Benefits of Sleeping with Garlic under your Pillow [Ultimate Guide]

fresh garlic

If you’ve ever spent time with a granny or old relative then you’ve probably been told the benefits of sleeping with garlic under the pillow. Many of us have heard that garlic improves sleep and reduces even the most severe forms of insomnia.

Others were told that the effects of a clove of garlic can boost energy levels and help you wake up buzzing and ready to go.

Does sleeping with garlic under the pillow improve sleep? The answer is yes, sleeping with garlic under the pillow provides a strong aroma that can induce sleep. Additionally, garlic offers sulfur-containing compounds with insomnia-busting properties such as allicin, ajoene, and diallyl polysulfides as well as saponins, flavonoids, and enzymes. 

What Benefits Does Garlic have for Your Sleep?

Well, you’ve probably heard enough old wive’s tales concerning the transformative effects of garlic on sleep. You may be wondering whether there’s any scientific evidence to back those claims.

Well, garlic is a vegetable packed with sleep-boosting chemicals and nutrients. It comprises 59% water, 33 % carbohydrates, 6% protein, 2% dietary fiber, and 1% fat. Here are a couple of nutrients garlic provides and how they affect your sleep.

1. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 popularly known as Thiamine can be lifesaving for those suffering sleep troubles.

The vitamin which is found in garlic is known to improve nighttime rest by maximizing sleep cycles to ensure that you can get the deserved quality of shuteye.

No wonder many insomnia patients are advised by their doctors to double their vitamin B1 dosage to enhance sleep.

Additionally, Thiamine is noted for its ability to reduce stress and associated symptoms such as anxiety. Since those symptoms do not mix well with sleep, this vitamin can be critical to your long-term health and functionality.

2. Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic Acid, also known as Vitamin B5 is another important ingredient found in garlic. It can protect the body from excessive fatigue and sleep disturbances. In times of stress and anxiety, this critical ingredient can help induce sleep and provide the much-needed rest after a long day.

3. Vitamin B6

 A clove of garlic provides vitamin B6 which is another sleep-friendly ingredient. According to Holland and Barrett, this critical vitamin can help you wave those sleepless nights goodbye for good.

Vitamin B6 effectively converts the amino acid tryptophan into a critical neurotransmitter known as serotonin. This neurotransmitter regulates the amount and timing of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Thus, Vitamin B6 helps you sleep tight and wake up full of energy in the morning.

4.Vitamin C

vitamins in the palm

Garlic provides substantial amounts of Vitamin C upon ingestion. The nutrient is famous for reducing stress levels when consumed in ample quantities by suppressing the stress hormone known as Cortisol.

This creates the right environment to achieve sleep even if other conditions may not be optimum.

Apart from garlic, consuming fruits such as oranges and mangoes as well as leafy vegetables ranging from broccoli to cabbages can boost your vitamin C levels substantially.

5. Magnesium

Many studies have reinforced the importance of manganese in aiding sleep. According to Healthline, the mineral can influence multiple processes that promote the ability to hit the hay with little effort.

Additionally, magnesium calms down the body and allows you the peace of mind to sleep. This why taking in the right amounts of magnesium is so important.

Note that magnesium deficiency can distort the body’s optimum functionality leading to significant issues in the ability to sleep.

6. Phosphorus

Did you know that phosphorus is one of the most vital nutrients for combating various degrees of sleep troubles? The British Homeopathic Association says that phosphorus is an effective remedy for providing relief in old people who experience constant sleeplessness.

It can be the perfect remedy for anyone that tosses and turns for long periods before finally drifting off to sleep. If you wake up several times during the night, this nutrient can also help you kick the habit.

Even if you do not struggle as much to sleep but wake up fatigued in the morning, Phosphorus can be critical for your long-term health. Phosphorus can also help provide relief for those who experience constant nightmares and sleepwalking.

7. Calcium

Many of us grew up drinking a glass of warm milk before bedtime. While many people minimize the practice as they grow older, it turns out that calcium (which is concentrated in milk) can boost sleep. The good news is that consuming garlic offers calcium to the body.

 The result is a sleepier evening and a much more relaxing night whenever you decide to hit the hay.

8. Iron

Eating garlic provides iron, another critical nutrient for a blissful night of sleep. Iron deficiency is one of the underlying causes behind the restless leg syndrome, a condition that forces you to toss and turn for several hours at night before achieving some sleep if any at all.

9. Zinc

Zinc is an important player in the melatonin metabolism process. Since melatonin is essential to good sleep, you cannot afford to miss out on the zinc garlic provides.

Zinc also acts as a sedative on the central nervous system, just like calcium and magnesium. The nutrient can help induce sleep so you can wake up recharged and ready to tackle any challenges that come your way.

It simply regulates the sleep portion of the circadian rhythm and prevents several forms of sleep disorders.

How do you Sleep with Garlic Under the Pillow?

OK, so you’ve read and heard enough about why you should sleep with garlic under the pillow. But how do you go about it to ensure the best outcome? Here are the step by step instructions to ensure maximum sleeping benefits every single night.

  • Take a clove of garlic from the bulb and peel it
  • Make an incision about ¾ of the way down
  • Find a small mesh bag, place the garlic inside it, and zip
  • Place the zipped bag between the pillowcase and the pillow
  • Enjoy your sleep in peace and wake up feeling fresh and energized
  • Make a new incision on the previously used clove the next day and repeat the process as stated above
  • Change the clove of garlic after every 3 days of use

Reasons Why You Should Try the Garlic Under Your Pillow Method

If your nighttime rest quality is suffering, you owe it to yourself to at least try sleeping with garlic under the pillow. This is because there are lots of advantages this procedure delivers compared to others such as taking sleeping pills.

