Herbal Sleep & Dream Pillows

Herbal Sleep and Dream Pillows

What type of dreams do you desire? Soothing, vivid, full of adventures or romance, or do you wish for deep, calm slumber? Simple to prepare, sewing aromatic herbs into small pillows can help bring peaceful sleep, enhance dreams, and encourage dream memory. The practice of placing herbs under one’s pillow dates back centuries, and was originally done to protect against evil, calm bad dreams, foresee the future, bring good dreams, or conjure a lover into one’s life. No matter the reason, herbal pillows are beneficial for adults, children, and pets.

To prepare an herbal pillow, first select a piece of fabric, preferably cotton or another natural fiber.  This is the perfect opportunity to use leftover fabric scraps, vintage pillowcases, bandanas, or scarves. Wash and dry the fabric, and cut it into whatever shape you wish. Squares and rectangles are simplest, but you can also sew whimsical animal pillows for children and other fun, inspired forms.  Next create a blend of sleep or dream inducing botanicals from the lists below or craft your own mixture with fragrant herbs that you find especially calming, relaxing, or that evoke nostalgic, pleasant memories.  With the right sides of the fabric together, stitch along the edges, making sure to leave an unsewn space along one side. Once finished stitching, flip the pillow out through the unsewn space, and fill with your herbal blend. Finish the pillow by sewing the open area shut. For a sewing-free option, use cotton muslin bags or scraps of fabric tied tight with twine or yarn.   Sleep and dream pillows can be tucked inside, under, or next to pillows where they will emit their fragrance throughout the night.

Sleep Pillows

Sleep pillows are great for all ages and for those who have a difficult time falling asleep.  For a blend that encourages deep sleep, blend any of the following organic herbs:

Catnip: Relaxing, helps bring deep sleep.
Chamomile: Calming, relaxing, and said to keep bad dreams away.
Hops: Relaxing and brings peacefulness.
Lavender: Soothing, relaxing and eases headaches.
Lemon Balm: Relieves stress, anxious and nervous feelings, insomnia, stress, and headaches.
Rose petals: Brings warmth and love.
Rosemary: Traditionally used to bring deep sleep and keep away bad dreams.
Sweet Marjoram: Calms restlessness and nervousness.

Dream Pillows

Dream pillows are for those who want to enhance their dreaming or wish to remember their dreams.  To create a blend that encourages dreaming, blend any of the following organic herbs:

Catnip: Relaxing, helps bring deep sleep.
Chamomile: Calming, relaxing, and said to keep bad dreams away.
Cloves: Brings warmth and an exotic feeling to dreams, add only 2-4 per pillow.
Hops: Relaxing and brings peacefulness.
Lavender: Soothing, relaxing and eases headaches.
Lemon Verbena: Uplifting, used to add “lightness” to dream blends.
Mugwort: Greatly enhances lucid dreaming and helps with remembering of dreams.
Peppermint or Spearmint: Enhances clarity and vividness in dreams.
Rose petals: Brings warmth and love, may be used to evoke romantic dreams.
Rosemary: Traditionally used to bring deep sleep and keep away bad dreams.

DIY Herbal Sleep and Dream Recipes

Pet Blends

Yes, you can make pillows for your favorite furry friends too!  Not only will the aroma appeal to your pet, but these herbs are also known as natural flea deterrents.

Cats:  Catnip, Chamomile, Pennyroyal, Valerian – These herbs have a fragrance that cats enjoy, plus they help deter fleas.

Dogs:  Eucalyptus, Lavender, Pennyroyal, Rosemary, Thyme, Wormwood – Dogs like the aroma of these herbs and they help keep fleas away.

Sweet dreams!

~ irene

18 Responses to “Herbal Sleep & Dream Pillows”

  1. Your pictures are so so gourgous!

    I have been hooked on herbal dream pillows since I took a class on them with Rosemary Gladstar. Mugwort and hops are my favorite ingredients in them, for sure, with a some lavender for the pleasing aroma.

    I also have fallen in love with dilly pillows, perfect for babies with upset tummies.

  2. [...] I mixed together 1.5 parts lavender, 1.5 parts peppermint, 1 part mugwort, 1 part hops, 1 part chamomile, .5 part rose petals, and .25 part rosemary.  However, the combinations are endless (maybe try some of these)! [...]

