Best Plants To Help You Sleep

Sleep soundly with nature's help.
Best Plants To Help You Sleep
Tom Greenspan
December 21, 2022

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We all know certain indoor plants can improve air quality and reduce stress levels, but did you know some plants help you sleep better?

Plants are known to be the best roommates you can ask for - besides their air-purifying abilities and relaxing traits, they can also aid in a peaceful night’s sleep. And the most interesting fact about these air-purifying plants is that they help you sleep in their own unique ways!

Putting aside their differences, there is a certain scientific explanation behind the capacity of some bedroom plants to put you into a deep sleep. In this article, we will uncover the benefits of keeping certain houseplants in your bedroom while walking you through the best indoor plants. Read on.

Can A Few Houseplants Help You Sleep? What’s The Science Behind It?

Certain plants help improve indoor air quality and provide fresh air into the living space, especially in the evening. This is because they produce oxygen after sunset and absorb the carbon dioxide we release while asleep. 

But carbon dioxide is just one of the many harmful chemicals plants like aloe vera and snake plants absorb for air purification. These chemicals are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and they disrupt restful sleep and cause breathing troubles.

Some of the most common VOCs are as follows:

  • Formaldehyde: Typically found in cleaning agents, grocery bags, paper towels, facial tissues, etc., formaldehyde is a water-soluble compound.
  • Ammonia: This harmful chemical is widely found in fertilizers, floor wax, and various cleaning agents.
  • Trichloroethylene: It is an industrial compound used in adhesives, varnish, paints, and dry cleaning - this can be especially harmful to small children.
  • Benzene: This is a common industry-grade solvent found in gasoline, plastics, rubber, etc.
  • Xylene: This harmful chemical is found in paint, vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke, and rubber.

Besides offering you purified air, some plants like jasmine and chamomile can reduce stress and anxiety and be a natural remedy for sleep disorders. Many people use homemade incense sticks or essential oils from these plants for better sleep. However, placing the living plants in your bedroom is a more sustainable way of ensuring you get more restful sleep.

13 Best Plants To Help You Sleep

Now that we’ve explained the effectiveness of bedroom plants, it’s time to briefly review the best houseplant options for deep sleep. Here are some plants that you can consider:

1. Snake Plant

Snake plants (also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue) have strong air-purifying capabilities and release oxygen in a significant amount, helping you breathe easily and relax. It is believed snake plants are a great option for absorbing toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, so it’s a guaranteed method of improving indoor air quality.

Snake plants are also tall in stature, which makes them look quite aesthetic, especially when placed in empty corners to alleviate the interior decor. Moreover, a snake plant is the right choice if you’re not very good with plants and their upkeep.

2. Jasmine

Jasmine flowers are famous for their sweet scent, which is widely used in perfumes and scented candles. Research shows that this sweet scent is highly beneficial for reducing anxiety and promoting deep sleep. And since it’s so helpful for good mental health, many people use jasmine essential oil for a better night’s sleep.

3. Peace Lily

The peace lily plant adds a peaceful atmosphere to your bedroom while purifying the indoor air - and these are only two of the various benefits of peace lilies. That said, peace lilies are one of the few plants that can eliminate all five VOCs from the air. However, you must keep the peace lily plant away from children and pets since they are toxic when ingested. 

4. Spider Plant

Spider plants are quite popular as houseplants since they require minimum maintenance and can produce offspring very quickly. All they need is indirect sunlight and occasional watering - and they’ll remain alive through everything. Spider plants are good at absorbing fumes, odors, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde from the air, helping you breathe more easily.

You can also cut off the offspring of a spider plant and replant them in different pots to grow an adult snake plant. 

5. Aloe Vera

Many of us have resorted to aloe vera gel to treat and soothe sunburns, insect bites, and dry skin. But did you know that this medicinal plant can also help you sleep? Like other plants, aloe vera emits oxygen at night and absorbs benzene and formaldehyde from the air. Moreover, since aloe vera plants are a form of ‘succulent,’ they can survive on very little water and direct sunlight.

6. Lavender Plant

Lavender is one of the most popular bedroom plants due to the relaxing nature of its scent. You must’ve come across at least one person who sleeps with a lavender essential oil diffuser on or a sachet under their pillows. One study found that lavender reduces stress and induces restful sleep in both mothers and naturally anxious babies.

Another research study delved into the benefits of lavender plants and found that it helps you experience deeper sleep, which leaves you feeling more refreshed in the morning.

7. Passion Flower

Passion flowers are exotic plants that add a unique aesthetic to your living space with their bold color and soothing scent, which improves mood. They are great for relieving anxiety and helping you sleep better. Some studies say that passion flowers can also help with insomnia. Moreover, there’s another interesting study where researchers claim that passion flower works better than sleeping pills and drugs like Oxazepam.

8. Rubber Plant 

With their dark green leaves and robust build, rubber plants allow you to sleep better at night by absorbing carbon dioxide and other toxic chemicals from the air. This is a good plant for those who don’t have enough time to care for it since they can live well if there’s enough light and little water. 

9. Jade Plant

Jade plants are well-coveted by Feng-shui experts since they believe that they have positive effects on prosperity, fortune, and friendship by improving the ‘Chi’ (energy) in your room. Besides this spiritual benefit, jade plants reduce carbon dioxide at night and balance the humidity levels in your room to create a better sleep environment.

10. English Ivy

If you suffer from allergies, keeping English Ivy plants in your room can be beneficial since it reduces airborne mold and debris. Some studies have also found that English Ivy helps alleviate asthma symptoms and other respiratory disorders. So, this air-purifying powerhouse is a good option for a bedroom plant, especially if you’re allergy-prone and have sensitive skin.

However, you must keep the plant away from children and pets since it can be toxic when consumed. 

11. Golden Pothos

This indoor plant requires very low maintenance and is great for air purification and absorption of carbon dioxide and formaldehyde. Golden pothos is known for its beautiful, marbled leaves that trail in multiple directions, striking the right balance between effortless and natural. They’re readily available and quite affordable, yet they can be integral to your well-being if you’re aware of their benefits.

12. Bamboo Palm

Bamboo palms are big plants that often act as a statement piece in your bedroom or living room while giving the space a warm and tidy effect. Since bamboo palms are big in size, they produce a greater amount of oxygen compared to other indoor plants, thereby improving air and sleep quality. 

Moreover, these plants are great at removing airborne chemicals from your room, including benzene and trichloroethylene. They also help raise the humidity in the air to reduce problems related to sinuses. Remember to keep the bamboo palm near the window so that it gets enough sunlight to thrive. 

13. Valerian

Often considered to be a herb, valerian plants are said to have hypnotic effects since it improves the GABA levels in the brain, making you relax. Its roots are often used as anti-anxiety and insomnia treatments. Many biochemical companies also sell valerian supplements as a sedative and painkiller, which helps reduce severe pain from injuries. 

Undoubtedly, keeping such a plant in your bedroom will improve your sleep quality.

Final Thoughts

Some studies have proven that caring for plants can reduce blood pressure, improve mental health, and induce sleep. While some plants emit scents that have natural anxiety-reducing properties, others purify the air and produce enough oxygen to facilitate enough breathing. Both methods effectively facilitate your body to relax and let go of any stored tension that might disrupt sleep.