The Best Plants to Help You Sleep

Sleep better with these soothing and air purifying potted plants

It’s not just your bed and mattress that can be causing sleepless nights. Poor air quality could also be robbing you of the sleep you need for good health and well-being.

Video – Plants that help you sleep

What poor air quality can be doing to your health

Chemical off-gassing from household products as well as cigarette smoke, air-borne allergens and viruses can all cause “sick-building syndrome,” which includes symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Eye, nose, and/or throat irritations
  • Dry cough
  • Itchy, irritated skin
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating

You might not notice feeling ill if you are away from home at work all day. While at home in the evening and through the night, you may develop some or all of these symptoms. You may think you’re sick, but you’re really just having an adverse reaction to indoor air pollution. It’s pretty hard to get a good night’s sleep when the very air your breath is making you feel sick.

Air fresheners may make air smell better, but the actual air pollution is still there. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to eliminate air impurities, especially those that can keep you up at night? Well, you’re in luck.


A study conducted by NASA – which looked for sustainable ways to improve air quality in sealed systems, like space stations, for instance, or more commonly, energy efficient buildings – showed that the simple addition of potted plants to your home will improve the indoor air quality. Bringing them into your bedroom will make your bedroom a healthier place to sleep by purifying the air and increasing oxygen levels.

As a results, one hundred percent natural, noiseless, and completely environmentally friendly, strategically chosen potted plants can even promote better sleep by reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure, and slowing your heart rate.

When your home security system is not enough to protect you

Toxins in your household and work environment can rob you of your sleep and harm your health in debilitating and sometimes dangerous ways. Examples include cigarette smoke, mold, air-borne bacteria and viruses, and dust emitted by many household products, which can all to wreak havoc on you!

  • Benzene is a major component of gasoline and is used to make plastics, synthetic fibers, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. It is also found in many household products like adhesives, paint strippers, and tobacco smoke. Even short-term exposure to benzene has been shown to cause drowsiness, headaches, and dizziness. Long-term exposure can increase the risk of developing leukemia, anemia, and weaken the immune system. Animal studies have shown exposure to benzene to cause damage to reproductive organs and cause infertility.
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE) is used in the manufacture of disinfectants, dyes, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, soaps. It is also found in adhesives, cleaning fluids for rugs, paint removers/strippers, spot removers, and type correction fluid. Short and long-term exposure to TCE causes dizziness, headaches, confusion, euphoria, facial numbness, and weakness. It has also been shown to affect the liver, kidneys, immunological and endocrine systems as well as adversely affect development in children.
  • Formaldehyde is frequently used in home construction materials such as plywood, fiberboard, resins, glues, and carpets. It is known to cause irritation of the skin, eyes, throat, and nose and can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Chronic exposure can lead to runny nose, chronic bronchitis, and obstructive lung disease.

19 plants that will help you breathe easier and sleep better

Removing toxins from the air is the best way to improve the quality of the air in your bedroom. One of the best ways to eliminate indoor air pollution is by including potted plants in your interior design. The NASA study recommends adding between 15 and 18 air-purifying plants in an 1800-square foot home.

For improved sleep, bring a few plants into each bedroom.


  • Spider plant
  • English ivy*
  • Peace lily*
  • Golden pothos*
  • Marginata
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Janet Craig
  • Gerber daisy
  • Snake plant*
  • Warneckei
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Bamboo palm
  • Aloe vera
  • Philodendron*

*This plant can be toxic to animals and human beings. If you share space with furry friends or inquisitive children, keep this plant out of reach or consider choosing different plants.


  • Valerian
  • Lavender
  • Jasmine
  • Gardenia
  • Rosemary

If you want to benefit throughout the entire year, consider flowers that bloom in the winter.

When potted plants are like a breath of fresh air

All plants release oxygen as a waste product of their respiration – yes, plants breathe! Since we exhale the carbon dioxide plants need to grow, the relationship between human beings and plants is a naturally powerful one. We were meant to live and sleep together! Sweet dreams!

As always, if you have any questions about bringing plants into your bedroom to improve your sleep, drop us a line. We’ll find you an answer.

About the Author

By Andrea Pisani Babich  writes for Mattress Advisor


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