We all know that a supportive mattress and comfy bedding are important for a great night’s sleep, but what about the humble houseplant? Nicky Roeber, Online Horticultural Expert with Wyevale Garden Centres, shares four incredible houseplants which can help you drift off naturally, along with a few tips for helping them flourish.
Have you been tossing and turning a lot lately? If you often struggle to get the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep a night, adding a few houseplants to your bedroom could make all difference. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven in a study by NASA that certain types of plants can act as air purifiers, which in turn can help to create a better sleeping environment. Plus, we’re hard-wired to find the scent of some flowers soothing, which can be a great sleeping aid if you struggle to relax and switch off.
In this post, I’ll be sharing the best houseplants for your bedroom, as well as tips on how to help each variety to thrive.
Peace lilies are all-round brilliant air purifiers. They’re especially good at filtering toxins out of the air, according to NASA’s study, including benzene and trichloroethylene — chemicals which are often found in solvents and paints. They’ve also been shown to increase humidity levels in the air, which is thought to help make breathing easier, and can be very helpful if you suffer from dry skin. Plus, with their glossy leaves and elegant white flowers, they look stunning too.
In addition to being very beneficial to the air quality in your bedroom, peace lilies are one of the easiest house plants to care for. All they need to thrive is a spot with some natural daylight (near a window or on the sill, for example) and watering at least once a week. You can let the soil dry out a little between watering, but don’t let the leaves start to wilt.
With their lush, tropical fronds, areca palms — sometimes called butterfly or yellow palms — have been a fashionable houseplant for a few years now. But, they’re not just stylish: they’re also very good at purifying air, which promotes better sleep.
Areca palms can flourish indoors, but they won’t tolerate neglect or drying out, so you should water them often enough to keep the soil moist. You’ll also want to apply a slow-release fertiliser in the spring, to help keep the plant healthy and provide it with all the nutrition it needs to thrive. These plants can grow rather quickly (it’s not unknown for them to reach eight feet!), so you might need to repot them every two years or so.
Another powerhouse air purifier, aloe vera plants were named in NASA’s study as one of the best houseplants for improving air quality. Thought to increase the humidity levels in your room, the sap they produce is great for treating burns and sunburn — making them a very useful plant to have around the house.
Aloe vera plants need direct sunlight for at least a few hours of the day, so you’ll want to position it on a window sill. These plants are best suited to hot, arid environments and can tolerate very dry conditions, so you’ll only need to water them once every three weeks, letting the soil dry out a little between watering.
Jasmine is a pretty climbing plant that produces masses of delicate, star-shaped white flowers when in blossom. But it’s not just a looker: it’s also famous for its heady, soothing scent, which is a favourite with perfumiers. This delicious aroma is thought to be highly conducive to a great night’s sleep, so if you want to drift off easier, try placing a jasmine plant somewhere in your bedroom.
This fragrant plant will flower in the spring and summer, during which time you should be watering it at least once a week, keeping the soil moist. In the winter, I’d recommend allowing the soil to dry out a little between watering. Jasmine needs direct or at least partial sunlight all year round, so position them near a window if possible.
Adding houseplants to your bedroom can have a whole host of benefits: not only do they look beautiful, but they can have fantastic air purifying and relaxing effects. Take my tips on board when choosing your plants, and you could be enjoying healthier sleep in no time.
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