To Sleep – Perchance To Dream

No matter how long I live in the South, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to school starting in early August. For me, summer’s “official end” is Labor Day and school should start after that.

Today is the first day of school in our county and other counties around have either started or are about to. Kids will now have something to keep them occupied eight-or-so hours a day. Well, some of them. Let’s focus on the little ones still at home. You need something to keep them busy, right? Let them make their own dream pillow to snuggle up with during the long nights that we’ll experience all too soon.

Take a piece of fabric 8″ x 16″. Fold it in half lengthwise right sides together so you have an 8″x8″ square. Mark a line 1/2″ from each edge. Sew two sides together along this line (this can be done by hand with the stitches close together – no sewing machine needed). Turn right-side out. Have your child pick out their favorite herbs and fill the pocket you just made. (Lavender, Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Rose Petals or Peppermint are good smelling ones he or she may like.) It’ll take about two ounces of dried herb. Once the pocket is stuffed, turn the top edge inside along the line you drew and sew the final edge shut.

An alternative to the 8×16 piece is to go to the fabric store and buy the squares they’ve already pre-cut for quilting. These are usually 6×6 so the final pillow will be somewhat smaller. Instead of printed fabric you can buy plain muslin and some fabric paint, and let the kids paint their own designs. If they make several, these can be used as gifts for auntie or grandma. (In my family, uncle and/or grandpa won’t truly appreciate them.)

Other herbs that may help with a good night’s sleep are: Cleavers Galium aparine, Hops Humulus lupus (which will make it somewhat lumpy), Wild Lettuce Lactuca virosa, Roman Chamomile Matricaria recutita, Catnip Nepeta cataria, or Scullcap Scutellaria lateriflora. Any of these can be put into the pillow or made into a cup of tea as a calmative before bedtime. Catnip tea is good for the little ones, especially if they have an upset stomach or are still a little too energetic close to bedtime. It tastes good enough that they’ll drink it, too.

One thing about dream pillows: you don’t have to sleep on them, just have them near you at night. Therefore, you really can add lumpy things to one, such as a crystal for protection or to facilitate lucid dreaming. I’m no expert on crystals but I can tell you that when I have my lapis lazuli ring on, my dreams are very lucid.

Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.  ~Thomas Dekker