Tag Archives: hops

Make Dream and Sleep Pillows

Make dream and sleep pillows from dried herbs.

General instructions:

Simple Dream and Sleep pillows can be made with soft fabric with fairly tight weave. Wash the fabric using natural soap such as borax and do not add any fabric softener or dryer sheets. Washing will wash the sizing and smell out of the fabric.  Some bags may be filled with batting along with the herbs. Use 100% natural fabric.

Dream and Sleep Pillows

Herbal Dream and Sleep Pillows

Cut two pieces of 5” x 8” rectangles or any size you like to use. This is a great project to use up leftover fabric. What’s important is what inside not the shape. Lay wrong size together and sew one long side seam using about ¼” seam allowance. Hem the top of the bag. Sew the other sides of the bag leaving the hem size open. I use a piece of ribbon to tie around the bag to close.

Casing bag: The top of the bag can fold over top for a casing with the seam open just enough to pull a draw sting through.

Fabrics might include: lining fabric, broadcloth, flannel, soft decorative fabric, and cotton.

Place a small amount of fiber fill inside the bag. Add about ½ to ¾ cup of the herbs.

Closed Bag: You can also make a bag with no opening. Just stitch around the four corners of the bag and leave an opening for filling and turning. It is best to use an inner lining of washed muslin for pillows. Just cut two pieces of muslin slightly smaller than the outside fabric.

Be sure you can get you material inside so the opening should be about 4 inches. Turn the bag inside out, iron and fill with herbs. Stitch the opening close. Place the inner bag inside the outer fabric and stitch close. I like to top stitch all around to catch the inner to the outer so the inner pillow does not shift around.

Place either of the bags inside your sleeping pillow or lay beside you head.

A variety of combinations can be used for these little bags. Some are used to help you sleep, or to dream, or help with headaches, or help you recover from an illness.

Dream Pillow may work because the fragrance activities the memory of the brain.

When making these mixtures, use two or three of herbs mentioned.

For example a classic mixture for Nightmare be-gone is equal parts of rose petals, rosemary, lavender, and hops. Sleep mixture is equal parts of lavender, mugwort and hops, or equal parts of lavender, chamomile, hops, mugwort and rose.  Amounts for pillow are about ½ c. herb in each pillow.

Making sleep pillow

Herbs used in sleep pillow

  • Stress Mixture: Hops, mugwort, sweet marjoram, and lavender
  • Get Well mixture: lavender, catnip,
  • Dream lover pillow: yarrow flowers, dill leaves, basil, and roses
  • Remember dreams: lavender, rosemary, mugwort, catnip, and bay
  • Nightmare be-gone: Rosemary, valerian, lemon balm, rose petals, hops, mullein, or lavender.
  • Headache be-gone: rosemary, mint, betony, or bay, bee balm flower, roses, lavender, nutmeg or cloves, and a small amount of marjoram.

To retain scent, can add some cellulose chips or vetiver root, a little essential oil may be added as well. Orris root which is used in potpourris is usually considered too sensitive for close breathing. Many are allergic to orris root. Also store bag when not in use in a plastic zipper bag.

Herbs used in making dream and sleep pillows:

  • Chamomile: rest, sweet dreams
  • Cloves: repel bad dreams
  • Dill is known to help with cranky babies
  • Hops: restful sleep and healing, sweet dreams
  • Lilac (old fashioned garden variety) good for dreams
  • Lavender: headaches easing, purification, calming
  • Marjoram: relieves depression
  • Mugwort: visions and predictive dreams, aids in remembering dreams
  • Mullein: repel bad dreams
  • Rosemary: avoid nightmares and headaches, folk lore says it retains memory, use sparingly
  • St. Johns Wort: banishes spirits
  • Lemon Grass: predictive dreams
  • Marjoram: relieves depression
  • Mint: vivid dreams, alertness
  • Rose: Clairvoyance, love
  • Thyme: peaceful sleep
  • Valerian: deep rest

Word of warning: If you allergic to ragweed you may have reactions to chamomile. Common sage and clary have been used in pillows but other sages should be avoided. Avoid tansy and Artemisia such as wormwood.  We do not claim these pillows actually help you sleep or will induce sleep. They are just fun.

Lavender has a strong scent and if strong may not induced sleep, but is used for headaches. Strong herbs such as rosemary and mugwort should be avoided in children pillows. Many pillows are made from hops alone, but hops have an unpleasant smell by itself and smell better with other herbs flowers mixed in equal parts.

These little pillows make great gifts and is a fun way to use many of your dried herbs. If you do not grow all the herbs you can usually purchase them form a good herb store. Just be sure herbs are organic. Always label the pillow with all ingredients. They are not intended as a primary sleeping pillow, but an addition.


