Vegetation is a crucial part of our planet! It has been existing long before us humans, and it has always been of critical importance to life itself. Plants grow in unbelievable abundance and diversity, if given the chance and proper conditions, and believe it or not, there are around 1 million plant species on Earth! Besides in the wild, plants have also found their way in an urban environment, right in our homes. Whether they are the reason some of us have gardens, or they adorn our rooms, most people can’t resist their beauty and ability to bring Nature close to them.
Among many plant species’ beneficial health-related properties that we humans can take profit from, there’s a group of them that can even help you have quality sleep. That’s right, besides cleaning the air inside and being a fantastic natural decoration to your premises, you can have certain houseplants in your room improve sleep quality when you’re about to cop some Zs.
Here are the best plants in your room that promote better sleep:
Gardenia is an evergreen flowering plant that is most commonly found to grow wild in places like Japan, Taiwan, South China, Vietnam, India, and Myanmar. It’s known for its shiny, saturated green leaves and strongly fragrant white blooms. It’s pretty commonly used in gardens in warm temperate and subtropical climates, as well as a houseplant in temperate regions. Gardenia has been cultivated for 1000 years in China and was introduced to England in the 18th century.
This flower apparently has shown the inclination to ease our sleep as effectively as some sleeping pills. After some tests on mice, a German study revealed that Gardenia had the same effect on the neurotransmitter GABA as the prescription tablet valium. That’s why maybe gardenia can considered as one of the natural remedies for insomnia, and can help you lift the excess tension and hit the sack. [Available here].
Ah, yes, this is a flower that you just can’t miss adding to the list of home plants for better sleep. Its heavy, enchanting aroma can’t be confused with that of another plant, it’s just that compelling. Lavender a.k.a lavandula belongs to the mint family of Lamiaceae. It grows in the Old World and is found from the Canary Islands to Cape Verde, Europe, eastern and northern Africa, southeast India, southwest Asia, and the Mediterranean.
Lavender is broadly grown in temperate climates as a herb for culinary use, as an ornamental plant for gardens and landscape purposes, plus it’s specifically grown for essential oils extracting. In most lavandula species, the leaves are covered with indumentum where usually the essential oils are located. Borne in whorls, the purple (and sometimes blueish) flowers are held on spikes and rise above the foliage.
So except for its essential oils and culinary use, lavandula is probably one of the truest champions when it comes to sleep promoting flowers that reduce anxiety. Research has backed this concept by proving that the incredible lavender scent lowers the blood pressure, slows down the heart rate and relieves stress. There’s a study in which lavender smell reduced crying in babies, facilitating a deep sleep, and reduced stress in both the infant and the mother. In women, lavender has demonstrated the ability to promote light naps, lessen rapid eye movement sleep, and decrease the time to wake after falling asleep. In men the effects were the opposite.
There are quite many lavender-fragranced items out there that are manufactured to help you fall asleep, such as lavender sleep pads and mattresses, lavender sleep masks, lavender-infused pillows etc. But if you want the most natural way to benefit from this fascinating flower’s sleep promoting and stress-relieving properties, why not just place a flowerpot with lavender on your nightstand? [Available here].
Next up we have Sansevieria trifasciata, more commonly known as snake plant, viper’s bowstring hemp or mother in law’s tongue. This evergreen perennial plant is a member of the family Asparagaceae, native to tropical West Africa from Congo to Nigeria. The plant forms thick stands that spread by way of their spooky rhizome. What’s typical for snake plant is that it has hard leaves that grow vertically from a basal rosette. They usually reach 5-6 cm width and 70-90 cm length. The snake plant is easy to take care for and is one of the most recommended indoor plants for air cleansing, and a room with filtered, clean, oxygen-rich air is an important precondition for having a good sleep. This plant works by emitting a lot of oxygen in night time, while in the meantime absorbing carbon dioxide that we naturally produce by exhaling the air we breathe. To boot, snake plant filters some of the most noxious toxins in our households, such as: trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde. Here’s an intriguing fact: NASA has included snake plant in their list of best air purifying plants ever, so that’s one more motive to have one at home. [Available here].
Charming and delicate like its name, jasmine is more than just a beautiful ornament to your room. What’s interesting about it is that jasmine is a genus of vines and shrubs in an olive family called Oleaceae. This olive family consists of 200 species growing in the warm temperate areas of Australasia, Oceania and Eurasia, but only 1 of them is native to Europe. Similar to lavender, jasmine too is quite famous for its amazing ivory or pink blooms that pack unbelievable, distinct fragrance.
