Soothing Plants

It’s generally well known that plants survive and create energy for themselves through photosynthesis. Essentially, they absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen instead. On the other hand, humans and animals, do the reverse, breathing in oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide in a process we call respiration. What you may not know, however, is that plants make use of respiration too. In dark spaces, or at night, when natural light is not available, plants engage in respiration to fuel their processes; because they are ‘breathing’ under these circumstances, at night, many plants can actually leech oxygen from a room.

If you’re worried about suffocating in your sleep, you don’t have to be. While plants may consume oxygen at night, they will not take in enough to remove all of the air from a room. That being said, when there is plenty of oxygen, it can help you to sleep by reducing anxiety and insomnia. If you’d like to boost oxygen levels, particularly to ensure there is plenty during the night, or to otherwise facilitate a full and restful sleep, here are nine plants to consider.

Aloe Vera

aloe vera

Aloe Vera is a popular plant, thought to be effective for many, many ailments. It is a succulent plant, with thick waxy leaves, boasting hardiness that allows it to survive in unforgiving desert conditions. Believe it or not, these traits make it quite effective at producing oxygen as well. The plant is designed to withstand constant sun exposure, without very much in the way of water, which means it generates significant levels of oxygen during the day. A handful of these plants around the house can help build up oxygen for a more calming, and restful sleep when night comes.

Snake Plant

snake plant

Amusingly known sometimes as mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant is another plant that can keep your home environment cool and well oxygenated. Named primarily for its shape, it typically possesses broad, beautifully patterned leaves that taper to points, almost like swords. It is ideal for a number of reasons, including its status as a minimal maintenance houseplant. Another hardy desert plant, it thrives without water, and its broad leaves soak up lots of sunlight for oxygen production. As an added caveat, it can also be thought of as an air purifier, according to NASA. Better air quality is better sleep.

Money Plant

money plant

Scientifically known as Epipremnum aureum, and known by other names, such as devil’s ivy or golden pothos, the money plant is characterized by broad green, yellow, or gold patterned leaves. It grows fairly easily in a number of conditions, which makes it great as a decorative houseplant. In fact, the adaptability of this plant makes it incredibly hardy, even in the absence of regular care. Furthermore, the broad leaves of this plant can produce significant levels of oxygen during periods of heavy sun, while simultaneously purifying the air of harmful toxins. This essentially translates to much better sleeping at night.



It is thought that there are some medical benefits to be gained by consuming the leaves of the Tulsi plant, but it is not necessarily most effective when used this way. The Tulsi, sometimes known as Holy Basil, also sees some interesting use in culinary applications, where it brings a unique aroma and flavor to Thai cuisine. However, this powerful scent is available from the plant itself as well, so keeping holy basil in your home can provide a soothing aroma that can help bring tranquility to your living space. They grow best in very sunny conditions, indoors or outdoors.