Here are a few reasons why you should try this home remedy.

1. Quick Results

Garlic offers a strong smell that can easily permeate an entire bedroom within a couple of minutes. This strong scent may translate to quick results for anyone with insomnia.

Unlike other sleep aids that may take some time to see results, many have reported better sleep right from the first night of going to bed with garlic under their pillows.

Thus, anyone desperate to see instant sleep improvements should try this remedy.

2. Affordable

fresh garlic in a supermarket

A bulb of garlic costs $0.45 at Walmart and you can expect to pay similar prices at other retail stores across North America. This affordability means everyone can sleep with garlic under their pillows regardless of their economic backgrounds.

The fact that it is cheap means you can also afford to try the remedy and decide for yourself whether to continue or not.

This is in sharp contrast to professional sleep therapies that can run into several thousands of dollars.

So go ahead and try sleeping with garlic under your pillow tonight. The worst-case scenario is that you may hate it and would have wasted less than 50 cents.

3. Easy to Follow

Many natural sleep remedies require tons of instructions that can be hard to wrap your head around. Unfortunately, any small missteps can ruin the efficacy of the home remedy, leading to mediocre results at best.

However, sleeping with garlic under your pillow is as simple as peeling a clove of the vegetable and placing it in a plain bag or pouch between a pillowcase and pillow.

You can then jump into bed ready to have a blissful night. If you’re terrible at following instructions and tired of scratching your head to follow one remedy or the other, you should thrive with the garlic-under-the-pillow method.

4. No Side effects On Your Health

Garlic is healthy natural food so putting it under your pillow produces absolutely no side effects compared to Ambien and other artificial sleep aids. Even if you despise the scent of raw garlic, integrating it into your daily cooked meals can offer full benefits for your health.

Garlic can also be blended into juices and smoothies. The solution can then be added to your teas, cereal, and other meals throughout the day.  Regular consumption of the powerful vegetable can lead to an inevitable uptick in your sleep quality.

If you’re looking to improve your sleep without putting the body at the risk of other health issues, garlic may be one of the best options out there.

5. Perfect for Stale Mattresses and Pillows

Are you stuck with old mattresses and pillows that continue to give off pungent smells even after repeated cleaning?

Garlic can become one of your best buddies right now. The strong scent of the vegetable can overcome the smell of stale mattresses and pillows.

This can make your bed smell like new regardless of how long you’ve been lying down on it. Stale-smelling pajamas, curtains, and nightstands are other items garlic can eliminate bad stench from.

Disadvantages of Sleeping with Garlic under your Pillow

Like most things in life, there are a few disadvantages associated with sleeping with garlic under the pillow. Shall we take a look at a few of them?

1. Takes Some Getting Used to

We’ve already discussed how the strong scent of garlic can overcome many stale and dirty smells but it may be repulsive and can take some getting used to.

Unless you’ve been doing it for some time, the garlic aroma can be so strong and off-putting that you may wish to discard it even before sunrise.

This is one of the reasons why some people cringe at the thought of lying down in proximity to a clove of garlic throughout the night.

2. Not feasible for Overnight guests

Do you have overnight guests on their way? If you have plans of sharing your bed, lying down under a clove of garlic can freak out the visitor. Also, If you’re expecting a visit from a partner or love interest, the last thing you’d want is to mess up their moods with a strong aroma they may not be used to.

Unless your guest makes it clear that he or she doesn’t mind the smell of garlic, it is important to remove it from the pillowcase and get a new case.

Also, you should change the sheets to remove any traces of the powerful-smelling bulb vegetable.

How to Get Rid Of the Garlic Scent 

If you decide to drink garlic or chew it raw, keep in mind that the strong aroma can linger on your breath for a long time. 

Thus, you may need to take active steps for the scent to subside. Here are a couple of ways to eliminate or at least reduce the smell of garlic on your breath.

1. Brush your Teeth

toothbrush and toothpaste

Brushing your teeth after consuming garlic can help the scent to subside. Sure, it may not vanish entirely but you can expect to make some progress.

Make sure to brush your teeth with lots of water. Also, don’t forget to stick out your tongue and brush on top and underneath it thoroughly.

2. Warm Milk

Did you know that a glass of warm milk can boost the quest to get rid of the garlic stink from your breath? According to Medical News Today, a glass of milk can lower the number of active compounds that add up to cause the stink.

This can quickly improve your breath and result in more pleasantness when you speak to others.

3. Lemon Juice

Have you just eaten a few pieces of garlic or drank its juice? Either way, lemon juice can act on the compounds that produce bad breath and neutralize its effects.

Thus, your breath can start smelling fresh again with absolutely no problems thanks to the natural properties of lemon juice.

I personally recommend the Zulay Professional Citrus Juicer from Amazon for extracting maximum juice from orange and lemon juice. It is convenient, affordable, and features heavy-duty cast iron components.

Where Does Garlic Come From?

If you’re reading this then chances are you know what garlic is and have probably eaten at least a couple of meals seasoned with the vegetable. But for the record, Garlic is a root vegetable of the same species as onions, shallots, chives, and Chinese onions.

Garlic is native to Central Asia and certain parts of Iran but its current global popularity means it is grown across every part of the world right now.

Apart from its use as food, the healing properties of garlic make it a major ingredient in the traditional medicine industry.


Sleeping with garlic under the pillow can be a solid option to enhance and make your nights memorable.

Many people have reported significant improvements in their sleep from the practice and you owe it to yourself to try it at least.

Fortunately, a bulb of garlic costs less than $1 so you don’t have to break the bank to try it.

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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