Raise your hand if you actually got a full eight hours of blissful, undisturbed sleep last night. We thought so. But before you reach for the melatonin, maybe you should consider upping your flora game. While the research is limited here, adding a little greenery to your room is worth a shot. After all, certain houseplants can help you sleep better by improving air quality, and even emitting moisture to combat sinus issues for easier breathing while you snooze. Not to mention how adding live greenery into your decor can take a room from boring to beautiful in seconds. So, without further ado, here are 15 plants that’ll instantly perk up your bedroom (and could help you rest easier at night).
15 of the Best Bedroom Plants for Better Sleep
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There’s nothing we love more than a calming, lavender-scented beauty product (psst: Lavender oil is a secret weapon to smoothing wrinkles and fine lines), so why not keep the real deal next to your bed? Place it on the windowsill, as it needs lots of sunlight during the day, and then reap the aromatherapeutic benefits when it’s time for some shut eye.
2. Aloe Vera
In addition to helping you sleep, Aloe is the OG succulent that soothes sunburns and gives you life when you’re hungover (read: hyper-hydration). Not only does it purify the air of common carcinogens, but it’s easy to care for, looks pretty and adds some much-needed greenery to the bedroom.
This one goes out to the hard core insomniacs: According to this study published in Molecular Medicine Reports, chamomile is considered to be a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer, and is effective in treating insomnia and inducing sedation. Though those effects are attributed to sipping chamomile tea and using it as aromatherapy, we’re down to add this sweet little plant to our nightstand and see if its natural scent helps us drift off easier.
5. Snake Plant
Also known as “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue,” this pointy-leaf plant is known for filtering out formaldehyde and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen at night (something that most plants only do during the day). Plus, it’s the perfect addition to your cozy fall bedroom, where it thrives in dimly lit rooms.
If you’ve read our review of Dirty Lemon’s valerian sleep drink, you’ll know that valerian root is considered “nature’s Valium.” However, if you’re not looking to chug a bottle of “bitter, watered-down lemonade” before bed, we certainly understand. That’s why we’re obsessed with this pretty pink plant. According to a study from Current Neuropharmacology, this plant has more than 150 chemical constituents that help relax the central nervous system. That’s when it’s used as an extract, so you can’t expect the same results from keeping the plant in your room. (Also, fair warning: It can grow up to 5 feet tall, so you may find yourself replanting this one outside after a few months.)
Just like lavender, gardenias give off a light scent that has been found to promote sleep and reduce anxiety. However, as pretty as they are, they can be a bit trickier to care for (they need a perfect balance of light and humidity). The payoff of restful sleep is worth it, but if you’re one of our fellow unintentional plant killers, you might be better off starting with the aloe vera.
8. Areca Palm
Who doesn’t want to sleep surrounded by palm trees? These baby palms actually release moisture, so if you suffer from allergies or sinus trouble, having one in your bedroom should make it easier to breathe while you sleep. Plus, we love how this plant adds a boho vibe to the bedroom that makes us feel like we’re waking up in a beach bungalow each morning.
City dwellers, take note: This plant’s satiny leaves reach wide, but the plant itself only grows to a max of eight inches tall—perfect for tiny apartments. They’re particularly good at absorbing formaldehyde, so your bedroom air quality will be top-notch AND it can survive in low temperatures. Feel free to crank up the AC, sweaty sleepers.
10. Spider Plant
While spiders are generally creepy, these plants are anything but. Not only is this one a filtering expert that was ranked number one at removing formaldehyde from the air by a NASA study, but they also have pollutant-fighting abilities. Oh, and they can even absorb odors and keep things smelling fresh as you sleep. Febreze, who?
11. Peace Lily
This flowering plant also ranked high in NASA’s study for its ability to remove toxins from the environment. It releases small amounts of moisture and negates airborne microbes so allergies are less of an issue while you sleep. Plus, what’s not to love about waking up to gorgeous lilies? Just be sure to keep it away from kids and pets, as it can be toxic if ingested.
Ahh, Jasmine: It’s the plant that’s as pretty as it is calming. According to a study conducted by Wheeling University, this plant not only provided subjects with a more restful night’s sleep, but it also improved mental performance and energy for participants the next day. P.S. It’s also rumored to be an aphrodisiac. Hubba hubba.
13. English Ivy
If you’re someone who suffers from allergies or asthma, this plant is a *must* for your bedroom. An English ivy is your go-to plant if allergies seem to plague you in your sleep. One study found that this plant can remove airborne mold and feces in just 12 hours, and research has shown that its leaves can help alleviate asthma symptoms. Just make sure to keep it out of reach from kids and animals, since it’s toxic if ingested.
14. Gerbera Daisies
Alright sleepless green thumbs, we know you’re looking for something that’s as beautiful as it is functional, so we’ve included this one just for you. Similar to the snake and aloe vera plants, Gerbera daisies emit higher oxygen levels during sleeping hours and are effective at removing formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene from the air. Clearly, these daisies are the most vibrant and colorful plant on this list, where they bloom in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, pink, white and red. *BUT* gerbera daisies can be extremely temperamental to care for—especially indoors. They require full, direct sunlight with cool temperatures and need to be watered regularly. Think you’re up for the challenge?
15. Rubber Tree
If you want something particularly low-maintenance, choose a rubber tree. The broad, lush leaves on this one can absorb airborne chemicals and break them down to purify the air. The best part? It’s adaptable to common indoor temperatures, and if you remember to give it some water every one to two weeks, it’ll live for years to come.