What to put on the pillow to help sleep?

There’s no denying it: a good night’s sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. While many factors contribute to a restful night, one of the often-overlooked elements is the very thing you lay your head on—your pillow.

Beyond its traditional use, your pillow can be an avenue for integrating natural remedies that promote relaxation and restfulness. Before we delve deep, it’s essential to note that while these suggestions can assist, they aren’t definitive cures. Always consult with a healthcare professional for chronic sleep issues.

Guide to Pillow Potions for Peaceful Sleep

  1. Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender is renowned for its calming and soothing properties.
    • How to use: Add a couple of drops to a tissue or cotton ball and tuck it inside your pillowcase. Alternatively, you can purchase pillow sprays with a lavender base.
  2. Chamomile: This herb is often consumed as tea for its natural relaxation effects.
    • How to use: Brew a strong chamomile tea, let it cool, and pour it into a spray bottle. Mist your pillow lightly before bed.
  3. Cedarwood Essential Oil: It has a grounding aroma that promotes relaxation and can stimulate the pineal gland, which releases melatonin.
    • How to use: Mix a couple of drops with water in a spray bottle and mist your pillow lightly.
  4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Best known for respiratory benefits, its refreshing scent can also promote relaxation.
    • How to use: Apply a drop or two on a tissue and place it near your pillow.
  5. Magnesium Oil: While not a traditional “pillow potion”, some individuals find that spraying magnesium oil on their feet before bed can promote relaxation, given magnesium’s muscle-relaxing properties.
    • How to use: Spray directly onto feet and massage gently before sleeping.
  6. Valerian Root: An age-old remedy for anxiety and insomnia.
    • How to use: While consuming it in capsule or tea form is more common, you can also find valerian root pillow sprays in some wellness stores.
  7. Hops: Typically recognized for beer-making, hops have sleep-inducing properties.
    • How to use: Consider finding a pillow sachet that includes hops among its ingredients.

General Guidelines:

  • When using essential oils, always dilute them, as concentrated oils can stain or damage fabrics and may be too potent.
  • Always conduct a patch test first to ensure you’re not allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients.
  • The goal is to have a faint scent that helps to relax the mind and body, not an overpowering aroma that could cause headaches or discomfort.
  • Rotate your remedies; the human body can grow accustomed to scents and their effects over time.
  • Ensure your bedroom environment is conducive to sleep: maintain a comfortable temperature, minimize noise and light, and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow.

In conclusion, while the above potions can create a serene environment for sleep, remember to consider your overall bedtime routine. Combine these scents with consistent sleep schedules, limited screen time before bed, and relaxation techniques to maximize their potential. Sweet dreams!

Do Pillow Sprays Help You Sleep?

Pillow sprays, particularly those with natural essential oils, have become increasingly popular as a method to promote better sleep. The central idea behind these sprays is the use of aromatherapy, a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Here’s a breakdown of whether or not pillow sprays can help with sleep:

  1. Aromatherapy and Relaxation: Certain scents, especially lavender, have been studied for their potential relaxation and sleep-promoting properties. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that inhaling lavender essential oil can lead to improved sleep quality in some participants. Similarly, chamomile, another common ingredient in pillow sprays, has been traditionally used for its calming properties.
  2. Placebo Effect: It’s essential to acknowledge the placebo effect, which plays a role in many alternative therapies. If you believe that a pillow spray will help you sleep better, you might indeed experience improved sleep simply because of this belief.
  3. Setting a Routine: Incorporating a pillow spray into your bedtime routine can signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This psychological aspect of establishing bedtime habits can indirectly support improved sleep.
  4. Potential Drawbacks:
    • Allergies & Sensitivities: Some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to certain essential oils or other ingredients in pillow sprays. It’s always a good idea to patch-test any new product to ensure it doesn’t cause irritation.
    • Overpowering Scents: Using too much of a pillow spray or using one with a very strong scent might have the opposite effect, making sleep more elusive or causing headaches.
  5. Individual Differences: Not everyone will find pillow sprays effective. What works wonders for one person might not work for another, due to differences in personal preferences, body chemistry, and prior experiences with certain scents.

While pillow sprays can be a lovely addition to a bedtime routine and may help some people relax and drift off to sleep more easily, they aren’t a guaranteed solution for everyone. If you’re curious, it’s worth trying out a pillow spray to see if it benefits you. However, if you’re experiencing chronic sleep issues, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to address the root causes.


What can I put on my pillow to help improve my sleep?

Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and cedarwood are commonly applied on pillows to aid sleep. Other options include pillow sprays, sachets with dried herbs, or specialized pillow covers infused with calming scents.

Are there any risks associated with using essential oils directly on my pillow?

Yes. Direct contact can stain your pillowcase and may cause skin irritation if they come in direct contact with the skin. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil or water, or use a diffuser.

How often should I apply the scent to my pillow?

This largely depends on the potency and type of product you are using. However, most pillow sprays and essential oils last a few days before needing reapplication.


Selecting the right scent or product for your pillow can greatly enhance the quality of your sleep. Calming fragrances like lavender and chamomile have been historically celebrated for their sleep-inducing properties. However, while the allure of a scented sleep aid is strong, safety should always come first. Be sure to choose products that are non-toxic, and always be wary of potential allergies or irritations. When applied properly, these soothing agents can become a vital part of your nightly routine, paving the way for deeper, more peaceful slumber.

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