Having indoor plants can create a soothing environment that promotes relaxation and better sleep. While plants themselves won’t magically cure insomnia, they can help improve air quality and reduce stress, which may indirectly lead to better sleep. Here are ten plants known for their calming properties that could potentially aid in creating a more sleep-friendly environ
Garden to Bedside: 10 Plants to Create a Serene Sleep Environment
Lavender (Lavandula) is a fragrant herb widely known for its beautiful purple flowers and pleasant aroma. It has been used for centuries for various purposes, including aromatherapy, culinary uses, and medicinal properties. Here are some key aspects of lavender:
Aroma and Aromatherapy: Lavender emits a soothing and relaxing scent that is often used in aromatherapy to promote calmness and reduce stress and anxiety. Inhaling the fragrance of lavender is believed to have a positive impact on mood and can help induce a sense of relaxation.
Sleep Aid: Lavender is particularly renowned for its potential sleep-enhancing properties. The calming scent of lavender has been studied for its effects on sleep quality, and some research suggests that it may help improve sleep patterns and overall sleep quality.
Stress and Anxiety Relief: The aroma of lavender is thought to have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. Many people use lavender essential oil in diffusers, sprays, or bath products to create a calming atmosphere and alleviate stress.
Skin Care: Lavender has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it a popular ingredient in various skincare products. It is often used to soothe skin irritations and promote relaxation during skincare routines.
Culinary Uses: Lavender flowers can be used to infuse flavor into culinary dishes, such as desserts, baked goods, and beverages. It adds a unique floral taste and aroma to foods and is commonly used in Mediterranean and French cuisines.
Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender essential oil is extracted from the flowers through a steam distillation process. The oil is highly concentrated and used in aromatherapy, massage oils, and skincare products. When using essential oils, it’s essential to follow proper dilution guidelines and safety precautions.
Herbal Remedies: Lavender has been used in traditional herbal medicine for its potential therapeutic effects, including its use as a mild sedative and digestive aid.
It’s important to note that while lavender is generally considered safe for most people when used in moderation, some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to the plant. As with any herbal remedy or essential oil, it’s recommended to perform a patch test before using lavender products topically and to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any specific health concerns or conditions. Additionally, while lavender can be a helpful aid in relaxation and sleep, it is not a substitute for medical treatment for sleep disorders or other health conditions.
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller):
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller) is a succulent plant with thick, fleshy leaves that is well-known for its numerous medicinal and skincare benefits. Here are some key aspects of Aloe Vera:
Medicinal Uses: Aloe Vera has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for various health issues. The gel extracted from the plant’s leaves is known for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and wound-healing properties. It is often applied topically to soothe minor burns, sunburns, cuts, and skin irritations.
Skincare: Aloe Vera is a popular ingredient in many skincare products, such as moisturizers, lotions, and creams. Its hydrating and soothing properties can help nourish the skin and alleviate dryness and irritation.
Sunburn Relief: Aloe Vera gel is especially well-regarded for its ability to provide relief from sunburns. When applied to sun-damaged skin, it can help reduce redness, inflammation, and discomfort.
Digestive Health: Aloe Vera juice, derived from the inner gel of the leaves, has been used as a dietary supplement to support digestive health. However, it’s essential to use Aloe Vera products intended for internal use, as some preparations meant for topical application may not be suitable for ingestion.
Houseplant: Apart from its medicinal uses, Aloe Vera is a popular houseplant due to its low maintenance and attractive appearance. It can add a touch of greenery to your living space while also helping to purify indoor air.
Gel Extraction: To use Aloe Vera gel, simply cut open one of the plant’s leaves and scoop out the clear, gel-like substance found inside. This gel can be applied directly to the skin for various topical uses.
Safety Precautions: While Aloe Vera is generally safe for topical use, some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions. It’s a good practice to perform a patch test before applying Aloe Vera gel to a larger area of the skin.
