Plants Promote Better Sleep

Before you seek professional advice for chronic sleeplessness issues, try setting several of these plants in your bedroom. See if you feel a bit more rested and refreshed the next morning.

by Ken Lain, The Mountain Gardener, Watters Garden Center

Aloe Vera — Dubbed the “plant of immortality” by Egyptians because it reproduces easily, if you buy one plant you soon will have aloes for the whole house. Aloe emits oxygen at night, which combats insomnia and improves sleep quality. Aloe doesn’t need much direct sunlight, water or care. NASA lists it as a top air improving plant.

English Ivy plant — Also one of NASA’s top plants for purifying air, English ivy is simple to grow and only needs moderate exposure to sunlight. It can be beneficial for those who have breathing problems, allergies or asthma. Studies show that English ivy can reduce air molds 90- 94% in only 12 hours.

Lavender — Well known to induce sleep and reduce anxiety.  Lavender enhances one’s GABA levels, the inhibitory neurotransmitters that influence feelings of natural drowsiness. The smell of lavender actually slows down your heart rate and reduces anxiety levels. 

Jasmine — Studies show that the scent of jasmine reduces anxiety levels, leading to a higher quality of sleep that hits more cycles of & stays longer in REM. This promotes more restorative sleep.

Valerian — Galen, Roman physician and philosopher, prescribed the root of the valerian plant to combat excessive anxiety and insomnia. Newer research has shown he was well ahead of his time. Merely inhaling its pleasant sweet aroma is enough to help you fall asleep quickly and efficiently with a likely chance of achieving restorative sleep.

Snake Plant — Also known as “mother-in-law’s tongue,” this plant emits oxygen at night and simultaneously takes in carbon dioxide from the air inside your bedroom. It also filters nasty household toxins from the air, including formaldehyde and benzene.

I recommend wiping down your plants’ leaves every week or so to ensure they do their jobs effectively. Consider including a good mix of plants to purify the air throughout your house.