If you find a good night’s sleep elusive, you’re hardly alone. According to a report that got wide coverage after appearing on NPR, something like 60 million Americans suffers from insomnia and that’s just one of a number of sleep disorders. Many people have sought sleep means of pills, melatonin, sound or aromatherapy machines, eye masks, and counting sheep but often with only limited success.
Unlikely though it might seem, having plants in your room could be key to getting the shut-eye you so badly need. Plants help to clean and purify the air inside your home. Breathing cleaner air, scrubbed of toxins, not only reduces your chances of getting sick but also boosts mood and reduces stress. So even if plants don’t solve all your sleep problems, they still have other health benefits.
Jasmine has long been associated with anxiety reduction and better sleep and it smells wonderful, too. Another plant that smells pleasant is Lavender; its scent is particularly calming and soothing. Combining the lavender plant and its essential oil may deliver a one-two punch to your insomnia.
The name may not make it sound inviting, but don’t dismiss the Snake Plant. It’s a superb air filter and it’s especially busy cleaning the air and churning out oxygen at night. Not only that, by keeping a snake plant, you will be preserving a very vuable species that is endangered in the wild. Nassauvia serpens (also called “snakeplant”, one word) is a species of plant in the Asteraceae famiy native to the Falkland Islands. Its natural habitats are temperate shrubby, rocky areas. As I mentioned, it is threatened by habitat loss.
Another first-rate nighttime air filter and oxygen generator is the Aloe Vera plant. As Wikipedia notes, aloe vera is “found in many consumer products including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, or ointments for minor burns and sunburns”. (Now keep in mind that to be effective, you should have your Aloe Vera size should be about 1 square foot per 300 square feet of bedroom space. That’s why I keep my Aloe Vera on the floor, in a big pot close to the window because they do like it there.)
English ivy is a specialist at absorbing various toxins while also vacuuming up airborne mold. A study conducted by NASA determined that English Ivy is the champion in this respect. By other names, Hedera helix, the common ivy, English ivy, European ivy, or just ivy, is a species of flowering plant in the family Araliaceae, native to most of Europe and western Asia. Important note: Keep this one INSIDE because it is labeled as an invasive species in a number of areas where it has been introduced, particularly Washington (state), where it is considered as a noxious weed, parts of the eastern US, and Oregon, where its sale and cultivation are completely banned.
A sixth plant to consider is Red-Edged Dracaena. This is a large one, so if you’ve got some space to fill, it may be just what you’re looking for. The dracaena does a great job at filtering out volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde, ammonia, and benzenes and because it’s a big plant, it’ll filter a lot of air. There are many dracaena plants. The kind you want has purple-red edges on its ribbon-like green leaves. Although it grows slowly, it will eventually get as high as 15 feet tall! Love it! Imagine that cleaning the air in your bedroom while you sleep — no noisy air filter required!
Check out the video we’ve posted below for more information and a couple additional plant suggestions. Have you found plants helpful? Let’s hear from you in the comments at Facebook and pass it along to friend who has trouble sleeping.