Caution for Ingestion: If you plan to consume Aloe Vera products, such as Aloe Vera juice or supplements, it’s essential to choose products specifically meant for internal use and follow the recommended dosage. Consult with a healthcare professional before adding Aloe Vera supplements to your diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.
As with any natural remedy, individual responses may vary, and it’s essential to use Aloe Vera products responsibly and appropriately. If you experience any adverse reactions or have concerns about using Aloe Vera, consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata):
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or snake tongue, is a popular and low-maintenance indoor plant that has gained popularity due to its attractive appearance and air-purifying abilities. Here are some key aspects of the Snake Plant:
Appearance: Snake Plants have long, sword-shaped leaves that are typically dark green with yellow or white variegation. The leaves grow vertically and can reach varying heights, depending on the variety.
Air Purification: Snake Plants are well-regarded for their air-purifying properties. They can effectively filter indoor air by removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene, making them an excellent choice for improving indoor air quality.
Low Maintenance: One of the most significant advantages of the Snake Plant is its ability to thrive in low light conditions and tolerate neglect. It is an ideal plant for beginners or individuals with limited time for plant care.
Night Oxygen Production: Unlike most plants that release oxygen during the day through photosynthesis, Snake Plants utilize a unique crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) process. This means they release oxygen at night, making them potentially beneficial for bedrooms, where improved air quality during sleep is desirable.
NASA Clean Air Study: Snake Plants were part of the NASA Clean Air Study, which aimed to find plants that could effectively remove indoor air pollutants. The study demonstrated the plant’s ability to remove certain toxins and improve indoor air quality.
Pet-Friendly: Snake Plants are generally considered non-toxic to pets. However, it’s always best to keep plants out of reach of curious pets to avoid any potential issues.
Varied Cultivars: There are numerous cultivars and varieties of Snake Plants available, with varying leaf patterns and sizes. Some popular cultivars include ‘Laurentii’ with yellow edges and ‘Moonshine’ with silvery-green leaves.
Propagation: Snake Plants are easy to propagate through division or leaf cuttings, making them a popular choice for plant enthusiasts who want to grow new plants from existing ones.
Feng Shui: In Feng Shui, Snake Plants are believed to bring positive energy and protection to a space. They are often placed near entrances or in areas where stagnant energy needs to be cleared.
While Snake Plants have many benefits, some people may be sensitive to the plant’s sap, which could cause skin irritation. It’s a good idea to handle the plant with care and wear gloves if you have sensitive skin. Overall, Snake Plants are an excellent addition to indoor spaces, especially for those seeking a low-maintenance and air-purifying plant.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) is a popular houseplant known for its elegant appearance, striking white flowers, and air-purifying qualities. It has become a favorite choice for indoor spaces due to its ability to thrive in low-light conditions and its relatively easy care requirements. Here are some key features and considerations of the Peace Lily:
Appearance: Peace Lilies have glossy, dark green leaves with a unique white spathe surrounding a finger-like spadix. The flowers resemble a white flag, giving rise to the name “Peace Lily.” They can bloom throughout the year under favorable conditions.
Air Purification: The Peace Lily is recognized for its air-purifying capabilities, effectively removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the indoor air. This makes it a valuable plant for improving indoor air quality.
Low Light Tolerance: Peace Lilies are well-suited for indoor environments with low to moderate light levels. While they prefer bright, indirect light, they can tolerate low-light conditions, making them suitable for spaces with limited sunlight.
Watering: These plants have a slight wilting mechanism to indicate when they need water. They are sensitive to overwatering, so it’s essential to allow the top inch of the soil to dry before watering again. Root rot and other problems might result from excessive irrigation.
Pet-Friendly: Peace Lilies are considered mildly toxic to pets, containing calcium oxalate crystals that can cause irritation and discomfort if ingested. Therefore, it’s best to keep them out of reach of curious pets.
