Like any living thing, plants survive through respiration, inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. During the day, carbon dioxide emissions by the plant are almost negated because of photosynthesis, which is the complete opposite of respiration. But in the night, plants lack sunlight to carry out photosynthesis and instead, their carbon dioxide output gets amplified. While the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the plants won’t exactly suffocate you in your sleep, an abundance of oxygen can have a calming effect, reducing anxiety and insomnia. Assuming you can keep them alive, the following plants emit plenty of oxygen even in the night and will help you have a better sleep.
1. Aloe Vera
Nature’s answer to almost every skin and health problem, aloe vera, the overachiever of the plant kingdom, releases plenty of oxygen at night as well. A major bonus, aloe vera is also an extremely hardy plant and doesn’t need to be watered very often. It reproduces very easily too, so you can go ahead and litter your whole house with pots of aloe to get the most out of this plant.
2. Snake Plant
Think the name is sinister? Its nickname, “Mother-In-Law’s Tongue” is even more menacing. However, you would definitely want one of these around your house. It is consistently ranked as one of the best air purifiers you can have in your home and like aloe vera, snake plant is also very durable and won’t need your constant attention to thrive.
3. Neem Tree
Almost synonymous with purity, the benefits of neem have long been documented in the Indian subcontinent. Neem doesn’t just purify the air though, it also acts as a natural pesticide, creating a barrier between you and those pesky mosquitoes. In fact, neem goes further than just killing pests, it starves them and prevents eggs from hatching. This heavy duty plant does come with a catch though. Growing it indoors requires a lot of patience and care, there needs to be plenty of sunlight in the room and the best-quality soil needs to be used.
4. Holy Basil/ Tulsi
While consuming the leaves of the tulsi plant has its own benefits, having the plant near you is just as beneficial. Tulsi leaves emit a very characteristic scent which can soothe your nerves and reduce anxiety. When it’s time to hit the sack after a tiring day at work, this could be just what the doctor ordered.
While a bunch of orchids could beautify even a prison cell, there are far more benefits to keeping orchids than just aesthetics. While they give off plenty of oxygen at night, which makes them perfect for keeping in a bedroom, they also banish xylene (a pollutant found in paint) from the environment and leave your house feeling fresher than ever. If you have a brown thumb, don’t fret. Orchids thrive on neglect and in fact, fussing over them too much could actually kill them. Just make sure they have enough of sunlight and let them do the rest!
6. Orange Gerbera
Bring a little sunshine into your life by keeping these bright orange flowers in your room. While they simultaneously purify and perfume the air, gerberas also have a multitude of health benefits from curing colds to preventing cancer. When planting a gerbera, opt for a transplant from a nursery as these plants can be tricky to grow.
7. Peepal Tree
Myths surrounding the peepal tree claim that the souls of the dead live among its leaves and after reading its benefits, you’ll want to too. Apart from being a powerful source of oxygen, the leaves of the tree are also used to manage diabetes, avoid constipation, and treat asthma. Perhaps this was why the Buddha chose to meditate under the peepal tree.
8. Christmas Cactus
Forget about Christmas trees, a Christmas cactus is what you need during the festive season. It may bloom only in December but its succulent leaves and health benefits will keep you merry throughout the year. The cactus emits oxygen all through the night, helping you sleep well. It also thrives in dark rooms, making it the perfect bedroom companion.
9. Areca Palm
You might only know it as the universally favourite plant for dentist waiting rooms everywhere, but the areca palm is also the best plant you can have indoors. These plants are particularly efficient at absorbing all kinds of harmful gases and keeping the air humid. Because they’re native to dense tropical forests, they’re also well suited to areas with less sunlight.