Relaxing your mind and body for a great night’s sleep and waking up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead is not always easy to achieve. Poor sleep hygiene, air quality, and the temperature in our bedrooms can all impact how well we sleep and whether we get enough shut-eye to wake to feel refreshed in the morning. Here we list some of the best plants to help you get a great night’s sleep.
Why Plants are Beneficial in Your Home
Air quality on our homes can be enhanced by well-chosen indoor plants. Scientists studying air purification have found that different plants are adept at absorbing more than just carbon dioxide. Many are capable of absorbing harmful chemicals from our air, leaving us with cleaner and more refreshing indoor spaces.
Chemicals such as volatile organic compounds, benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia and xylene are found inside many buildings. These chemicals make their way into the air we breathe by leaking from plastics, fabrics and other household items we use to make a house a home.
While air purification systems can remove these from the air, plants can do the same while also emitting helpful gasses and aromas such as oxygen, phytoncides which have been found to help reduce cortisol levels in humans and terpenes which are the aromatic molecules responsible for a plant’s smell and taste.
The Best Plants for Sleep
Jasmine is great for adding to a windowsill or dresser near a window. The delicate yellow or white flowers (depending on the variety you choose), release a perfume that has been shown to reduce anxiety making it easier to fall asleep and stay slumbering through the night. As with all plants, jasmine will also absorb carbon monoxide and release oxygen, thus improving air quality in the room it is placed. As a climber, it is best to include a small frame in the pot to help it grow up and give a better display.
Aloe Vera is a wonder plant! Not only is it great for your skin and easy to care for, but it’ll also help improve air quality at home too. Unlike some plants, Aloe Vera emits oxygen at night and also clears toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde, making this plant a great one for every room of the house.
Spider Plant and Dracaena are both easy to grow to make them great for beginners and people with not-so-green thumbs. Dracaena is easy to care for – it can be pruned to keep its shape at any time and doesn’t need regular watering. Spider Plant, like Dracaena, enjoys bright indirect light (through curtains or a sunny windowsill). The tiny white flowers produced appear on long stems and both of these plants are great at removing formaldehyde and xylene, Dracaena will also rid the air of trichloroethylene and benzene.
Chamomile is well known as a calming tea but having this on the windowsill of a bedroom also provides benefits. The aromatic terpenes will help soothe and calm nerves and tension, aiding sound sleep.
If you’re looking for a classic plant to improve air quality, provide calming scents and is easy to care for, look no further than a pot of lavender. Lavender has been used for centuries to calm and soothe and numerous studies have shown it to be beneficial for lowering heart rates, blood pressure and stress, all great help for getting to sleep and slumbering through the night.
Valarian looks great and has a long history of helping with sleep problems. Keep this one on the window sill and add a few petals to your bath if you have trouble sleeping, or simply inhale the flower’s aroma before you slip into bed at night. Traditionally, valerian root has been used for insomnia, but the scent of the flowers also have a sedative and calming effect.
Lastly is the peace lily, otherwise known as Spathiphyllum varieties, and is a maker of a great bedside companion. These lovely plants can remove toxins in the air, making your bedroom feel cleaner and more relaxing, and they even have the potential to help people recover from abdominal surgery. Peace lilies thrive in semi-shade to shade, so placing them on your bedside table would be conducive to a thriving plant, and a well-rested you.