Humidity: Peace Lilies appreciate higher humidity levels. Regular misting or placing a humidity tray nearby can help create a more favorable environment for the plant.
Easy Propagation: Propagating Peace Lilies is relatively straightforward and can be done through division during repotting. Separating the plant into smaller clumps and replanting them can yield new plants.
Feng Shui: In Feng Shui, the Peace Lily is believed to bring harmony and prosperity to a space. It is often placed in areas associated with the Wood element, such as the east and southeast corners of a room.
Allergies: While Peace Lilies are generally safe for most people, individuals with severe latex allergies might experience a reaction to the plant’s sap, as it contains latex-like substances.
Reblooming: After the initial bloom cycle, Peace Lilies can continue to produce flowers with proper care. Removing spent flowers and providing adequate light and water can encourage reblooming.
Peace Lilies are versatile and visually appealing, making them a popular choice for homes and offices. By providing them with the right conditions, you can enjoy their beautiful foliage and elegant flowers while also benefiting from their air-purifying properties.
Jasmine (Jasminum) is a group of fragrant and beautiful flowering plants that belong to the Oleaceae family. These plants are widely appreciated for their sweet and captivating scent, and they have been cultivated and admired for their ornamental and aromatic properties for centuries. Here are some key aspects of Jasmine:
Fragrance: One of the most notable features of Jasmine is its enchanting fragrance. The flowers emit a sweet and floral scent that varies depending on the species and cultivar. Jasmine’s aroma is often associated with relaxation, romance, and a sense of well-being.
Varieties: There are numerous species and cultivars of Jasmine, each with its unique characteristics. Some popular types of Jasmine include Arabian Jasmine (Jasminum sambac), Common Jasmine (Jasminum officinale), and Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides).
Climbing Vines: Many Jasmine varieties are climbing vines, making them well-suited for trellises, fences, and arbors. They can add a touch of elegance and fragrance to outdoor spaces and gardens.
Indoor Varieties: Some Jasmine species, such as Arabian Jasmine, can also be grown indoors as potted plants. Indoor Jasmine plants require bright, indirect light and well-draining soil to thrive.
Medicinal and Traditional Uses: Jasmine has a long history of use in traditional medicine and various cultural practices. Jasmine tea, made from the flowers of certain Jasmine species, is believed to have calming and soothing effects.
Essential Oil: Jasmine essential oil is derived from the flowers through a delicate extraction process. The oil is highly concentrated and valued in aromatherapy for its uplifting and relaxing properties.
Symbolism: Jasmine is often associated with love, purity, and spirituality. In some cultures, Jasmine flowers are used in wedding ceremonies and other special occasions as a symbol of love and affection.
Cultivation: Jasmine plants generally prefer warm and sunny climates with well-draining soil. They require regular watering, especially during their active growth periods, but overwatering should be avoided to prevent root rot.
Night-Blooming: Some Jasmine species, like Arabian Jasmine (Jasminum sambac), are known for their night-blooming habits, releasing their fragrance in the evening and night hours.
Insect Attraction: Jasmine’s fragrant flowers can attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, contributing to a biodiverse and thriving garden ecosystem.
Jasmine’s allure lies not only in its delightful fragrance but also in its aesthetic appeal, making it a sought-after plant for gardens, trellises, and indoor spaces alike. When caring for Jasmine plants, it’s essential to provide them with the right growing conditions and attention, as they can reward you with an aromatic and visually stunning display.
English Ivy (Hedera helix):
English Ivy (Hedera helix) is a popular evergreen climbing plant known for its attractive foliage and ability to thrive in various conditions. It has been cultivated for centuries and is often used as a ground cover, in hanging baskets, or as a climbing vine on walls and trellises. Here are some key aspects of English Ivy:
Appearance: English Ivy has dark green, glossy, and lobed leaves with prominent veins. The leaves can take on different shapes and sizes depending on the variety, and some cultivars may have variegated or marbled foliage with white or yellow markings.
