In the past three years, I have moved several times. And as I settle in to each new space, I always end up adopting various plants to scatter around my place. I have always tended toward ivy or spider plants, since I can’t kill them easily, and most recently I have taken some new succulents under wing. For me, having plants is partially for the aesthetic; a little green in my living space is refreshing and reminds me of being in nature, a place I enjoy very much. However, keeping indoor plants has just as many physical benefits as it does psychological. Indoor plants reduce the presence of airborne toxins and dust, keep the air moist through the process of transpiration, and have the ability (depending on size) to absorb sound. The type of plant you choose to keep in a given location does make a difference, though. A succulent – a plant adapted to store water in its fleshy leaves and stem – is by far the best type to keep by your bedside. Here are some reasons why:
In the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide in order to release oxygen, thus promoting an environment in which we may breathe with more ease. For non-succulents, this process generally functions as the inverse during the night – intake oxygen becomes output carbon dioxide. Succulents, however, function in the reverse manner: absorbing carbon dioxide at night and releasing oxygen. This makes succulents the ideal snoozing companion!
We generally first greet the day from our bed every morning. How lovely is it to roll over to see something alive and green thriving next to you? Watching a plant grow is also a reminder that we as humans are also alive and growing, too. Witnessing change in a plant, whether positive or negative, is a simple reminder that nothing stays the same.
Plants can teach us something about empathy, according to a study conducted at Texas Agriculture & Medicine University. People who care for plants, in turn, care more for others, therefore improving relationships by exercising a deeper level of compassion. Succulents in particular require little maintenance, but even a bit of attention to another living organism can inspire more empathy.
Research from Texas A&M also shows that merely being in the presence of plants indoors can boost one’s mood, productivity, focus, and memory retention. And (depending on the type of succulent perched bedside) feeling the smoothness of a plant’s leaves can also be calming in the same manner as stroking a dog’s fur.
Most plants, including succulents, have air-purifying qualities, as they function in nature to draw toxins from the environment to produce non-toxic byproducts. Although any plant is great to keep in your living space, some succulents that are best for your bedside are Aloe, Christmas Cactus, Jade, Snake Plant, and Burro’s Tail.
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