Air Purifying Plants For A Better Night’s Sleep
Hot milky drinks, warm baths, counting sheep… if you feel like you’ve tried everything and you’re still having trouble sleeping, it might be time to visit the experts – the garden centre. NASA scientists found that a range of common houseplants can absorb poisonous vapours and release oxygen back into the air, all of which promote a better night’s rest.
But which greenery has the most sleep-inducing properties? Here’s our guide to the potted plants you really should be using to decorate your bedroom furniture…
If you only have space for a couple of plants in your bedroom, go for ivy. It scored top marks in the NASA team’s air-filtering tests for mopping up a wide range of fumes. Ivy is tough, easy to grow and improves oxygen levels in all parts of the house.
The dragon tree plant is particularly good at absorbing xylene and trichloroethylene vapours, the nasty gases emitted from PCs, printers, photocopiers and some furnishings made from MDF – so pop one on your desk.
The broad, paddle-shaped leaves of this garden centre favourite are great at clearing formaldehyde; a noxious gas released from many common home furnishings such as carpets and glues found in MDF and chipboard.
This is a good all-round plant for absorbing toxic chemical vapours (including formaldehyde) whilst increasing humidity levels in the home. Like many air purifying plants, it’s great for high traffic locations, like sitting rooms and upstairs landings.
As well as being beautiful, the peace lily absorbs bio-effluents (released in human breath), benzene and formaldehyde fumes. Grown on a bedside table or kitchen worktop, this plant helps increase moisture levels and can improve air quality dramatically, especially in poorly ventilated and stuffy rooms.
Both standard and variegated varieties of weeping fig are excellent air filters and are particularly good in shady spots, such as downstairs cloakrooms or dark, narrow halls. Place one near your front door to absorb exhaust fumes from the road outside.
Grown in pots, gerberas drink in a cocktail of chemicals and also help humidify and freshen stuffy rooms. This makes them one of the best plants to keep in the bedroom.
Like most palms, the areca is a great air purifying plant. It can filter a wide range of indoor pollutants and likes a warm, draught-free position. Keep it on top of your bedroom chest of drawers for improved air quality as you sleep.
This is one of the best potted plants for filtering chemicals such as the formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia that’s emitted from common household cleaning products. Keep one in your kitchen or bathroom, where it’ll work hardest.
The ‘Janet Craig’ variety and its cousin, the corn palm, are efficient air cleansers, helping to purify by removing benzene, which is found in home furnishings.
Be warned, many of these plants are poisonous to kids and pets. Keep out of reach of small hands (or paws) when you aren’t around.
Allergies keeping you awake at night? Read our tips on dealing with hay fever.