It seems Martin and my Oliver both need a “Go-to-Sleep Fairy” this week. Unlike Sylvia, I didn’t find one, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve for encouraging restful sleep.
Warm molasses milk is a favorite, but when we’re all suffering from congestion, the dairy fairy isn’t invited to bedtime. A little gentle pressure and aromatherapy, though? Come on in.
A Go to Sleep Fairy Pillow is a project that can be completed in a ½-hour, even with some helping hands. You don’t need to be suffering from insomnia to enjoy the benefits of soothing scents and relaxing pressure points. They are also perfect for catnaps and savasana, or any ol’ sleepy time.
Scrap or small pieces of fabric – one for the inner pillow, and one for the pillowcase. The material is not important, but should feel pleasant on the skin. Linen and silk blends are wonderful, if you have them. Cotton is great, too.
needle and thread
flax seeds or sushi rice
lavender, chamomile, dried peppermint, and/or rosebuds
essential oil of lavender
Instead of sewing up one pillow and stuffing it, I like to go the extra step and make an inner pillow and an outer case. This way, if the case gets dingy, it can be removed and washed. For the inner pillow, cut two rectangles 4½ inches by 8½ inches. Sew it up with your needle and thread whichever way you like that will create a flax seed-tight seam, leaving one end open for stuffing. I used a backstitch, and embroidery thread pared down to three strands.
For the stuffing, I mixed equal parts sushi rice (I didn’t have flax seeds, but either will work) and mixed herbs. Stir them up together and add three or four drops of essential oil. You probably won’t need more than about 1 cup total mixture to stuff your pillow. Just spoon it in until it’s weighty, but still a bit floppy. You want it to drape nicely over the eyes, so be careful not to over stuff it. Once the filling is in, seam the end.
For the case, cut two rectangles 5½ inches by 10 inches. Seam these around three sides, like for the inner pillow, with the right sides of the fabric together. On the open side, fold over about ½ inch of fabric to the inside and tack it down with a running stitch all the way around. This will give it a nice finished edge, like a mini-pillowcase! Slip this over your inner pillow and voila!
Place on your face and breathe deep. You’ll wonder if the sleep fairies have come to visit you, after all.
About the Author
Shannon is a farmer, writer, mixed media artist, photographer, and dreamer, navigating the wilderness of modern life from a Little House in the Young Woods of southern Vermont.