narrow leaves, because they require less oxygen and, in addition to this, don’t collect as much dust (which is very important if we’re allergic). Succulents are also good choices.

Some cacti.

If the room isn’t very bright, it may not be a good idea to put a lot of plants in, or you may need to take the precaution of moving the pots to a brighter part of the house during the day.

It would also be good to put them outdoors from time to time. For example, on the balcony, the patio, or even on the window sill (being very careful that they won’t get knocked over).

The best species for a room with low light are:

All of these are easy to grow and fairly simple to care for (watering, fertilizing, transplanting, etc.). They’re best placed on top of a piece of furniture or a shelf.

If the room is well lit, then almost any plant can be included. But, be careful, because the UV rays shouldn’t fall directly on the leaves and flowers because they can easily burn.

You’ll also need to take care of the temperature of the environment (especially if it’s oriented to the south or southeast). The recommended species in this case are:

  • Pilea
  • Coleo
  • Crassula
  • Dracaena
  • Cyperus
  • Cordyline
  • Cyclamen
  • Peperomia
  • Phalaenopsis
  • African violet

Most of them will be easy to maintain, as long as they have good sunlight. It’s recommended that you put them in a pot on top of a piece of furniture when they’re small or on the floor when they reach a certain size (medium to large).

Remember that it’s important to open the windows to renew the ambient air.

Other ideal plants for your room

Other plants that can also be placed in the bedroom as decoration are the following:

  • Dracaena trifasciata: Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, St. George’s sword, or the snake plant. It’s a plant of African origin with flat, pointed leaves which, despite accumulating dust, allow energy to flow in the dead spaces of the house, according to feng shui.
  • Lavender: This plant has many beneficial properties. In fact, it’s used in aromatherapy to relieve symptoms of anxiety and sleep quality according to a recent study. Because of this, including it in the bedroom can have relaxing properties.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera can be a perfect indoor plant as long as it has a natural light source nearby. It requires very little care, making it ideal for people on a tight schedule and for plant novices.
  • Valerian: The tea from this plant helps you fall asleep and, according to popular belief, the aroma has the same property. It’s a plant that can be kept inside a room without a problem, as long as it has at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
  • Jasmine: This is another aromatic plant that can help reduce stress and help you sleep better. It’s a rustic and very resistant plant, so it doesn’t require too much attention. In addition, it has attractive flowers and can give an original touch to any room.
  • Gardenia: This is a flowering plant with properties very similar to jasmine and lavender. Although it requires constant watering, it has very beautiful flowers that will give a pleasant aroma to the bedroom.

Why sleep with plants?

Flowers in the bedroom.

Sleeping with plants in the bedroom isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, it can contribute to relaxation. Their presence brings a natural element to the room, something that generates a certain sense of tranquility and positivism. They can also help to lower stress levels significantly.

Plants also actually improve the quality of the air in the room because, as explained in the first section, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. In addition, they provide more color and life to the room, making them a very useful and economical decorative item.

At a popular level, they are considered to help maintain a good temperature in the environment. For example, during the summer they cool the room and in winter they keep the heat in. So, instead of air conditioning or heating better put plants!

According to feng shui, plants belong to the wood element and are related to balance and health, both physical and emotional. In addition, they improve the “flow of chi” in the home, and so people who follow this philosophy say you should have at least one in each closed room.

As you can see, the myth that sleeping with plants in the bedroom is bad is not true at all. They consume less oxygen than even a pet, and so it’s time to lose your fear and fill your room with plants!

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