There seems to be a magic cure-all potion, lotion and pill for everything these days. And rarely, if ever, do they live up to their claims. The latest fad in sleep solutions is sleep drinks, and we’re not talking about a nip of whiskey before bed.
These drinks, marketed as ‘anti-energy drinks’, supposedly help you relax and feel sleepy before bed. One brand, Som Sleep, highlights ingredients like magnesium, Vitamin B6, L-Theanine, and melatonin.
Som Sleep’s co-founder Rob Bent told Men’s Health that it’s not designed to put you down like a sleeping pill might, but instead aims to help your body seamlessly transition into the sleep process, so you can asleep faster and stay asleep with fewer interruptions.
The field for nightly optimization drinks is growing, with other brands jockeying for position, including Neuro SLEEP and Tru Dream. It’s becoming crystal clear that more of us are looking for an out-of-the-box solution to feeling like a million bucks every morning.
Do they work?
The truth is, the ingredients in these concoctions are not anything revolutionary. And while these ingredients are noted by experts as ‘sleep-friendly’, simply guzzling a Som Sleep beverage probably won’t solve underlying sleep woes.
If you’re re-living the day’s stressors around bedtime, for example, a sleep drink likely won’t help you get over these restless thoughts.
Similarly, regularly taking melatonin or other sleep supplements is not always advised by experts, noting that it can actually throw off your natural sleep-wake cycle and do more harm than good in the long run.
“Despite the vast amount of anecdotal evidence, scientific research on the effects of various ingredients on sleep enhancement is limited,” notes VP of Sleep Science and Scientific Affairs, Dr. Roy Raymann.
“With some ingredients, you would need higher dosages in the products to be effective, while other ingredients don’t pass the blood-brain barrier (and hence cannot be effective).”
Your best bet is to practice good sleep hygiene and address any lifestyle factors that may be contributing to a fractured night of sleep. This might include limiting your caffeine intake after 2pm, exercising in the morning hours only, avoiding alcohol at night, getting sunlight throughout the day, maintaining a healthy diet, and making sure your bedroom is optimized for quality rest with a white noise machine and weighted blanket.
That said, there is still room for a sleep drink addition to your nightly routine. Many people say they can’t sleep without alcohol, however we recommend a drink without melatonin, caffeine, or alcohol, and having your beverage at the same time every night.
This helps tell your body that sleep is on the way. Just make sure you visit the restroom before you hit the hay.
Do you want to see how your lifestyle choices impact your sleep? Download the free SleepScore App to track your sleep and log your daily choices like caffeine intake and exercise. Then, see what changes have the biggest impact on your rest.