We have compiled this list of 5 great plants to help you sleep better, based on their calming and cleansing effects.
There is nothing more annoying than tossing and turning all night, before being awoken by the sound of your alarm clock – just minutes after you finally managed to doze off! These sleepless nights can take their toll on our energy, productivity, mood and overall quality of life.
One way to ensure a better quality of sleep is to fill your home with beautiful plants in beautiful planters. Not only do they look great and bring vitality and life to your living spaces, but also they can have fantastic relaxing and purifying benefits – which in turn can promote a healthy sleeping pattern.
Moreover, with stress and anxiety causing half of all insomnia issues, it is a good idea to fill your home and bedroom with a variety of plants that have a calming effect. After all, studies clearly show that spending time in Mother Nature reduces stress levels, so why not simply bring Mother Nature indoors?
In addition, poor air quality from pollution, odors and molds can impact our breathing, thus making a good night’s sleep seem next to impossible. The good news is there are a variety of plants that can cleanse the air while you sleep – in fact NASA did a whole study on it!
Although the choice of plants is quite big, this article includes 5 most effective plants that can improve the feel of your bedroom and your quality of sleep.
- Aloe vera plant
Another natural healer that is great for soothing inflammation, scars and burned skin, Aloe vera can also detoxify the body. Plus, Aloe can help eradicate polluting chemicals found in cleaning agents, thus purifying your air in the bedroom and the rest of your house.
There is another interesting thing in relation to this plant. Namely, when harmful chemicals are at a high level in your home, the plant will develop brown spots, keeping you well aware of the “situation.”
Listed as one of NASA’s top air-improving plants, the fantastic Aloe vera works much like the snake plant – it emits oxygen at night, making for a more restful slumber. It is also one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain – it tolerates ‘neglect’ well and so doesn’t require frequent watering.
Dubbed the ‘plant of immortality’ by the Egyptians, it reproduces easily so if you buy one you will soon have an Aloe plant for all the rooms in your house. You can even pass on the gift of happy sleep to your family and friends! Keep it on your bedroom windowsill as it does need a lot of direct sunlight.
You can also use the gel from the Aloe vera leaves as a topical treatment for insect bites, dry skin, minor cuts and burns, and a lot more! It is simply a ‘must-have’ plant in every home.
- Lavender plant
Who doesn’t love the scent of lavender? It is probably the most well-known of all plants when it comes to inducing sleep and reducing anxiety levels.
Research backs up these claims, with lavender scents shown to slow down heart rate, lower blood pressure and levels of stress.
In one study, the smell of lavender reduced crying in babies, sending them into a deeper sleep while simultaneously reducing stress in both mother and child – something all new mothers will be happy to hear!
In females, lavender has been shown to increase light sleep, and decrease rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep and the amount of time to wake after the first falling asleep, with opposite effects in men.
While there are a host of lavender-scented products in the market to help you get a full night’s rest (from lavender-scented sleep masks to lavender mattresses) why not go for the most natural and cost effective option – a beautiful lavender plant placed on your nightstand!
The lavender plant is mainly used as a fragrance for soaps, scented clothes and shampoos. It is also a great cleaning agent, but its powers do not stop there as lavender plant can actually help treat insomnia and anxiety. Researchers recognize that inhaling its scent can unleash soothing, sedating effects when we breathe in the fragrance from lavender plants.
- Jasmine plant
This exotic plant has a gentle, soothing effect on the body and mind. It has been shown in one study to reduce anxiety levels, leading to a greater quality of sleep.
Not only that, but this research suggests that the positive effects of such a high quality sleep bring about increased alertness and productivity during the day!
The Wheeling Jesuit University conducted a study that has proven the efficacy of jasmine as a natural sleeping aid.
Positive effects include the quality of sleep, decreased anxiety and improved mood upon wakening. Jasmine plant can also bolster the features of your bedroom, with its sweeping vines and collectives of tiny trumpet-shaped flowers. With such beautiful pink or ivory blossoms, there seem to be no downsides to adding a jasmine bloom to your boudoir!
- English Ivy plant
A study carried out by NASA included English Ivy as the number one best air-purifying plant. This is due to it being the most efficient plant when absorbing formaldehyde.
English Ivy is easy to grow and it survives in moderate temperatures and medium sun light exposure. English Ivy appears to be the best bedroom plant to help you sleep in terms of efficiency and ease.
Other studies have shown that this leaf can improve symptoms of allergies or asthma – which all sufferers know can seriously impact both the quantity and quality of sleep. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reported that, in a 2005 experiment, English Ivy removed 94% of airborne feces and 78% of airborne mold in just 12 hours! As mold can affect our breathing, it is definitely a plant to have at hand for a great night’s sleep!
This evergreen vine looks great in an indoor hanging basket, or placed on a ledge where the leaves can trail down. It is toxic to kids and pets though, so make sure to keep it out of their reach!
