5 Things to Sleep With Under Your Pillow (and What to Avoid)

Sleeping with certain crystals like howlite, moonstone, and rose quartz can enhance sleep, while smokey quartz and malachite may protect against nightmares. Coins attract wealth, and a bag of herbs including sage, rosemary, and salt can aid astral journeys. Garlic is suggested for warding off bad vibes, and love notes can attract specific lovers, though caution is advised. Avoid high-vibration crystals like clear quartz, citrine, and selenite. 

On a recent trip to Portland, Maine, I was instantly drawn to an emerald ring on display in a thrift store. I was at the register with my friend as she checked out, and instantly knew I had to have it.

On my journey back to New York City, I couldn’t stop staring at it. It felt like I had discovered something I didn’t know I was missing and just knew it was a special find.

Later that week, I was still wearing it as I was nodding off to sleep—and because it was a little uncomfortable, I slipped it off and placed it under my pillow.

That night, I “slept” in sort of a catatonic state, where I never fully fell asleep but didn’t quite feel awake either. I wondered if it had something to do with the ring, so I consulted my witchy friend and colleague, Roya Backlund, the astrology and tarot card editor at Stylecaster.com.

Her guess was that a spirit or energy was still attached to the ring. She suggested that I cleanse it with palo santo. Once I did that, the ring didn’t give me any trouble.

But it got me thinking about what you should and shouldn’t sleep with in your bed and under your pillow. If you’re also not quite entering a full sleep state, a crystal or other energy might be to blame.

Here’s everything to know about what you should and shouldn’t sleep with under your pillow.

5 things to sleep with under your pillow

Certain crystals

It’s important to note that different crystals have different vibrations. So, although some crystals can be helpful to sleep near, others could keep you awake (see below).

According to Backlund, howlite, moonstone, and rose quartz “are great for soothing you to sleep.” If you deal with bad dreams, then try sleeping with smokey quartz or malachite for nightmare protection.


Backlund says you can put coins under your pillow at night to help attract wealth.


“You can create a bag full of protective herbs and minerals, such as sage, rosemary, and salt, under your pillow to keep you safe on your astral journeys,” says Backlund. (Here’s how to create a sleep spell jar for better shuteye.)


If you’ve ever watched a Halloween movie with witches, then you’ve probably seen garlic as an oft-used protector from evil spirits and evil energy. This makes it a great addition to place under your pillow if you feel like a bad vibe or energy enters your room as you sleep, says Backlund.

Love notes

“To attract a specific lover, you can also sleep with their love notes under your pillow,” says Backlund. However, she warns, “Use this technique wisely, as it is incredibly powerful and can create obsession.”

What to avoid putting under your pillow

If a seemingly random item (like my ring!) disrupts your sleep, then try cleansing it with sage smoke or palo santo to clear the lingering energies from it.

Otherwise, there are a few high-vibration crystals that Backlund says you should avoid sleeping near as well. Sometimes just having these crystals in the same room can cause sleep disruptions, even if they’re not underneath your pillow.

“Clear quartz, citrine, and selenite are high-vibration crystals that can interrupt your sleep,” says Backlund.


What can I put under my pillow for good sleep?

Crystals like howlite, moonstone, and rose quartz can provide a soothing sleep. Smokey quartz and malachite can help protect against bad dreams. Coins may help attract wealth, and you can mix up a bag of herbs with sage, rosemary, and salt to help keep you safe as you dream. Love notes can help as well if you’re looking to attract a lover in your waking life.

What happens if I sleep with a book under my pillow?

“Sleeping with a book under your pillow is a great thing to do if you’re trying to absorb its information,” says Backlund. “This is a great technique to aid in studying and manifestation as your subconscious will soak up the energy of your book while you sleep.”

Is it OK to sleep with a crystal?

It depends on the type of crystal. See the approved list of crystals above and which ones to avoid. However, even if an approved crystal on this list keeps you awake at night, listen to your body and your senses and remove it if you feel it’s necessary.

What are the benefits of sleeping with garlic under your pillow?

Garlic may help provide both protection and good luck. “Witches have been sleeping with garlic under their pillows since time immemorial,” says Backlund. “It’s very a powerful and primitive form of magical ritual.”

What can tarot cards teach you about snoozing? Here’s how to do a tarot reading for better sleep.

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