  3. avatar Rene says:

    I would like to make a sleep pillow for my dog and cat. I read that wormwood is dangerous for dogs and that pennyroyal is dangerous for cats. There are many people who sell such pillows on ETSY most likely using the herbs suggested in this blog entry. What proportions would you use in the blend for dogs and cats? Thanks!

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi Rene,

      Thank you for reading our blog and for asking such a great question!

      If you’ve read that Wormwood and Pennyroyal are dangerous for cats and dogs, then you could omit them from the formula. Or, you could add just a small pinch to the blend. I’ve never measured the ingredients when making herbal pillows, I simply add a bit of this and that until the blend looks just right. :-) You could also allow your pets sniff the different herbs to see which they like the most, and then include larger portions of those herbs in the blend. If you’d prefer an exact blend, here are some recipes which may be of interest: http://www.motherearthliving.com/garden-projects/gingham-dog-calico-cat-flea-pillow.aspx

      I hope that this helps, and thanks again!

      ~ Irene

  4. avatar Rene says:

    Hello Again!

    I crafted the dog pillow as suggested using a little of each of the herbs listed. The pillow came out wonderfully. However, the dog I tested it on had the following reaction. It would not go near it. It ran to its master and cowered. It had no sense of curiosity–nothing.

    The cat I tested the cat pillow on–again crafted with the herbs listed–seemed uninterested. He tolerates the pillow near his sleeping place, but is otherwise apathetic.

    I realize different portions of these herbs work subjectively as they would for humans–some folks like the scent of roses, others do not–however, I would like to create something that ALL dogs and cats are sure to like. Thinking maybe only catnip and catgrass for cats, but I am perplexed as to what to use for the dogs.

    Can you help?


  5. avatar kat says:

    Where can I get the dried herbs for these pillows?

  6. avatar Angelique says:

    I haven’t made pet herb pillows yet, but I can tell you that my puppy loves redwood needles lemon verbena and lemongrass. Just a couple of weeks ago, I trimmed back the “dead” parts of my herbs and cut my redwoods. Out of all of the trimmings (mints, oregano, hyssop, lavender, rosemary, sage), my puppy picked out the lemon verbena branches, redwood branches and shredded dead lemongrass out of the to compost pile. He would stiff around the pile like he knew what he was looking for.

  7. avatar William Dennler says:

    I don’t have a clue how to make a sleep pillow but someone once gave one to me and it was wonderful. Do I use all the herbs together that you listed above and then what kind of cloth do I put them in? Thanks

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Bill~Thank you for checking in with us! You would want to combine all the herbs together and you can use whatever sort of cloth or material you like–cotton, muslin, or other natural fibers work best. You’ll want to make sure it is a breathable and washable fabric, but other than that, it is really up to you. Wishing you the best of luck and sweet dreams! ~Kori

  8. avatar Julie says:

    My daughters and I are going to attempt our own sleep pillows. Do the scents last a while or do you need to replace the herbs often. Also, where do you get all of your herbs? I have some growing but some listed I have no clue where to get. TIA Julie

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi Julie, The herb scents will last varying times depending on the conditions they are exposed to. I would replace them after a couple of months to maintain freshness and therapeutic qualities. You can order all of them online through mountainroseherbs.com :) I hope that helps! What a wonderful project to work on with the little ones! ~Alieta

  9. […] or buy a  dream pillow. Inhaling the herbs while you sleep will enhance your ability to […]

  10. […] Learn more here: http://mountainroseblog.com/herbal-sleep-dream-pillows/ […]

  11. avatar Dana says:

    what is the ratio of the herbs for the sleep pillow blend?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Dana~Thank you so much for reading the blog! I know it can seem a little daunting, but it really is up to you :) First, it will depend on the size of the pillow you are making, but you also get to choose the herb or herbs and the rations and combinations based on what you like and have. We just don’t have an exact ratio for this one. We so appreciate your interest and I wish you good luck on your project! ~Kori

  12. avatar AJ says:

    Just what I needed. I will try to combine these herbs to help me sleep. Thanks!

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  • ErinErin (363)
    Erin is the Marketing Director at Mountain Rose and studied herbalism, botany, and ethical wildcrafting at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She spends her days making botanical illustrations, playing in the garden, creating culinary gems, and formulating medicine in the magnificent Oregon Cascades.
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