Kathy Malherbe

Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together’

– Thomas Dekker

There is nothing worse than tossing and turning all night. Research shows that after only 24 hours of sleep deprivation you will start feeling stressed and anxious. If you suffer from insomnia, chances are you have tried all the usual remedies and perhaps even spent hundreds of Rands at the chemist trying to find a solution. You might have even sipped herbal tea or warmed milk … but have you ever considered adding plants to your home and bedroom?

According to the horticulturists at Stodels Nurseries, air-purifying plants will help decrease pollution, odours and moulds that can impact our night time breathing.

Plus, they add a beautiful, zen-like calm that also contributes to a better night’s sleep.

Here are some suggestions:

Snake Plant

Highly recommended for improving indoor air quality, the Snake Plant is hardy and easy to care for. It emits oxygen at night while simultaneously absorbing carbon dioxide – something we naturally produce when breathing. All this leads to a purer quality of air and a better night’s sleep.

The Snake Plant also filters some nasty but common household toxins (namely formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene) from the air.

Peace Lily

Filter out harmful airborne toxins and bring peace to your nights with the Peace Lily. The moisture given off by the flowers can boost a room’s humidity by up to 5%, suppressing airborne microbes that can lead to allergies.

A nice shady position (out of the reach of pets and children) and weekly watering is all the Peace Lily needs – much prettier and cheaper than sleeping tablets! Gerbera Daisies

These bright and cheerful flowers release oxygen at night, which helps you breathe more easily while you snooze. If you suffer from sleep apnoea or allergies, then these daisies are definitely recommended.

A word of warning to the novice gardener – as they are prone to fungal diseases- Gerbera Daisies need extra special attention, particularly with regards to watering and light levels. Ask one of the horticulturists at your local garden centre for advice on how to keep these plants flowering.

Bamboo Palm

Also known as a Reed Palm, this small plant is a fantastic air purifier. Ditch your chemical-laden air fresheners in favour of a few of these pretty palms and say goodbye to airborne smells and toxins.


This popular purple-flowered plant helps you fall asleep, sleep better and wake more refreshed. Lavender is one of the most popular and traditional aroma therapies and there is clinical evidence to support it. One study actually found that lavender makes us feel more energetic and refreshed and a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow will ease you into a gentle sleep and reduce anxiety.

Keep your home filled with these wonderful plants with their soporific powers and let nature help you nod off and even more importantly have a deep and restful sleep!