It's great when a plant not only makes your home look better, but also contributes to your health. Many plants are known to soothe and calm. In a recent study, however, the smell from the flowers of this delicate vine (above) got very high marks in improving the quality of sleep.
According to a study by the Wheeling Jesuit University, Jasmine has a positive effect on the quality of sleep one gets, decreasing anxiety and improving the attitude one has after waking up. The smell of Jasmine doesn't make you sleep more, instead it makes your sleep time count for more. I guess you could consider it 'high quality' sleep with less moving and disturbance. In addition, studying while smelling Jasmine increased alertness and performance on cognitive tests.
The great thing about Jasmine is that it is also a beautiful accent plant in the home. The variety above is Jasminum polyanthum and grows as a vine with sprays of tiny, trumpet-like flowers. Even when it has no blossoms the tendrils and leaves are nice on their own. In some areas of the world it is considered invasive, and outside in the ground it can grow quite large. But inside it is an easy to care for houseplant.
Another great Jasmine is Jasminum sambac, which is more shrub-like, and varieties like 'Grand Duke of Tuscany' have double blossoms that are incredibly fragrant and rose-like in appearance.
Three top choices for plants to aid in getting a good night's sleep:
I love the smell of all three, but was impressed with the results of the tests on Jasmine. It was specifically tested against Lavender and was shown to be far more effective. It makes me want to have it near the bed and near the desk. I know I get nowhere near eight hours of sleep per night, so I'll try anything to improve the quality of the sleep I do manage to get!
(Image: Matthew Noiseux)
(Re-edited from a post originally published on 7.30.2010 - CM)