Home & Garden Garden 10 Bedroom Plants to Improve Your Sleep By Melissa Breyer Melissa Breyer Editorial Director Hunter College F.I.T., State University of New York Cornell University Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and author whose work has been published by the New York Times and National Geographic, among others. Learn about our editorial process Updated August 11, 2021 Treehugger / Sanja Kostic Share Twitter Pinterest Email Garden Indoor Gardening Planting Guides Urban Farms Insects Few things are as important as a good night’s sleep. And while there are many ways to address poor sleep, not all of them are naturally derived. Luckily, a variety of common houseplants contain beneficial properties to improve your sleep quality. Whether it purifies the air—like areca palm—or reduces anxiety—like passionflower— consider finding a good night’s rest with the help of a plant. Here are 10 bedroom plants to help improve your sleep. Warning Some of the plants on this list are toxic to pets. For more information about the safety of specific plants, consult the ASPCA's searchable database. 1 of 10 Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Treehugger / Sanja Kostic A 2015 study found that participants who used lavender essential oil before bed experienced improved sleep quality compared to the control group. If you choose to keep a lavender plant in your bedroom, be sure to prune it to shape each spring after new leaves appear. Lavender’s sweet fragrance is another good reason to consider keeping a pot of the purple herb in your bedroom. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun. Water: Dry to medium. Soil: Light, sandy, and well-drained. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 2 of 10 Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) Treehugger / Sanja Kostic Gardenias, also referred to as cape jasmine, are a strongly aromatic evergreen shrub with properties known to help improve the quality of sleep. A 2010 study showed that crocetin, a compound in gardenias, helped reduce the amount of “wakening episodes” experienced by sleepers. When watering gardenias, use drip irrigation to avoid leaf spots. If you are a new gardener, consider trying gardenia essential oils, as the plant requires high maintenance. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Acidic, humus-rich, and well-drained. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 3 of 10 Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) Treehugger / Sanja Kostic One of the most popular indoor plants, the areca palm features multiple stems that somewhat resemble bamboo and has a knack for purifying the air. Researchers at Pukyong National University found that the areca palm, among other plants, helped reduce C02 concentrations in the surrounding environment. As anyone with springtime allergies can attest, clean air and good sleep go hand in hand. Keep your areca palm in a room with high humidity for best results. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Rich, moist, and well-drained. Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs. 4 of 10 Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) Treehugger / Sanja Kostic The snake plant, or as it is menacingly referred to, viper’s bowstring hemp, is among a group of plants known for their remarkable ability to remove indoor air pollutants. In a famous NASA study, scientists discovered that snake plants were adept at turning toxicants into clean air. To ensure the well-being of your snake plant, water regularly throughout the growing season and reduce from the fall through late winter. Disregard the threatening name and consider keeping a low-maintenance snake plant by your bedside. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Well-drained potting mix. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 5 of 10 English Ivy (Hedera helix) Treehugger / Sanja Kostic Researchers have found that English ivy extracts correlated with an “improvement of respiratory functions” in children with asthma. Consider keeping an English ivy plant in a pot on a window sill or above a bedroom window in a hanging basket. English ivy is easily propagated by stem cuttings in spring and early summer, making for a thoughtful gift for friends. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade to full shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Rich, moist, and well-drained. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 6 of 10 Purple Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) Treehugger / Sanja Kostic A native to the Southeastern United States, the purple passionflower may have anxiety-reducing effects that could be beneficial in establishing good sleeping patterns. A clinical trial found that extract from the flower, along with oxazepam, helped participants manage their anxiety. Their intricate flower structure features a stunning crown of purple filaments. Purple passionflowers also produce an edible, egg-shaped fruit called maypops. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Moderately fertile and well-drained. Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs. 7 of 10 Garden Heliotrope (Valeriana officinalis) Michael Pierce / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 In a study published in Chemical Senses, researchers linked the inhalation of garden heliotrope extract to the “enhancement of sleep.” Extracts from the plant are often used in herbal teas and perfumes. The garden heliotrope can tolerate some shade, but performs best when provided with full sunlight. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun. Water: Medium to wet. Soil: Moist, rich loams. Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs. 8 of 10 Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) Treehugger / Sanja Kostic An herb of many uses, chamomile has been applied for a variety of ailments ranging from muscle spasms and ulcers to inflammation and insomnia. One study discusses the sedative effects of chamomile extract whether consumed through ingestion as a tea or inhaled via aromatherapy. Leave a pot of chamomile growing on the bedroom windowsill for the added benefit of its sweet, apple-like scent. To make your own chamomile tea, remove flower heads and allow them to dry. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Sandy and well-drained. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 9 of 10 Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) Treehugger / Sanja Kostic A native of the Solomon Islands, golden pothos has shown to be an effective remover of air pollutants like formaldehyde and benzyne, among others, thus making it an ideal plant for improving sleeping conditions. Plant this climbing ivy in a ceramic pot or hanging basket near windows with partial sunlight. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Moist, peaty potting mix. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. 10 of 10 Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) Treehugger / Sanja Kostic Peace lilies aren’t just impressive to look at, they can purify the air in your bedroom, too. In a large study conducted by researchers at NASA, these perennial evergreens were observed removing several varieties of toxicants from enclosed environments. Peace lilies prefer bright, filtered light, so place in front of a south-facing window if possible. Be sure to plant peace lilies in large pots for proper root growth. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade to full shade. Water: Medium. Soil: Evenly moist, but not soggy. Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs. View Article Sources Lillehei, Angela Smith, et al. "Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial." Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 21, no. 7, 2015, pp. 430-438., doi:10.1089/acm.2014.0327 “Lavender.” ASPCA. Kuratsune, H., et al. "Effect of Crocetin from Gardenia Jasminoides Ellis on Sleep: A Pilot Study." Phytomedicine, vol. 17, no. 11, 2010, pp. 840-843., doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2010.03.025 “Cape Jasmine.” ASPCA. Oh, Geun Sug, et al. "Experimental Study on Variations of CO2 Concentration in the Presence of Indoor Plants and Respiration of Experimental Animals." Horticulture, Environment and Biotechnology, vol. 52, no. 3, 2011, pp. 321-329., doi:10.1007/s13580-011-0169-6 "Areca Palm." ASPCA. Wolverton, B.C., et al. "Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement." National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1989. "Snake Plant." ASPCA. Hofmann, D., et al. "Efficacy of Dry Extract of Ivy Leaves in Children with Bronchial Asthma - a Review of Randomized Controlled Trials." 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