With all the distractions of modern life, it can often be hard to get some real, quality sleep. With this in mind, we’ve invited Nicky Roeber, Online Horticultural Expert at Wyevale Garden Centres, to explain the benefits of having plants in your bedroom and how you can use them to improve the quality of your sleep.
We all know the importance of sleep but, despite this, it’s usually an afterthought in our busy lives. While nothing can beat getting a full eight hours and sticking to a healthy routine, there are some fantastic house plants that can make your bedroom a healthier place and improve the quality of your sleep.
Studies looking into the benefits of houseplants were first undertaken by NASA in the late 1980s, examining the air purifying effects of various species. Since then, thousands of further experiments have been undertaken, discovering all kinds of benefits associated with house plants, from aiding recovery from surgery to decreasing anxiety to improving the quality of sleep.
With all of these great health benefits, you really should consider getting some of these houseplants for your home. In this article, I’m going to walk you through my top five picks for plants that can help improve the quality of your sleep.
With a soothing, restful effect on the body and mind, jasmine has been shown to improve the quality of sleep by reducing anxiety levels. These positive effects on sleep can actually translate into feelings of increased productivity during the following day. Replete with beautiful pink or ivory flowers, jasmine doesn’t just improve your sleep, it also adds some natural décor to your home.
How to care for: This exotic Asian plant will do well in a pot in your home most of the year, but benefits from getting some time outside in the summer.
This tropical delight is actually related to the coffee plant. With its glossy evergreen leaves and magnificently scented white blossoms, gardenia is a great choice for your bedroom. Keeping one nearby has been shown to improve the quality of sleep, with some even claiming that the plant may be as effective as the drug Valium when it comes to relieving anxiety and inducing sleep.
How to care for: They require a bit of attention to maintain and should be kept in a bright spot, but not in direct sunlight.
Commonly known as mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant is one of the single most recommended plants when it comes to improving the quality of indoor air. If you don’t have green fingers, this could be the choice for you as this West African plant is an incredibly hardy and easy to care-for plant. The snake plant will filter all sorts of toxins from the air, such as carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde, and emit oxygen. For an added bonus: it is claimed having one in your office can boost productivity.
How to care for: These tough plants need a little bit of light and small amount of water — your biggest problem will be over-watering.
Another top plant for improving the air around you, Aloe vera is kind of like a mini snake plant, emitting oxygen throughout the night to boost your sleep quality. The Ancient Egyptians called it the ‘plant of immortality’ as it propagates itself easily. Yes — get yourself one of these and eventually you’ll have enough for the whole house. Outside of benefits to sleep, Aloe vera is used as a topical treatment for cuts and burns, a moisturiser for dry skin, and even an aid to digestion.
How to care for: This succulent needs direct sunlight and very little water, so put it by the window and you can largely leave it alone.
This Eurasian herb has a sweet scent with pink or white flowers that come into bloom in the summer. Prescribed by ancient Greek physician Galen as a cure for insomnia, the root has been used as a tea for millennia and as a perfume since the 16th century. As it turns out, Galen was pretty on the money, as the scent of this flower can help you fall asleep and improve your time in the land of slumber.
How to care for: Keep this plant on your bedroom window as it needs 6 hours of sun a day. You can even put some of the petals in a pre-bedtime bath to help you drift off.
So, there are my top five picks for houseplants that will improve the quality of your sleep. Bring just one of these plants into your life and you’ll never have trouble snoozing again.