The internet wryly tells us that plants are the new pets. But that’s no bad thing – houseplants bring us tons of mental and physical benefits (all without leaving stains on the carpet). They bring us closer to nature, oxygenate the air inside and reduce stress. And for people struggling with their bedtime routine, they can help you fall asleep too.
That’s right, just the simple addition of a bit of greenery can make nodding off easier. So, if you could do with some quality shut-eye, here are OTTY’s top picks for the best bedroom plants.
Also known as a snake plant, or more revoltingly ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’, Sansevieria trifasciata is known for its ability to improve indoor air quality. The Royal Horticultural Society lists it as a good plant for removing VOCs from interiors, which include nasty substances like formaldehyde and benzene emitted from household items. Easy to grow and just as easy to propagate, you can fill your bedroom with their funky foliage and enjoy a great night’s sleep at the same time.
- Parlour palm
A classic houseplant choice, the parlour palm (Chamaedorea elegans) brings a little exotic touch into any room. Once tested in a 1989 clean air study by NASA, it was one of the few plants that removed the most types of VOCs from a sealed environment. Don’t get too excited though – a more recent study in 2014 indicated that regularly opening your windows will do more for air quality at home. While conditions in space are very different to the average bedroom, a parlour palm can still help to remove some nasties from the air as you sleep, especially during winter when your house may not be quite so well-ventilated.
- Peace lily
Dry air can wreak havoc on your breathing while you’re trying to get to sleep. It can lead to irritated nasal passages, dry skin and can even make you more susceptible to colds and flu. If that sounds like your bedroom, a peace lily (Spathiphyllum) might be just what you’re looking for. This elegant plant is a great humidifier and can help to add moisture into the surrounding air for more comfortable sleep. The white, sail-like blossoms look lovely and it makes a great low maintenance option as a house plant. Just be careful with handling as this plant is toxic to pets and can also cause irritation on the skin.
Studies have shown that aromatherapy can go a long way towards helping people relax and unwind before bed. Jasmine in particular is known to help reduce stress and boost mood to help you keep a more positive mindset as you fall asleep. Jasminum polyanthum, or the many-flowered jasmine, has fragrant flowers and can be grown indoors with a bit of care. This kind of jasmine should be kept in temperatures over 13˚C – ideal for growing at home – and should be fed monthly to keep it flowering.
- Common Ivy
Like many of the plants in our list, common ivy (Hedera helix) is rated well for air purification. But unlike the others, it has one other cool function that makes it a great contender for use in bedrooms. In one scientific study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, it was shown to actively remove mould particles from the air, making it a great choice for anyone with allergies. As with the peace lily, exercise care with this plant as it is toxic to pets (and humans!) and can cause skin irritation when handled.
Make your bedroom a space to unwind
In truth, any houseplant that captures your eye will make a fantastic option to help you sleep better purely because of the sense of wellbeing they bring. Never underestimate the power of our instinct to be around nature. Our brains might be in the modern age but our instincts to be around our photosynthesizing friends is hardwired into us.
Don’t get too hung up on air purification benefits. To get NASA levels of clean air in your bedroom, you’d need to have the equivalent of a mini nursery’s worth of plants in there! That being said, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the extra boost of freshness they offer. And if you want to go the extra mile to make your bedroom perfect, why not consider an OTTY mattress for a full overhaul of your sleep space?