Climbing Ability: English Ivy is a vigorous climber and can cover vertical surfaces like walls, fences, and trees, using its aerial rootlets to attach itself. It can create a lush and green facade, making it a popular choice for ornamental purposes.
Ground Cover: In addition to its climbing ability, English Ivy is often used as a ground cover to control erosion and add greenery to landscapes. However, it’s essential to manage its growth carefully, as it can become invasive in some regions.
Indoor and Outdoor Plant: English Ivy can be grown both indoors and outdoors. As an indoor plant, it is commonly used in hanging baskets or as a trailing accent in decorative pots.
Air Purifying Qualities: English Ivy is included in the NASA Clean Air Study for its potential air-purifying abilities. It can help remove certain indoor air pollutants, making it a valuable addition to indoor spaces.
Low Light Tolerance: English Ivy can tolerate low light conditions, making it suitable for areas with indirect or filtered sunlight. It can thrive in both shade and partial shade.
Watering and Care: English Ivy prefers evenly moist soil and benefits from regular watering, especially during its active growth. However, it’s essential to avoid overwatering, as waterlogged soil can lead to root rot.
Pruning: To keep English Ivy under control, regular pruning is necessary, especially if it is grown as a ground cover or in a limited space. Pruning helps maintain its shape and prevent it from becoming invasive.
Toxicity: English Ivy is considered mildly toxic to pets and humans if ingested. It contains compounds that can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, so it’s best to keep it out of reach of pets and small children.
Invasive Potential: In some regions, English Ivy is considered invasive and can spread rapidly, outcompeting native vegetation. Before planting English Ivy outdoors, it’s essential to check with local authorities to ensure it is not listed as an invasive species in your area.
English Ivy’s adaptability and lush appearance have made it a popular choice for various landscaping and decorative purposes. However, its invasive potential in certain environments requires responsible cultivation and management to prevent ecological harm.
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum):
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), also known as Devil’s Ivy, is a popular and easy-to-care-for houseplant that is valued for its attractive trailing vines and air-purifying qualities. It originates from Southeast Asia and belongs to the Araceae family. Here are some key aspects of the Golden Pothos:
Appearance: Golden Pothos has heart-shaped leaves with distinctive golden-yellow or chartreuse variegation. The leaves may also exhibit shades of green and white, depending on the variety. The trailing vines of the plant make it well-suited for hanging baskets or as a climber on trellises.
Air Purification: Golden Pothos is recognized for its air-purifying properties and is listed as one of NASA’s Clean Air Study plants. It can help remove indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene, making it an excellent choice for improving indoor air quality.
Low Light Tolerance: One of the significant advantages of Golden Pothos is its ability to thrive in low light conditions. While it prefers bright, indirect light, it can tolerate lower light levels, making it suitable for various indoor environments.
Easy Care: Golden Pothos is known for being one of the easiest houseplants to care for. It is low-maintenance and forgiving, making it an ideal choice for beginners or those with limited time for plant care.
Watering: Golden Pothos prefers well-draining soil and thrives when the top inch or two of the soil is allowed to dry between waterings. It is essential to avoid overwatering, as waterlogged soil can lead to root rot.
Propagation: Golden Pothos can be easily propagated through stem cuttings placed in water or directly in soil. This ability to propagate easily makes it a popular plant for sharing with friends and family.
Indoor and Outdoor Plant: While Golden Pothos is commonly grown indoors as a houseplant, it can also be cultivated outdoors in suitable climates. In outdoor settings, it may be used as ground cover or allowed to climb on structures or trees.
Toxicity: Golden Pothos is considered toxic if ingested by pets or humans. It contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause irritation and discomfort if chewed or swallowed. It’s essential to keep the plant out of reach of pets and small children.
Feng Shui: In Feng Shui, Golden Pothos is believed to bring good luck and positive energy to a space. It is often placed in areas associated with wealth and abundance.
