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Plants to help you sleep; Your bedroom is your sanctuary, and now you can make it an even more blissful place with house plants to aid a good night's slumber.

Given the fact so many of us spend more time inside than ever before (especially as the Great British summer is so unreliable), bringing some of the outdoors inside will have a positive effect on our wellbeing. And seeing as few adults today get the optimum eight hours' sleep and insomnia is on the rise, anything that helps us get some proper rest is a good thing.

BY THE BED Creating a space where you can relax properly is a crucial part of developing what the experts call 'good sleep hygiene', and plants have an important part to play in this. Not only do they look good, they help us to feel calm and act as natural air conditioners, gently raising the humidity levels and improving air quality. A plant that's neat, compact and attractive is imperative on the bedside table.

Good ones are English ivy, lavender and dendrobium orchids.

CUPBOARD LOVE The top of a wardrobe is ideal for displaying plants. More often than not, this is a dead space, so an effective piece of plant landscaping will have lots of impact. It's also safely out of the way, so perfect for those that aren't child or pet friendly, eg, prayer plant, Boston fern, English ivy or spider plant.

WHAT TO CHOOSE Look for plants that can cope with the slightly cooler temperatures and potentially lower light levels, and try to seek out the varieties that are proven toxin filters, such as heart-leaf philodendron, the peace lily, staghorn fern, devil's ivy or any of the ones below. By a happy coincidence, these are also extremely attractive.

Staghorn fern Arrowhead vine Devil's ivy Barberton daisy Madagascar jasmine

TOP NIGHTTIME OXYGENATORS Unlike most plants, these release oxygen at night instead of during the day Orchids Aloe vera Lavender oil is a traditional sleeping aid, but rather than splashing out on pillow sprays, introduce a lavender plant into your bedroom instead.

WORKING SPACES Green is the colour of calm and is believed to relieve stress, so greenup your office space! Pretty pots will brighten up your desk, while Chlorophytum varieties, such as the spider plant, are particularly good at processing environmental pollutants.

CONNECTING SPACES The key here is plants that can cope with low levels of light and draughts. Mother-inlaw's tongue, fern arum and the corn plant all create dramatic moods, or choose devil's ivy for a softer feel.

BATHING SPACES Orchids, ferns and palms are all perfect as they like humidity and don't mind fluctuations in temperature. Ferns are ideal if you have a dark room. Aloes are great here too, as the sap in their leaves is antiseptic.

PLANTS FOR OTHER ROOMS Here's what to choose for the rest of the house KITCHEN & EATING SPACES Herbs are a natural fit here, as they can be used in cooking, as well as masking unpleasant odours. Also go for plants that don't mind heat and humidity, such as Asplenium ferns and Echeveria succulents.

LIVING SPACES The place for a big showstopping plant, eg, a mature weeping fig, Madagascar dragon tree, or elephant's foot (Beaucarnea recurvata).

AT HOME WITH PLANTS BY IAN DRUMMOND & KARA O'REILLY, PUBLISHED BY MITCHELL BEAZLEY, PS20, OCTOPUS BOOKS.CO.UK PHOTOS: (c) NICK POPE

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Aug 27, 2017
Words:535
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