This exotic flower has a great soothing influence over mind and boy. A specific study has revealed that jasmine can reduce strain, which leads to better sleep quality. The exact same study also deducts that following such an efficient sleep, you get to take delight in greater productivity and better alertness during the day. It’s also said that having a jasmine in your chamber will elevate your mood after wakening. Besides, girls love jasmine due to understandable reasons, so a jasmine flowerpot is always a good present to make them feel happy and stress-free. [Available here].
Hands down, Aloe is one of the most beneficial plants to ever grow on Earth. It belongs to the genus Aloe, and it is a succulent plant species. It’s native to many tropical regions across the globe, but it’s specially cultivated for medicinal and agricultural purposes, as well as to be a natural decoration both indoors and outdoors. There are many researches and discussions regarding the plant’s medicinal potential, as it is widely used in many consumer products like cosmetics, foods and drinks.
Aloe is a very short-stemmed or stemless succulent plant spreading by offsets and reaching height of 60-100 cm. Aloe is characterized with dense, fleshy leaves with pointy ends. Their color is green but can vary to grey-green. Similar to snake plant, aloe too is in NASA’s group of best plants that improve air quality. Aloe too releases oxygen at night thus improving your night’s sleep in a natural way. Since it’s found in tropical places, aloe can greatly tolerate drought and “neglect”, therefore it’s very easy to take care of. The ancient Egyptians called aloe the plant of “immortality” because of its ability to procreate rapidly. So having one means you’ll have couple more very soon. [Available here].
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Those who are interested in herbal supplements and medications for anxiety relief and sleep boosting, undoubtedly have heard and even tried valerian. In fact, it is perhaps one of the most reasonable choices when you’re looking for an effective natural insomnia remedy.
Valerian belongs to the genus Valeriana and the species officinalis. It is a perennial flowering plant with heads that bloom in the summer and have a sweet-kind aroma. Valeriana grows mainly in Europe and Asia, but has been introduced to North America too. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb long ago in ancient Rome and Greece. Even Claudius Galenus and Hippocrates had described its sedative qualities, and Galen prescribed it later as an alternative insomnia cure. The part of the plant used as an anxiolytic agent is the root. Traditional ways of usage are teas and tinctures, but Galen has proven that only inhaling the soothing scent will help you drift off to Dreamland, guaranteeing you deep and restful slumber.
Scientific research has been turned to valerian compounds’ capability to interact with the GABA receptor, though some of the studies are rather unconvincing and require further clinical confirmation. Despite that, some of the GABA analogs, particularly valerenic acids that are located in the essential oil and other semivolatile sesquiterpenoids, principally are believed to have some connection to the GABA receptor, a class of receptors on which benzodiazepines are known to have an effect.
If you want to go with a valerian flower for your room, it’s best to place it near the windows, because the plant requires full solar light at least 6 hours a day.
First we had the snake plant, now it’s time to pay a little attention to the spider plant, as the latter can be mixed up by some people with the first one, but it shouldn’t, because it deserves better recognition too! Its scientific name is Chlorophytum comosum and except its most common name, you can also hear some people calling it spider ivy, airplane plant, St. Bernard’s lily or ribbon plant. This plant is classified as a flowering perennial herb that is mostly native to tropical and southern Africa, but has become accustomed to other regions including Western Australia. The spider plant grows up to 60 cm in height with its long narrow leaves reaching 6-25 mm width and 20-45cm length. The plant’s blossoms are produced in a long branched inflorescence, after which they lean backwards. Their color ranges between green and white, as every one of them has six three-veined sepals.
Spider plant is also very effective in cleaning air. NASA tests deducted that it can remove up to 90% of formaldehyde, a potentially cancer-causing particle. This chemical is normally found in household products such as filler, grout and adhesives, so it’s definitely reasonable to have a spider plant nearby to purify the air. Furthermore, spider plant also has the ability to assimilate bad fumes and smells, as well as preserving optimal oxygen levels in the room. And once again, clean air that is rich in oxygen always results in a good sleep. [Available here].
Hedera helix, more commonly known as English Ivy, European Ivy, or simply ivy, is probably one of the most traditional home plants. Due to its exceptional character and growing pattern, people have been using it to adorn their house both from inside and outside. Native to most of western Asia and across all Europe, ivy is a flowering, clinging, evergreen vine that grows wildly in many areas, in some of which it has been introduced as an intrusive species. It often finds its way into gardens, tree trunks, waste spaces, and especially house walls. This fascinating climbing plant can grow a lot, gaining height between 20 and 30 meters thanks to its aerial roots, if the surface is appropriate (walls, cliffs, trees etc), but it can grow as a ground cover at places where there aren’t any vertical surfaces present. The plant’s flowers bloom from late summer until late autumn, and are usually small with a diameter of 3-5 cm.