Golden Pothos is a versatile and visually appealing plant that can brighten up indoor spaces and add a touch of greenery to various environments. With its air-purifying abilities and easy care requirements, it has become a popular choice for homes, offices, and other indoor spaces.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis):
.A perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia is called valerian (Valeriana officinalis). It has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to ancient times, and is well-known for its calming and sedative properties. Valerian is a member of the Caprifoliaceae family and is primarily used as an herbal remedy for various conditions. Here are some key aspects of Valerian:
Medicinal Uses: Valerian root has been traditionally used as a natural remedy to promote relaxation and sleep. It is believed to have mild sedative effects and is often used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness.
Sleep Aid: Valerian is particularly renowned for its potential as a sleep aid. It is commonly used in herbal preparations, such as teas, tinctures, and capsules, to help improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
Anxiety Relief: Valerian is thought to have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. It may help to calm the nervous system and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
GABA Activity: Valerian is believed to influence the brain’s GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors, similar to some pharmaceutical sedatives .A neurotransmitter called GABA aids in relaxation and sleep.
Safe for Short-Term Use: Valerian is generally considered safe for short-term use. However, it’s essential to use it as directed and not exceed recommended dosages. Long-term use or high doses may lead to side effects or tolerance, reducing its effectiveness.
Tea and Supplements: Valerian root can be prepared as a tea by steeping the dried root in hot water. It is also available in various supplement forms, such as capsules, tablets, and tinctures.
Aroma: Valerian root has a strong and distinct aroma, often described as earthy or musky. Some people find the scent unpleasant, which is why many choose to consume it in supplement form rather than as a tea.
Individual Responses: The effects of Valerian can vary from person to person. While some individuals may find it beneficial for promoting relaxation and sleep, others may not experience the same results.
Precautions: As with any herbal remedy or supplement, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using Valerian, especially if you have any underlying health conditions, are taking medications, or are pregnant or nursing.
Not a Substitute for Medical Advice: Valerian can be a helpful natural option for promoting relaxation and sleep, but it is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If you have chronic sleep issues or severe anxiety, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider for proper evaluation and guidance.
While Valerian has been used as a traditional remedy for centuries, individual responses and experiences can vary. It is essential to approach herbal remedies with caution and use them responsibly and under appropriate guidance.
Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii):
The Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) is a beautiful and colorful flowering plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Native to South Africa, it is also commonly known as Transvaal Daisy or African Daisy. Here are some key aspects of the Gerbera Daisy:
Appearance: Gerbera Daisies are well-known for their large and vibrant daisy-like flowers. The flowers can come in various colors, including red, orange, pink, yellow, and white. They have a central disc surrounded by colorful petals, creating a cheerful and eye-catching display.
Indoor and Outdoor Plant: Gerbera Daisies are often grown as outdoor flowering plants in gardens or containers. They can also be cultivated indoors in bright and sunny locations, provided they receive sufficient light and care.
Cut Flowers: Gerbera Daisies are popular as cut flowers for floral arrangements due to their striking appearance and long vase life. They are commonly used in bouquets and flower decorations.
Sunlight Requirements: Gerbera Daisies thrive in full sun to partial shade conditions. They prefer at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day for optimal growth and flowering.
Well-Draining Soil: These daisies prefer well-draining, fertile soil. Soil that retains too much water can lead to root rot, so it’s important to ensure proper drainage.
Watering: Gerbera Daisies like consistently moist soil but not waterlogged conditions. It’s best to water them when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch.
Deadheading: To encourage continuous blooming, deadhead (remove) faded flowers regularly. The plant’s energy is redirected in order to produce new blooms when this is done.
Temperature Tolerance: Gerbera Daisies prefer moderate temperatures. They can be sensitive to extreme heat or cold, so it’s essential to provide protection during harsh weather conditions.
