Why plants are the natural way to help you sleep better, according to the experts

Everything you need to know on plants and their effect on sleep

plants to help you sleep
(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

With warmer nights settling in, getting a good night’s sleep can become a common problem for many of us, but did you know that plants can have a profound impact on how we sleep?

'With over half of Brits admitting to struggling with their sleep during lockdown, it’s no surprise many are turning to Google to find solutions,' says Phil Lawlor, sleep expert at Dormeo. 'Specifically, we’ve seen a big jump in searches for natural sleep aids and for people querying which plants are best for bedrooms.'

See: Bedroom design tips – to help you sleep better at night

(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

5 best plants to help you sleep better

Dormeo have put together five of the best plants to help sleep.

Pet-friendly house plants are a must if you're populating your home with greenery but have pets – and particularly young, curious ones – in the house. To keep pets safe, we spoke to the plant pros at Lazy Flora – and they revealed 10 of the best pet-friendly houseplants that are non-toxic to cats and dogs. Plus, we've listed a few to avoid having indoors, too.

See: The top 10 house plants – that all interior design lovers should know about

1. Lavender

plants to help you sleep

(Image credit: James Robinson)

With a long history of medicinal use, studies found it not only improves sleep but energy, vibrancy and general wellbeing. Researchers also found that lavender increases ‘slow-wave sleep,’ often referred to as ‘deep sleep’ which plays an important part in memory consolidation and brain restoration.

2. Aloe vera

plants to help you sleep

(Image credit: Jake Curtis)

The aloe vera plant releases oxygen at night, helping improve air quality which means we get a better night’s sleep as a result.

See: How to sleep better – five ways sleep improves your health

3. Peace lily

Instagram houseplant trend

Known to clear chemicals from the air such as Benzene and Trichloroethylene therefore purifying our air and removing harmful toxins. Alongside this, peace lilies also add moisture to the air offering a better sleeping environment. This is as air that is too dry can irritate airways and even increase suffering from colds and other viruses.

4. English Ivy

Best indoor plants

This plant is perfect for allergy sufferers as the plant has been proven to remove airborne mould, placing one of these plants in your bedroom will surely improve the air quality for allergy sufferers but be careful, the plant is poisonous if eaten so keep away from kids and pets.

See: 20 easy tips that can help you get to sleep tonight

5. Spider plant

plants to help you sleep

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

NASA tests found this plant is capable of removing 95% of formaldehyde from air, showing the power Spider Plants have to purify your air.

'Plants can be really helpful when it comes to creating a better sleep environment as they have many benefits from emitting relaxing scents to cleaning the air around you.' says Phil Lawlor, sleep expert at Dormeo.

'The air in our homes can be full of pollutants such as chemicals, mould, and allergens. Research has found many houseplants can help to remove these from the air, purifying it and helping to remove irritants that may be playing havoc with your sleep.

'Plants have also been proven to have a calming effect, meaning the simple addition of one to your room could help aid relaxation. Alongside this, plants can also add humidity to the air relieving respiratory problems that can be caused by dry air. 

'When choosing which plant is right for you, I’d recommend bearing in mind how much time you want to dedicate to looking after your chosen plant, any allergies you have as well as researching which ones are safe for homes with pets or children.'

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.