Insomnia Natural Cures

Insomnia is a problem many face and herbs might be the answer to your sleeplessness.

Night after night we lie awake and try and count sheep. We hit a 1000 and we realized we are still wide awake and the alarm clock is telling up to get up and face the world.

Over half Americans suffer from insomnia, which means we simply cannot get to sleep.

Some triggers for insomnia include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Too much activity right before bed time
  • Mentally challenging work just before bed
  • Stress
  • Low production of female hormone estrogen, premenstrual or during menopause
  • Emotional problems
  • Medication
  • Smoking within two hours before bedtime

The National Sleep Foundations estimates 40% more women have trouble sleeping compared to 30% men.

Drugs to help you sleep can do more harm in the long run than they do well; while the help you sleep sometimes we experience a hangover like system the next morning. We have trouble getting out of bed, even more so than if we had no sleep.

Some of these aids can also cause dependency of these drugs and we can’t get to sleep naturally.


Natural methods of getting to sleep include the use of herbs and meditation. Herbs have been used for thousands of years to help induce sleep gently.

Lemon balm helps to aid in sleep and the treatment for sleep disturbances. Chamomile has been used successfully for the treatment of insomnia.

Drink a tea make out of chamomile or lemon balm about 30 minutes before bed time.

Valerian root is the most widely used sleep aid in the world. Valerian is safe and effective substitute for sleeping pills and sedatives. Valerian can be found in pill form, teas, tablets and tinctures. The tea can taste bad and smell of feet. No kidding.

Lavender has a mild sedative effect, spray the oil mixed with water in the air just before bedtime. A little lavender oil can be rub on the temple area, just keep it away from the eyes. Lavender is one of the essential oils gentle enough for the skin. Smelling lavender may help to you to get the rest you need.

Lavender, rose petals, and catnip will help to ease insomnia.

Combinations of herbs such as chamomile, skullcap, oatstraw and catnip have been used in folk medicine for treating insomnia. Use equal parts, either fresh or dried. Drink a tea with about 1 Tbsp. of the mixture 30 minutes before bedtime.

A good bedtime tincture includes equal portions of the tinctures of passion flower, hops, skullcap, wood betony and catnip. Take about 20 drops of the mixture before bedtime and again right before you retire.

Passionflower and hops have been used in folk medicine for years for sleep. In fact try it in pillow to help induce sleep.

Wood betony is known as a relaxant and tonic for the nervous system.

A future blog will on making and the ingredients of dream and sleep pillows.

Change your lifestyle:

  • Exercise a few times a week, early in the day
  • Set a routine before bed such as making a cup of tea and relaxing
  • Try meditation to manage stress or positive reinforcement
  • Drink relaxing aids and stress aids during the day to help relaxation
  • Stop and smell the roses, take time for yourself
  • Go to bed at the same time, and get up at the same time
  • Don’t nap during the day
  • Keep your bedtime dark and quiet
  • Avoid watching TV
  • Read boring books
  • Reduce salt in your diet
  • Get massages or biofeedback before bedtime

Some other aids in getting to help with insomnia:

  • Image a calm setting as you lie in bed, mentally feel yourself relaxing and calming down.
  • Slowly count to 100 and if you lose your place just start over.
  • Take a calcium/magnesium tablet about one hour before bedtime.
  • Drink a cup of warm milk mixed with honey and nutmeg.
  • Drink some warmed grapefruit juice mixed with raw honey
  • Drink some orange juice or pineapple juice mix with lemon juice
  • Yellow onions are suppose to help, so smell one before going to bed
  • Elderberry juice at room temperature, may help you get to sleep
  • Keep the temperature of the room cool, but keep the feet warm
  • Avoid eating two or three hours before bedtime
  • Take a warm bath with baking soda an hour or two before bed
  • Take a multi vitamin daily with cooper, iron, manganese, calcium and B-complex
  • Eat cucumbers, lettuce, and yogurt in your diet

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is a relaxant and found in milk, yogurt, bananas, milk, figs, dates, tuna, turkey, and nut butters. Tryptophan is directly involved in the production of serotonin which is a sleep inducer.

As a child we are told we need eight hours of sleep a night, and maybe as children we did. But as an adult, we may not need the same amount as children, or we may need more. Get the sleep your body needs and you will feel rested in the morning. We can dwell on the need for eight hours, relax some simply do not, in fact I met a women who in her life she had never slept more than five hours a night. I never knew a women who was as talented in such a large variety of crafts.

So relax and get the sleep you need, maybe with the help of herbs or routines established.