There is nothing worse than tossing and turning all night before being woken up by your alarm clock, just minutes after you were finally able to fall asleep. These sleepless nights can take a toll on our energy, productivity, mood, and overall quality of life. One way to ensure a better quality of sleep is to fill your home with beautiful flowers and houseplants or room plants.

Indoor plants not only look great and bring vitality and life to your living spaces, they can also have fantastic relaxing and purifying benefits – which in turn can promote a healthy sleep pattern.

With the stress and anxiety caused half the problems of insomnia , it is a good idea to fill your home and bedroom with a variety of plants that have a calming effect. After all, studies clearly show that spending time in nature reduces stress levels, so why not just bring nature indoors.

In addition, poor air quality from pollution, odors and mold can affect breathing, making a good night’s sleep almost impossible. The good news is that there are a variety of plants that can purify the air while you sleep – in fact, NASA did quite a study on that.

We’ve compiled this list of 12 great plants to help you sleep better, based on their calming and cleansing effect.

12 bedroom plants to help you sleep


This exotic plant has a mild and calming effect on the body and mind. It has been shown in a study to reduce anxiety levels , which leads to a higher quality of sleep. This research further suggests that the positive effects of high-quality sleep lead to increased alertness and productivity throughout the day.

With these beautiful pink and ivory blooms, there doesn’t seem to be any downside to putting a jasmine flower on your desk or nightstand.


Who doesn’t love the smell of lavender? It is also likely the best known of all plants when it comes to inducing sleep and reducing anxiety levels. Research backs up these claims, lavender scents are shown to slow heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels.

In one study, the scent of lavender reduces crying in babies, sending them into a deep sleep; at the same time it reduces stress on mother and child – something all new mothers will be happy to hear.

While there are plenty of lavender in scented products on the market to help you get a full night’s rest (from scented sleeping masks to lavender mattresses) why not go for the more natural option: a beautiful lavender plant set on your nightstand.

Snake Plant (mother-in-law’s tongue plant)

One of the most recommended plants for improving indoor air quality, the snake plant, is hardy and easy to care for. The good thing about this plant is that it emits oxygen during the night while taking in carbon dioxide – something that we naturally produce when we breathe. All of this leads to a purer air quality and a better night’s sleep.

The snake plant also filters some unpleasant but common household toxins (i.e. formaldehyde, trichlorethylene, and benzene) from the air.

Aloe Vera

Listed as one of the top air-enhancing plants, according to NASA, the fantastic Aloe Vera works similar to the snake plant – it emits oxygen at night, which leads to a more restful sleep. It is also one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain – it tolerates ‘neglect’ and thus does not require frequent watering.

Baptized as the “plant of immortality” by the Egyptians, it reproduces easily so if you buy one, you will soon have an Aloe plant for every room in your house. You can even pass the gift of happy sleep with your family and friends. Keep it on your bedroom window, as it needs a lot of direct sunlight.

You can also use Aloe Vera gel as a topical treatment for minor cuts and burns, insect bites, dry skin , and much more. It is simply an essential plant in every home.


With glossy evergreens and beautifully scented flowers, gardenias are a popular choice for bedroom plants. Studies indicate that keeping one in your bedroom can help you achieve a better quality of sleep, with testimonies that it can be as effective as Valium in relieving anxiety and promoting sleep.

However, gardenias can be difficult to maintain as they require a lot of attention in order to maintain their luscious and delicate leaves. Indoor gardenias should be kept in a bright room, but not placed in direct sunlight. But if you suffer from insomnia or anxiety, investing a little time in one of these beautiful flowers could be a cheap and healthy solution instead of taking pills.

Spider plant

Not to be confused with the snake plant, the spider plant is also a champion air cleaner. NASA tests showed that it removes about 90% of the potentially cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde from the air.

Formaldehyde is found in common household products like adhesives, grouts, and fillers, so it’s a good idea to keep one of these plants around.

In addition to cleaning the air, it also absorbs odors and fumes as well as the oxygen levels that sustain the room promoting better sleep.


Valerian is a perennial plant with sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer. While the flowers have been used as a perfume in the 16th century, the root has been used as a tea or tincture since ancient times by the Roman physician and philosopher Galen who prescribed it for insomnia.

Recent research has shown that Galen was correct in his prescription of valerian root – simply inhaling its aroma will help you fall asleep quickly, and ensure that you enjoy a better quality of sleep. Besides keeping one on your bedroom window (it needs full sun for 6 hours a day), why not add some petals to your bath water?

English ivy

Another of NASA’s main plants for purifying the air is English Ivy, which is even easy to grow and only needs moderate exposure to sunlight.

Studies have shown that English ivy can improve symptoms of allergies or asthma – which all sufferers know can seriously affect both the quantity and quality of sleep. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reported that, in a 2005 experiment, English ivy removed 94% of airborne feces and 78% of airborne mold in just 12 hours . Since mold can affect our breathing, it is definitely a plant to have on hand for a great night’s sleep.

This evergreen vine looks great in an indoor hanging basket, or stands on a ledge where the leaves can creep down. It is toxic if swallowed, so keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Peace lily

Not only nice to look at, the peace lily is another of NASA’s superstar plants, helping to filter out harmful benzene, trichlorethylene, and formaldehyde toxins. The humidity that these showy flowers give off can increase the humidity in a room by as much as 5%. This suppresses airborne microbes that can trigger allergies, and also helps soothe those irritating dry noses and throats that keep you up all night.

They like nice shade (out of the reach of pets and children) and weekly watering is all the peace lily needs – which is not much to ask for a good night’s sleep.

Bamboo palm

Also known as Palma de Caña, this little plant is a fantastic air purifier. Not only are you going to be able to enjoy clean, fresh air during the day in your home, but you are going to enjoy a fantastic night’s sleep as well.

Considering its exotic origins, bamboo will bring a warm tropical atmosphere to your room. It’s pretty easy to care for – just keep the soil moist (but not wet) and place the plant in indirect sunlight.

Gerbera daisy

These bright and cheerful flowers will not let you get in a bad mood. With pink, orange, yellow and white colors, it should be a great welcome to any room and not just because they look good.

They also release oxygen during the night, which helps you breathe easier while you doze. If you suffer from apnea or respiratory allergies , then these margaritas are definitely recommended for you.

A word of warning for the novice gardener: Since these types of daisies are prone to fungal diseases, they will need special attention, especially in relation to watering and light levels.

Oh food Julieta

With its heart-shaped marbled leaves, potus is another exceptional air-purifying plant according to NASA .

Those with a busy schedule will be particularly welcome to this ivy-like vine. Not only will you get a better quality of sleep, but you don’t have to worry too much about taking care of it: a couple of hours of morning sun and a little water once a week is all it takes.

It makes a great hanging plant too, curbing its invasive nature and keeping its slightly toxic leaves out of the reach of children and pets.

When adding plants to your home

Always check if they are toxic to children and animals to make sure they are suitable for your family.
Remember to clean the leaves every week or so to ensure the plants can do their job – just see it as the equivalent of changing the filter on your air purifier.

Choose a good mix of plants that purify the air and those that induce sleep through their aroma for optimal results.
NASA recommends between 15 and 18 air purification plants in 167 m2 (1,800 square feet), with a few of these in each room.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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