It may not be commonly known, but if you’re looking for ways to help improve your sleep, it might be an idea to try adding a few houseplants into your bedroom.

Plants that help you sleep can be split into two categories, those that give off a pleasing or relaxing scent to help you sleep, and those that purify the air and increase oxygen levels to improve overall health and sleep quality.

So, with that in mind, we’re looking at six houseplants that help to cleanse and calm.

Scents to help you sleep

Little is known about why certain scents can make the body react in different ways, but scientific studies have shown that there are plants that help you sleep because of the wonderful aroma they give out. So, does lavender help you sleep? Does jasmine help you wake up feeling refreshed? And what’s so special about gardenia?




1. Lavender
Well known and well liked, lavender’s purple bracts and woody stalks grace many summer gardens, filling them with its recognisable aroma. But did you know that an indoor lavender plant is scientifically proven to be one of the best plants that help you sleep? Scientists at the University of Southampton conducted a study asking people to try sleeping in two rooms with lavender oil, or a placebo, diffused through the air. Participants ranked the quality of their sleep 20% better on average in the lavender-scented room.

In a separate study, researchers found that lavender improved slow-wave sleep, the deep sleep stage in which the heartbeat slows and muscles relax. So if you introduce a lavender plant for bedroom improvement, not only will it look great and smell great, but you’ll sleep deeper too.

Or if you’re not particularly green fingered you can always cheat with a lavender sleep spray. Spritz some onto a tissue and place under your pillow…aaand relax!




2. Jasmine
With its delicate white or yellow flowers, the sweet scent of jasmine is another easily recognisable one, popular in body washes and moisturisers. But did you know that jasmine is one of the best scents to help you sleep?

In fact, in a study at the University of West Virginia, USA, scientists found that people who slept in a room scented with jasmine appeared to sleep more peacefully than their counterparts sleeping in a lavender-scented room, or a control room with no scent at all. Interestingly, the jasmine group also performed higher on a test of mental function when they woke up.

So bringing a jasmine plant indoors into your bedroom could improve not only the quality of your sleep, but your daytime productivity too.




3. Gardenia
Another houseplant with beautiful white flowers is gardenia. More commonly grown outdoors, gardenia can grow well indoors but requires humidity so can be a little higher maintenance than other varieties.

The scent of gardenia is said to have natural sedative properties that will help you fall asleep faster. It will also make your entire bedroom smell wonderful. What’s not to like?

Plants that help you sleep by purifying the air

In 1989, NASA conducted a study that showed that some houseplants filter out the toxins given off from synthetic materials within our home. This is thought to be beneficial to sleep quality and overall health. On NASA’s list were spider plants, snake plants and peace lilies among others. So read on for snake plant and spider plant benefits and find out which plant gives oxygen at night.




4. Spider plants
Everyone remembers the spider plants of their school days, with their little babies hanging on for dear life at the end of their long spindly leaves. But did you know that having spider plants around the house, and particularly in the bedroom, can actually help reduce headaches? One of the biggest spider plant benefits is its ability to remove harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide and xylen from the air, which can help you wake feeling clearer headed and more rested.

Better still, spider plants are great if you like low maintenance plants as they need next to no attention.




5. Snake plants
Often referred to as mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plants have variegated long dark green leaves that grow vertically from a round base. Introducing a snake plant benefits your bedroom by purifying the air and removing a number of toxins. It is also one of the few plants that actually convert carbon dioxide to oxygen at night. The oxygen-rich air produced can help promote a peaceful night’s sleep and a clear head in the morning by improving the flow of oxygen to the brain.

There are many other snake plant benefits. Snake plants are extremely easy to look after and can withstand most conditions. And they’re also relatively inexpensive when compared to other plants.




6. Peace lily
Peace lilies are not just stunning, spiking beautiful white and yellow flowers out from amidst their dark green leaves, but they’re very useful too. NASA named the peace lily as one of the top air cleaning plants, helping to break down harmful gases like formaldehyde, benzene, acetone and ammonia while you sleep.

Peace lilies are also incredibly easy to look after – just wait until you see the leaves start to droop and then give them some water.

BONUS PLANT:
We’ve all heard about the benefits of a cup of chamomile tea to help us relax before heading off to bed, but does chamomile help sleep come quickly when it’s in plant form? The jury is out, but the pretty daisy-like flowers are very attractive and can grow well indoors in a pot, so why not introduce one into your bedroom and see?

Why not further improve your chance of a good quality night’s sleep by investing in a thermo-regulating wool duvet, perfect to help allergy sufferers keep those night time snuffles at bay.

If you are looking for more ideas to help improve your sleep, visit our Sleep Health & Advice hub.