Perennial and Annual Varieties: Some Gerbera Daisies are perennial in warmer climates, while others are grown as annuals in colder regions where they cannot survive the winter frost.
Propagation: Gerbera Daisies can be propagated through division or seeds. Propagation by seeds may result in a wide variety of flower colors and shapes.
(Chlorophytum) Spider Plant
Appearance:The Spider Plant has long, arching leaves with white or cream stripes in the middle that are often green in colour. . The plantlets, often referred to as “spiderettes” or “pups,” grow on long stems and give the plant its unique spider-like appearance.
Air Purification: Spider Plants are recognized for their air-purifying properties and are listed as one of NASA’s Clean Air Study plants. They can help remove indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene, making them a valuable addition to indoor spaces.
Low Light Tolerance: One of the significant advantages of Spider Plants is their ability to thrive in low light conditions. While they prefer bright, indirect light, they can tolerate lower light levels, making them suitable for various indoor environments.
Easy Care: Spider Plants are known for being low-maintenance and forgiving. They are an excellent choice for beginners or those with limited time for plant care.
Propagation: Spider plants are simple to grow from seed. The plantlets that grow on the long stems can be removed and potted separately to create new plants.
Indoor and Outdoor Plant: While Spider Plants are commonly grown indoors as houseplants, they can also be cultivated outdoors in suitable climates. In outdoor settings, they are often used as ground cover or in hanging baskets.
Pet-Friendly: Spider Plants are considered non-toxic to pets. However, some cats may be attracted to the long, arching leaves and may nibble on them out of curiosity.
Watering: Spider Plants prefer well-draining soil and like to dry out slightly between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s essential to strike a balance and avoid keeping the soil too wet.
Feng Shui: In Feng Shui, Spider Plants are believed to bring positive energy and good luck to a space. They are often placed in areas associated with wealth and prosperity.
Removing Spiderettes: To encourage the Spider Plant to focus on growth and foliage, some gardeners remove the plantlets as they appear. However, leaving them in place can create a visually appealing cascade of baby plants.
Spider Plants are versatile and visually appealing, making them a popular choice for homes, offices, and other indoor spaces. With their air-purifying abilities and easy care requirements, they are an excellent addition to any indoor plant collection.
Which plant helps you sleep peacefully?
Lavender is a plant known for its calming properties and its ability to promote relaxation and sleep. The scent of lavender has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, making it an excellent choice to help you sleep peacefully.
What plants in the bedroom help you sleep?
Besides lavender, several other plants can aid in promoting better sleep in the bedroom:
Aloe Vera: This plant emits oxygen at night, which can improve the air quality in your bedroom and help you breathe easier as you sleep.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria): Similar to aloe vera, the snake plant also releases oxygen at night and filters out toxins from the air, contributing to a better sleeping environment.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): The peace lily can help increase the humidity in the room, which may prevent dry airways and improve sleep quality.
Jasmine: Known for its pleasing fragrance, jasmine can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality when placed in the bedroom.
Valerian: Valerian is an herb known for its sleep-inducing properties. While not exactly a plant to keep in the bedroom, you can find it in supplement form to aid with sleep.
What plants go to sleep at night?
The concept of plants “going to sleep” at night is not exactly accurate. Unlike animals, plants don’t have a central nervous system, and they don’t experience sleep as humans or animals do. However, some plants do exhibit certain nighttime behaviours. For example:
Sunflowers: Sunflowers track the sun during the day through a process called heliotropism, but at night, they face east in preparation for the morning sun.
Four O’Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa): These flowers open their blooms in the late afternoon and close them again in the morning.
Morning Glories (Ipomoea): As the name suggests, morning glories bloom in the morning and typically close up in the afternoon or evening.
Water lilies: Some water lily species have flowers that open in the morning and close at night.
While these plants have specific behaviours related to light exposure, it’s essential to understand that they do not have a sleep cycle or conscious experience of resting like animals do