5. Snake plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue)
It is one of the most recommended plants for improving indoor air quality. The snake plant is a hardy and easy to care-for plant. Snake plant is actually recommended as a great “filter” to improve oxygen purity in your home.
It is perfect for the bedroom with low maintenance and cost. What is great about this plant is that it emits oxygen at night whilst simultaneously taking in carbon dioxide – something we naturally produce when breathing out.
All this leads to a purer quality of air and a better night’s sleep. The snake plant also removes some nasty but common household toxins (namely formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene) from the air.
Alternatively, you can also include a gardenia, a spider plant, a valerian plant, a peace lily plant, a bamboo plant, gerbera daisies or a golden pothos plant in your household decorations to finally get that restful and energizing good night’s sleep you’ve been longing for! Trust us on this one because you have nothing to lose but your restless and sleepless nights.
6. Gardenia plant
The gardenia is a usual plant choice for bedrooms because of its glossy evergreen leaves and opiate-scented blossoms. Research surveys indicate that keeping one of these plants in your room may help you get better sleep, with claims that it may be superior to Lexilium or Valium in relieving anxiety before bedtime.
The only drawback with gardenias is that they can be somewhat tricky to maintain as they need a lot of attention to keep their delicate flowers and luscious leaves.
Note: Indoor gardenias should be placed in a bright room, yet not exposed to direct sunlight. So, if you suffer from insomnia or unexplained anxiety, spend a little bit of your time on one of these beautiful blooms. They certainly are a cheaper and healthier solution to taking pills!
7. Spider plant
Although the spider plant resembles the snake plant, it is much better than its ‘sister plant.’ It is so because the spider plant is a champion cleanser of air. The NASA tests showed it to remove around 90% of the potentially cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde lingering in the air.
Since the formaldehyde is commonly found in household agents [like adhesives, grout and fillers], it is a very good idea to keep one of these plants around.
Note: In addition to cleansing the air, it will also eliminate odors and fumes as well as sustain oxygen levels in the room, promoting relaxation and better sleep.
8. Valeriana plant
The valerian is a perennial flowering plant with sweetly-scented white or pink flowers, blooming in the summer. Valerian blossoms were used as a fragrance in the 16th century, and the root of the plant was used for making tea or tincture.
The Roman physician and philosopher Galen used to prescribe it for sleep disorders. Modern research has also shown that Galen was right in his prescription of valerian root. Even by simply inhaling its scent you can fall asleep quicker, and enjoy a better quality of sleep.
In addition to keeping one on your bedroom windowsill (since it needs sunlight for full 6 hours a day), you can add a few of the valerian petals to your bathwater to help you ‘drift off.’
9. Peace lily
The peace lily is not just peaceful to the eye, but it is also another of NASA’s ‘superstar plants,’ helping you to filter out harmful benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde – that is toxins ‘trapped’ in the air. The moisture created by its striking flowers can boost a room’s humidity by up to 5%. In turn, this suppresses airborne microbes which can lead to allergies, and also helps relieve irritating dry noses and throats that can keep you awake and coughing all night long!
For this plant, a nice shady position (out of reach of pets and children too) and weekly watering will do the job. This is not too much to ask in return for a great night’s sleep, is it?
10. Bamboo palm
Also known as a Reed Palm, this small plant is a fantastic air purifier. Ditch your chemical-laden air fresheners in favor of a few of these pretty palms and say goodbye to airborne smells and toxins.
Not only will you be able to enjoy your home’s pure, fresh air during the day, but you’ll enjoy a fantastic night’s sleep too.
Given its exotic origins, the Bamboo Palm will bring a tropical, warm feel to your bedroom. It’s fairly easy to care for – just keep the soil moist (but not wet) and place the plant in indirect sunlight.
11. Gerbera daisies
These bright and cheerful flowers are simple made to put you in a good temper! With their orange, pink, yellow and white colors, they should be a welcome ‘accessory’ to any living space, not just because they look good: they also release oxygen at night, which will help you breathe easier while you are dozing off. Notably, if you suffer from allergies or apnea, these daisies will definitely bring about a great relief.
A word of warning to the novice gardeners: As Gerbera daisies are susceptible to fungal diseases, they do need special care, particularly in relation to watering and light levels.
Precautions to take when keeping plants in your home:
- First check if they are toxic to children and animals to ensure that they are suitable for your family and pets.
- Remember to wipe the leaves every week or so to ensure the plants can effectively do their job – just look at it as the routine job of changing the filter in your air purifier or air conditioner!
- Choose a good mix of plants that purify the air and those that induce sleep through their scent for ideal results.
- It is worth noting that NASA recommends between 15 and 18 air-purifying plants in a 167 square-meter home, with a few of these placed in each bedroom.
Apart from being decorative, house plants also prove to be highly beneficial when it comes to your health and sleep patterns. For one thing, they filter the air and aerate your home. Thus, choosing the right plants for your bedroom can be a great way to get you rid of your frequent sleeping disorders.
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The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
The Wheeling Jesuit University study on plants
NASA Study on Plants