Houseplants are the best roommates! They never eat your food, they’re always there to listen and best of all, they help you get a good night’s sleep. We already know that plants purify the air and help you breathe better, but did you know that their air-cleaning properties coupled with some of their other relaxing traits actually help you have a more relaxing, restful snooze? There are lots of plants that help you sleep! The interesting part is that each plant helps in different ways.
Some plants are better at purifying the air and helping you breathe easier in the evening since they release a lot of oxygen and absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale in our sleep. Aloe vera plants and spider plants are examples of these plants. We have a quick overview of common VOCs below. Learn more about how plants purify the air and the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) they absorb to help us breathe easily.
Trichloroethylene: This is an industrial product found in paints, varnish, dry cleaning and adhesives.
Benzene: This is a common solvent found in gasoline, oils, rubbers and plastics.
Formaldehyde: This is a water-soluble organic compound found in grocery bags, facial tissues, cleaning agents and paper towels.
Xylene: This is a chemical found in tobacco smoke, rubber, paint and vehicle exhaust.
Ammonia: This is commonly found in household cleaners, floor wax and fertilizers.
Other plants, like jasmine and gardenia, release relaxing aromas that reduce anxiety, relieve stress and help you get a more restful night’s sleep. You can diffuse essential oils, create homemade incense or simply house the live plants in your bedroom to invite their healing aromas indoors.
18 Plants That Help You Sleep
Getting a better night’s sleep has a number of benefits. When you get a restful night’s sleep, you’re more alert and focused during the day, have more energy, and your overall mood improves. These positive qualities all start with a restful night in bed. To help you get started, we put together a list of our top plants that help you sleep! We called out their best sleepy time features, care guidelines and the best place to display them in your room. Peruse through our guide below to see the best plants for your bedroom.
1. Aloe Vera (Aloe vera)
We’ve all reached for aloe vera gel at least once or twice in our lives to relieve a sunburn, but did you know that aloe vera plants are also great for helping you sleep? Aloe vera releases oxygen at night, that purifies the air and helps us breathe easier while we sleep. This plant in particular is great for purifying benzene and formaldehyde.
2. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
This large palm brings a tropical feel to your room with its exotic-looking leaves and its ability to act as a natural humidifier. This feature is ideal for those who suffer from sinus problems at night. Areca palms are also great for purifying toxins, like formaldehyde, from the air.
3. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
Bamboo palms are large trees that give a warm and clean feel to your entire bedroom. These palms are great for purifying airborne toxins like benzene and trichloroethylene. Place these near windows to help them absorb enough light to support their large leaves.
4. Bromeliad (Bromeliaceae)
Bromeliads are another type of tropical plant that cleans the air for you while you catch some Zs. These plants increase oxygen in the evening while absorbing carbon dioxide during the day. This means these exotic beauties are always working to keep the air clean. Pair this with one of the palms we mentioned earlier to create a clean and tropical experience in your bedroom every night.
5. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
This herb is used in teas, essential oils and other things used to help people relax and unwind. A study shows that chamomile induces sleep and makes you more likely have uninterrupted sleep. Keep it close to your bed, perhaps with a fresh lavender plant, to take in the fresh and relaxing aroma all night. You can also make fresh chamomile tea and oils using the blooms of your plant.
6. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
These beautiful plants are great for purifying toxins in the air. This is the bedroom plant for you if you need an independent plant that doesn’t need much attention. Bedside Chinese evergreens will greet you with vivid leaves and fresh, purified air every morning.
7. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
An English ivy is your go-to plant if allergies seem to plague you in your sleep. One study found that this plant reduces airborne mold and feces while another investigation found that the leaves help alleviate asthma symptoms. This is an air-purifying power player that you’ll definitely want in every bedroom. Just make sure to keep it out of reach from kids and animals since it is toxic if ingested!
8. Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
Gardenias are fragrant florals you’ll commonly find in flower gardens. These flowers emit a fresh smell that reduces stress and induces sleep. One analysis found that gardenia flowers are great natural alternatives to sleeping pills like Valium. Another study found that you’re less likely to wake up in the middle of the night and more likely to have a restful sleep with gardenia flowers. Instead of reaching for a sleeping aid when insomnia strikes, try picking up some gardenia for your room for a natural remedy to sleeping woes.
9. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
These dainty blooms are perfect if you want a pop of color in your room to stand out from the greenery. Gerbera daisies are also great plants that help you sleep thanks to their ability to increase the oxygen in your bedroom at night. They also carry some air-purifying capabilities so you can be sure you’re breathing in fresh, clean air throughout the night. These particular daisies are better suited for those with green thumbs who have the time to give them close tender loving care.
10. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
These low-maintenance bedroom plants are another great choice for purifying the air, particularly for removing carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. Golden pothos plants are one of the top air-purifying plants from the NASA clean air study. Pick up a golden pothos if you want to free up space on your floor and shelves. This air-purifying plants has beautiful, trailing leaves that look great in hanging baskets and shelves. Peruse our pothos care guide to see how you can take care of this bedroom plant.
11. Jasmine (Jasminum)
Jasmine flowers are known for their sweet smell, that is often found in perfumes and candles. This pleasant aroma is great for refreshing your room and for helping you get a restful night’s sleep. It’s reported that shows that the scent of jasmine reduces anxiety to help you sleep and, in turn, increase your mental performance during the day.
12. Lavender (Lavandula)
Lavender is a popular bedroom plant often used to help create a relaxing environment and induce better sleep through essential oil diffusers and sachets tucked under pillows. This plant helps you relax during the day and quickly puts you to sleep in the evening. This study found that the smell of lavender reduces stress and crying in babies while helping them sleep. The best part? The smell of lavender also decreased the stress levels of moms involved in the study! That’s what we call a win-win for everyone. Another investigation found that smelling lavender before going to bed helps you experience more deep sleep and feel more energy in the morning.
13. Orchid (Orchidaceae)
This tropical flower helps you sleep by producing lots of oxygen for you. Just like many other plants on this list, orchids absorb carbon dioxide during the day and release oxygen in the evening. Keep these flowers on your nightstand for easy breathing at night and beautiful blooms to wake up to in the morning.
14. Passion Flower (Passiflora)
This exotic and unique-looking flower can brighten your spirits with its bold color and improve your mood with its soothing scent. Passion flowers are helpful for relieving anxiety and insomnia. Researchers found in a study found that passion flowers reduce anxiety better than the common anxiety-relieving drug, Oxazepam.
15. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Purifying different toxins in the air and adding a peaceful atmosphere in your bedroom are a couple peace lily benefits you should keep in mind. Peace lilies are one of the best plants for purifying all five VOCs in the air. Be wary, however, if you have pets or kids in your home! This plant is toxic when ingested. Keep your peace lily out of reach from children and pets to prevent any accidents. Take a look at our peace lily care guide to learn more about how to properly handle and care for your peace lily.
16. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
These bedroom plants increase the oxygen in your room and help you get a more restful sleep. Many studies, including the NASA clean air study, claim that these plants are great for purifying formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene from the air. Snake plants, also known as viper’s bowstring hemp, are tall plants that are great for filling empty corners of the room. You can check out our snake plant care guide to learn how to care for your snake plant.
17. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
This spindly plant is great for absorbing toxins in the air like odors, fumes and the VOC formaldehyde. Spider plants are also great at increasing oxygen in the air and filtering out toxins to help you breathe easier in the evening. These plants absorb benzene, carbon monoxide and xylene.
18. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Valerians are the last fragrant flower on our list that make a graceful and healthful impact in your bedroom. This study shows that inhaling the scent from a valerian flower helps you quickly fall asleep and stay asleep. These flowers are the blooms for you if you have a hard time falling asleep at night and you’re in need of some soft color in your bedroom.
Now it’s time to choose one of these plants to help you sleep. All of the plants from our breathe happier collection are great candidates for your new bedside plant roommate! If your bedroom doesn’t get a lot of natural light, you should check out our list of plants that don’t need sun. You’re sure to find a plant that fits your sleep-aiding needs since there’s a lot of overlap between both lists.