All Natural Sleep Aid

Most of us get less sleep than we should. Today I’m sharing an all natural sleep aid, ready in minutes, made with scraps, and that would be a great gift for a friend who needs to get more (and better) sleep.

All Natural DIY Sleep Aid

I don’t get as much sleep as I could… Okay, so my husband is standing behind me saying, “That’s the world’s biggest understatement, Sarah.” For almost two years, I have had insomnia. It is brutal.

My Insomnia

I’ve always been a light sleeper, not needing much to keep things going. My insomnia started when I wanted to get some ‘me time’ but only wanted to try and get it after everyone else’s needs were met. Sound familiar?

It started out just as a couple days a week of reading or crafting late into the night, telling myself that I would catch up later in the week. Oh, the lies we tell ourselves…

Getting up at 4 am after having only gone to bed at 2 is tough. Managing your life on such little sleep takes a toll on your mind and body, and adding the needs of a family on top really gave me a pounding. In my case, insomnia led to anxiety, which would give my insomnia a burst of energy. Other than the bags under my eyes, you wouldn’t have known I had it so bad if we’d just met. I would force through my day, jovial and full of smiles, but it would all catch up to me later that evening when everyone else was in bed, sleeping like babies.

Elise Christmas Nap

My husband did his best – he would suggest taking some down time, giving me every opportunity to do so. Looking back, I can see his efforts and I can see my dismissal of them. It makes me remorseful now, seeing how he tried to make it better for me and I responded by constantly refusing his help. I’m glad I can see it now and I can thank him properly for his efforts, even though I didn’t take his advice back then.

Yes, honey, you were right. And my heart expands with more love for you for not saying, “I told you so.”

Do All Natural Sleep Aid Products Work?

For the past few months, I have been tackling my insomnia naturally and am having excellent results. Today, I’m sharing a DIY version of an all natural sleep aid that kicked it all off for me. Lavender has long been known to be a relaxing, calming fragrance. But does it work? I decided to test it myself.

All Natural Sleep Pillow

While my daughter was preparing for our morning walk (getting her jacket, rain boots, and hat), I made a lavender and flax sleep pillow from some fabric in my scrap stash. This entire project took 6 minutes! While Elise was going to the bathroom before our walk, I revised my design to make it better and made another one. The point?

This is a ridiculously easy and super-fast project!

Supplies for a Simple, All Natural Sleep Aid

Supplies for an all natural Sleep Pillow
  • 2 scraps of fabric – My scraps were a patterned cotton and a solid piece of black satin, each 9 inches by 5 inches.
  • 1/2 cup flax seed (or more, if not using lavender buds)
  • 1/2 cup dried lavender
  • optional: lavender essential oil – I found I didn’t need it, but it will depend on the strength of your lavender buds. If you don’t have buds, you can use the oil to scent the flax seed.
  • coordinating thread, sewing machine (or needle and thread)

Instructions for the Sleep Pillow

To make your all natural sleep aid pillow, iron the fabric and line it up, right sides together. Sew a straight stitch along three sides (I used a 1/2 seam allowance). Snip the corners and trim the seam allowance to about a 1/4 of an inch.

All Natural Sleep Aid

Turn it right sides out, carefully push out the corners, and iron, if desired. Top stitch along three sides using your desired seam allowance – mine is about a quarter of an inch. I left open nearly an entire side (at left) for stuffing.

Stuff the pillow with your lavender and flax seeds and top stitch the open side closed, taking care to tuck in the edges. Trim all threads. You’re done with your all natural sleep aid pillow!

Ways to Use Your All Natural Sleep Aid Pillow

  1. Place it on your pillow just before bed and remove it when you lie down. The scent stays but is subtle enough not to be overpowering. This is my preferred method.
  2. Lay it over your eyes just before bed.
  3. Place the sleep pillow under your pillow or near your head while you nod off.
  4. As a gentle all natural sleep aid for children. Originally, I intended to gift the other sleep pillow I made from the floral Waverly fabric scraps, but it has since been commandeered by the 3 year old. She sleeps with it every night, just off to the side from her pillow. During the day, it is a hot potato game or a pillow for her babies, but she always makes sure it’s back in her bed for the night. As a child who hasn’t been a “good sleeper” since her baby days (below), this is just fine with us.
Baby Naps

Why Not Pharmaceuticals and What Else Can Be Done?

Later this week, I’ll discuss why I chose to steer clear of pharmaceuticals. I’ll also share other steps I’ve taken and changes I’ve made to help ward off insomnia naturally. I can’t believe the difference in my skin, hair, mind, and energy levels and I’m still working towards my goal.

Before you go, would you mind pinning this to a health and wellness or gift ideas board on Pinterest? I just know that this simple DIY version of an all natural sleep aid could help someone else get a bit of sleep they desperately need, and would love your help getting the word out!

Beginner Sewing Project

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  1. I started putting a lavender/vanilla or lavender/chamomile lotion from Bath & Body Works on my feet every night before getting in bed. I rub the extra on my arms. I was not sure if it really helped but did sleep longer and more rested when I did it. I did not do it a couple nights just to see and only slept in 1-2 hour spurts as opposed to 4-5 hour spurts when I did do it. Lavender makes me relaxed whenever I smell it. I try not to smell it during the day. :)

  2. This is such a great idea, Sarah! I don’t struggle with insomnia but I still think this would be a nice, calming way to fall asleep. My husband, on the other hand, has struggled with insomnia for years. I’ll have to make one of these for him and see if it helps.

  3. Oooh, this looks lovely Sarah!

    I used to have bad insomnia but I have a whole bunch of strategies to combat it. Plus, when I started staying home and not working, that lifted a load of burdens off of me.

    Thanks for sharing! These would make for great gifts!

  4. I had to stop and look at the sleeping baby pics for quite a while! So, so precious. I know that my babies have destroyed my sleep. I hear them moving when they are not, I hear running feet, when everyone is in bed and so on. I think some nights I need a hammer to the head to knock me clean out. No, that would hurt…. I think I will try your natural sleep aid!

    1. Oh my goodness, Jen, I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who comes up with “phantom kid noises.” Sometimes my husband just shakes his head at me… :)

  5. I’d have to give cedarwood a try too but for now, lavender does really well for me. I’ve never tried it like this, though!

    1. It’s such an easy way to add just a touch of a scent without it being overpowering. I’m also going to look into cedarwood if the lavender ever stops working for me.

      Thanks for stopping by, Tamara!

  6. I used to have a big sleep pillow like this. Such an easy tutorial to Sarah. My hubby struggled with his sleep for a bit and started using cedarwood essential oil and it has worked wonders!

    1. Thanks, Tiffany. I’ll have to look into cedarwood. I remember thinking back to my big pregnancy body pillow – now THAT would be a wonderful, lavender-scented sleep aid! :)

  7. If this is going to work then I want to give it a try. I have insomnia really bad too from my military days due to nightmares. I get about 2-3hrs sleep a night. I was prescribed Ambien which I use sparingly because I hate taking medication. I would love to try this and see how it works out with me.

    1. I have friends who had service-driven nightmares and they also turned to medication. It’s there for when you need it, Amanda, and if you need it – take it. Knowing how I would just take it all the time and not really work to change anything else about myself is the primary reason I’m trying anything and everything before turning to medication. I hope you get a good 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep tonight!