The health benefits of indoor plants in the bedroom have been widely studied. Research has shown that bedroom plants that help you sleep can increase your productivity, improve your mood, and reduce pain and stress.
Do plants give off oxygen?
During daylight, indoor plants increase the level of oxygen in the room, which is a good thing. Dry, indoor air can foster respiratory problems, sore throats, and even colds, but houseplants emit water vapor through the natural process of transpiration, thus raising indoor humidity. But perhaps most importantly, houseplants remove and sequester airborne pollutants, whether they be gaseous or particulate; organic or synthetic.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wanted to know if plants inside the space station could improve air quality for the astronauts. NASA-funded studies show that indoor plants can filter out several common indoor air pollutants including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and benzene.
Results indicated that microorganisms in the potting soil contribute to removing benzene and other pollutants from the air. The most efficient purifying was accomplished when the polluted air was maximally exposed to both the plant foliage and the potting soil, and the plants were exposed to maximum light.
Other studies have confirmed that indoor plants reduce levels of mold spores and smoke particles.
But what about indoor plants for the bedroom?
Can they be beneficial to health after the lights go out? Plants take in carbon dioxide (CO2) and give off oxygen (O2) during daylight when they are using photosynthesis to manufacture carbohydrates.
At night, when it’s dark, plants respire like we do, taking in O2 and giving off CO2. You may have heard that plants emitting CO2 in the bedroom at night could be harmful to sleepers. But that isn’t true. Carbon dioxide is harmless. As a matter of fact, sleeping plants give off very little CO2 – much less than we do and less even than our pets do. Some plants release oxygen at night.
Carbon monoxide (CO), is the dangerous gas, and perhaps the misconception got started when people confused the two odorless and colorless gasses.
So, having house plants in the bedroom is a good thing. Among the plants most often recommended for the bedroom are philodendron, pothos, and English ivy, all tolerant of low light conditions and all very easy to maintain. Pothos and English ivy have been singled out as very effective for removing formaldehyde from the air. English ivy also is highly effective at removing airborne mold. Thus, they are air purifying plants to help sleep.
Peace lily was noted in the NASA study as one of the very best indoor plants for removing air pollutants. These beautiful plants are most effective at removing trichloroethylene from the air, and also removes benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and ammonia. Perhaps most significant to human health, peace lily is very effective at absorbing airborne mold.
Dracaena is said to be especially good at filtering out smoke particles, as well as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
Aloe vera is noted for removing formaldehyde and benzene. Aloe vera (and also Mother-in-law’s tongue) actually convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, even in the dark.
Spider plant is said to be effective at removing carbon monoxide as well as benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene. Rubber plant is noted for removing formaldehyde from the air. Areca palm is one of the best houseplants for releasing moisture into the air.
Fiddle leaf fig plants have broad shaped leaves are are highly efficient at purifying air. They also help control humidity. Check out our Grow Guide for Fiddle Leaf Fig to learn on growing our favorite house plant! Our Fiddle Leaf Fig Fertilizer will have your house plant thriving in no time.
Your plants need light to survive, so be sure to let the light shine in during the day. Indirect light is fine for most plants. But at night, rest comfortably knowing your plants are working for your health and to help you sleep safe and sound. While it is not a sleeping aid to have plants in your bedroom, they can help induce sleep and help you stay asleep for longer with cleaner air.
Best Plants that Help You Sleep and Remove Indoor Air Pollutants
Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
English ivy (Hedera helix)
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa”)
Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema crispum)
Rubber plant (Ficus robusta, F. elestica)
Mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Dracaena (Dracaena spp.)
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Aloe vera (Aloe vera)
Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata)
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