Sleep experts reveal the surprising herb you should be growing in your bedroom to aid your sleep – and spoiler alert, it’s not lavender (yes, really).
Finding ways to sleep better is always a constant thing on our radar, especially now that the weather is starting to warm up and getting a good night’s rest is progressively getting a little harder, so knowing how to keep a bedroom cool is imperative.
However, aside from that, there are some little things we can implement into our night-time routines that not only will our sleep cycles thank us for, but also uplift our bedroom decor.
Among the selection of the best plants to keep in your bedroom, there’s a certain plant that rarely gets a frequent shoutout – probably because we see it more so as a herb to keep strictly in the kitchen rather than in our bedrooms – a coriander plant.
‘Whilst the coriander plant is not specifically known for promoting sleep, it does possess certain properties that may indirectly contribute to better quality sleep,’ explains Sammy Margo, sleep expert at Dreams.
‘Coriander contains certain compounds, such as linalool, that have been reported to possess sedative and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties. These compounds may help promote relaxation, calmness, and alleviate anxiety or stress, which can, in turn, facilitate better sleep.’
Rex Isap, sleep expert and CEO of Happy Beds notes its aromatherapy benefits: ‘Coriander is one of the more surprising sleep aids that’s out there. The smell can improve the first stage of REM as the smell of coriander can help you enter the REM sleep stage faster.’
‘Studies have found that inhaling the smell of coriander can reduce your REM latency, or the time it takes you to fall into your first REM sleep stage which, typically, lasts around 90 to 120 minutes.’
‘Further research also discovered that the scent of natural plants can actually help to regulate the nervous system, and as coriander naturally has quite a strong smell, it makes it an ideal choice,’ adds Rex.
As much as this insight intrigues us, some sleep experts hold their reservations.
Dr Hana Patel, resident sleep expert at Time4Sleep explains, ‘This report shows that exposure to coriander before bedtime might help people to rapidly go to sleep, increase sleep integrity, and sleep efficiency in the isolated bedroom environment.’
‘However, this was only evidence from one study and not something that is recommended by the NHS due to limited evidence and research into this. If people wanted to incorporate this into their bedtime routine to try, they could look into it after speaking to their doctor to check suitability in case they are on other prescribed medication.’
Hayley Thistleton, sleep expert at SleepSeeker adds, ‘While coriander is primarily known for its culinary uses and has various health benefits, its direct impact on sleep hasn’t been extensively explored.’
Hayley warns that in some cases, coriander can also cause allergic reactions such as asthma, for certain people, so tread lightly if you’re interested in trying it out.
How to incorporate coriander into your bedroom
Here are a few ways coriander can potentially support healthy sleep, according to Sammy Margo at Dreams.
1. Try the scent of coriander in other forms
‘Although coriander is not everyone’s favourite fragrance, utilise coriander essential oil or dried coriander sprigs to create a calming aroma in your bedroom,’ suggests Sammy.
‘You can add a few drops of coriander oil to a diffuser or place a small bouquet of dried coriander near your bedside. Inhaling the soothing scent of coriander may help create a relaxing atmosphere conducive to sleep.’
2. Create small sachets
‘Create small sachets filled with dried coriander seeds or crushed coriander leaves. Place these sachets under your pillow or near your bed. The subtle fragrance of coriander may help promote a sense of relaxation as you drift off to sleep.’
3. Prepare coriander herbal tea
‘Prepare a cup of coriander herbal tea before bedtime. Steep a teaspoon of dried coriander seeds or fresh coriander leaves in hot water for a few minutes, then strain and enjoy.’
‘Sipping on warm coriander tea may provide a soothing ritual and potentially help you unwind before sleep,’ says Sammy.
4. Incorporate coriander plants into your bedroom decor
Sammy concludes, ‘You can place potted coriander plants on a windowsill, bedside table, or any suitable spot in your bedroom. The green foliage can add a touch of nature and tranquillity to your surroundings.’