Among the other plants participating in NASA’s list of air-purifying plants, ivy has been chosen to stand at the head of all. That’s because it’s most efficacious in absorbing formaldehyde. Ivy is also one of the best choices you can make when you’re looking for a plant to help you fall asleep easier. Studies show that ivy’s leaves can improve asthma symptoms or allergies. In fact, what’s more impressive is that in 2005 the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology stated upon an experiment that English ivy’s air-cleaning properties can remove up to 78% of airborne mold and 94% of airborne feces in the short period of 12 hours! Another advantage of ivy is that it is easy to grow at home, because it can easily thrive in moderate temperatures and average sunlight access. If you want to have a more effective and peaceful sleep, keep an ivy pot in your bedroom to prevent hard breathing and cough caused by mold and other harmful air-borne particles. English ivy also looks stylish in an indoor hanging basket. NOTE: Ivy can be toxic to pets and children, so make sure to keep it out of their reach! [Available here].
Red Edged Dracaena
Dracaena originates from the ancient Greek word drakaina, which means “female dragon”. It’s a genus consisting of 120 species of succulent shrubs and trees. Most of the species grow in Africa, a few in southern Asia and one in tropical Central America. Red dracaena has narrow, long, hard leaves whose colors gradate from green to reddish, making the plant look ravishing. Given that and its rather large size, it’s perfect for filling empty spaces in your room making it more pleasant and with fresher air. Dracaena grows up to 15ft and needs sufficient sunlight to thrive properly, so it does require more cares than some of the other plants we’ve talked about in our article. Similar to other plants examined by NASA, the red edged dracaena is also capable of eliminating toxins like xylene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. [Available here].
Golden Pothos’ latin name is Epipremnum aureum and it’s one of our favorite flowers in general. It belongs to the family of Araceae and grows in French Polynesia and Mo’orea. This species is a well familiar houseplant in regions with temperate climate, but has become naturalized in sub-tropical and tropical woods all over the world. Other familiar names of the plant are hunter’s robe, devil’s vine, and devil’s ivy, with the last two names being given due to the fact that golden pothos grows very persevering, and is almost impossible to kill. Like English ivy, golden pothos is an evergreen vine that can reach up to 20 m of height and climbs via aerial roots that stick to solid surfaces. The plant has a heart-shaped leaf that in maturity stage can reach the astonishing length of 100 cm and width of 45 cm. Golden pothos’ blooms are produced in a spathe up to 23 cm. Cultivated golden pothos has very beautiful leaves that have yellow, white and/or light green variegation, so this plant is definitely an eye catcher.
Golden pothos can improve your sleep quality by successfully removing pollutants like xylene, benzene formaldehyde, though research showed that the greater the concentration of these particles, the lesser the effect of the flower. The plant is classified as “toxic to dogs and toxic to cats” by the ASPCA. That’s why you should make sure your pets don’t eat this plant. Symptoms include oral irritation, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing. With that aside, golden pothos, is beyond a doubt one of the most interestingly looking plants in our list, and can surely help you keep your home air clean and predisposes to a restful sleep. [Available here].
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Another one of our favorites! It can definitely win a special place in your heart due to its fine and gentle appearance. Peace Lily’s scientific genus name is Spathiphyllum. It is an evergreen, herbaceous perennial, flowering plant native to tropical areas in southeastern Asia, as well as North and South America. Peace lilies have big leaves that are long 12-65 cm, and 3-25 cm broad. The flowers are born in a spadix surrounded by a 10-30 cm long white, greenish, or yellowish captivating spathe. This flower doesn’t basically need a lot of light and water to survive.
In terms of air-filtering, peace lily is another one of NASA’s chosen plants, as it assists in killing injurious toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Peace lily has the ability to moisturize the air in your room by 5%. Better humidity levels help suppress airborne bacteria and microbes which, if let loose, can cause allergies. To boot, optimal air humidity in your home can relieve nasty cough, dry nose and sore throat. Place peace lily’s pot on a shady spot in your room (out of children and pets reach), and irrigate it averagely once a week. The flower will repay you by keeping your air high quality and allowing you the opportunity for an effective slumber. [Available here].
So, we hope we managed to give you some good advice on the best home plants that help you sleep better. It’s up to you to decide which one you like the most in terms of looks and qualities, but whatever you decide, you won’t make a mistake, because all plants are fantastic and bring the presence of Nature in your home.